Simple Moong dal

Mallika Basu - Simple Moong dal

Posted 24th September 2009


Maternity leave has ended.

The last jobless Friday night involved a leggy single brunette. Also top friend and white wine fiend.

First stop, the global launch of Smirnoff’s new Green Apple and Lime flavours. My favourite choice of tipple. Followed closely by Tanqueray and tonic. And champagne. (There must be some others)

I expected free cocktails and vodka bottles. I got a row of melting ice sculptures. The top had fallen off St Paul’s Cathedral. The London Eye had liquefied beyond recognition. Drinks were an hour later in a different venue.

An hour? That’s two eternities for a new mum on a night out!

Cocktail bar, French bistro and Cinema cafe later I was ready to call it a night. Return to my previous life as a corporate superbitch. Whip the world into shape with some quick Indian cooking.

No better way to get going than a quick, simple moong dal. It takes 20 minutes. Doesn’t disappoint. Enjoy.

Feeds 4:

  • 225gm yellow moong lentils (about 1 mug)
  • Half inch ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 long dried red chilli
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • Half tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Pour the lentils into a large pot and wash and drain thoroughly under a cold tap under the water runs clear.

Add three mugs of boiling water and return to the boil. As the lentils start bubbling, scum and foam will appear on the surface. Just skim it off with a wooden spoon and lower the heat to medium so it bubbles away gently.

The mixture will go all fibrous in 10 minutes. Chop the ginger and garlic finely and mix it in. You need to keep adding hot water half a cup at a time, when the lentils are dry and start spluttering, to get a runny but thick consistency.

In another 10 minutes, when the lentils are well integrated with the water, heat the oil in a little saucepan on high. Chuck in the turmeric, red chilli and chilli powder and as the red chilli starts sizzling mix this, called the tadka, into the lentils.

Add salt to your taste and a knob of butter if you fancy before you ladle it over steaming hot rice. For a simple, complete meal, try it with Dhaniya Murgh.

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