Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mung Dhal (Lentil) Curry

 Mung Dhal (Lentils) comes from the mung bean.  It is also called green gram in parts of Asia.  The variety I used here is the hulled or skinned green gram which is a shade of light yellow.   This is one of my favorite lentil dishes and I could not wait for mother to show me her recipe.  The trick to giving her mung dhal curry a great flavor is she roasts the lentils first then cooks them.  This gives a really wonderful taste and aroma.  We made this dish a bit spicier by adding some red chili powder and whole red chilies during the cooking process. I can eat this lentils with rice alone, but my mother loves to eat it with the Deviled Onion Sambal .  Anyway you eat this lentil curry, it's delicious! 

1 cup yellow mung dhal (lentils)  This is available at all Indian Stores.
2 cups of water (or more as needed)
1 medium onion chopped (divided into two parts)
1 (1 inch) piece of cinnamon stick (divided)
1-2 green chilies sliced
15-20 curry leaves (divided into two parts)
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
red chili powder to taste
salt to taste
1 cup of milk
2-3 whole red dried chili pods
red chili flakes to taste 

Take the dry mung lentils and roast it in a clean pan for 8-10 minutes on medium heat. Stir continuously.  The lentils will start to turn brown and become very fragrant.  Carefully take it over to the sink and add cold water.  Stir lentils and drain and rinse again about 3-4 times.   You may need to stir with a spoon until the lentils cool down. The final rinse (when the lentils are cool) make sure you use your hands to clean the lentils well.  When the water runs clear from rinsing the lentils they are ready to cook. 
Place 2 cups of water into the pan of cleaned lentils then add half of the curry leaves and onion, turmeric, half the cinnamon stick, red chili powder and all the green chilies.  Place on high heat and turn down to medium when it starts to boil.  Cook with a lid on the pot until the water is all absorbed and the lentils are tender and can  be smashed between your fingers.  Add more water if you need to get the correct texture to the lentil.   ***Do not add salt when boiling lentils***
Once the lentils are cooked, heat 1Tbs of oil in another pan and add the remaining onions, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, broken chili pods and chili flakes. Saute on medium heat until the onions start to brown.  Then add the cooked lentils into the pan and add milk and salt to taste.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes and serve with rice. Enjoy.

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  1. This looks wonderful, I love the addition of lentils!

  2. I would love to try this. I have discovered my love for lentils earlier this year. It sounds like something I would really really like!

  3. Yellow dhal--one of my favoriete dishes! I make a version with a kind of caramelized onion, but this looks even better.

  4. This is my most favourite Daal ever my friend :D
    You are like a blogging mother to me making such a delicious lentil dish!


  5. I never had yellow lentil,sound delicious and healthy :)

  6. You are such a whiz in the kitchen, I hope you get lots of time to chillax. Great recipe and pics!

  7. Today is such a rainy day - what would I do to just curl up on the soaf with a bowl of this :D Looks fab Ramona!

  8. Looks delicious Ramona, I have never used the ellow lentils before. Love that last photo with curry leaf and peppers. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend, hope you are getting some time to realx.

  9. I like nothing more than a bowl of warm dal on a rainy afternoon. This one would surely do the trick! :)

  10. Gorgeous! I love lentils and I am always looking for new ways to make them.

  11. Another terrific creation - I'm featuring this in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I always love dropping by to see what you've created...

  12. Ramona, could you explain the purpose of roasting and then cooling the lentils 3-4 times? Also, do I have to dry the lentil after each rinse with cold water or I can just add the wet but drained lentils back into the pan?

    Thank you for posting this recipe!

  13. Hi LeTran, Thank you for stopping by Curry and Comfort. In regards to your question, You only have to roast the lentils once for 8-10 minutes until they become fragrant. After they are roasted you want to rinse the lentils 3-4 times until the water runs clear. Be careful because the hot lentils with make the rinsing water very hot when you add it to the pan. So use a spoon until the lentils cool. You can burn your hand otherwise if you go to stick it in the pan with the hot lentils.

    So again, you do not have to roast the lentils more than once. Sorry if I was not clear about that... I have adjusted my directions. The roasting makes the texture and the taste of the lentils very nice for the mung dhal.

    Hope that explains it better for you. If not.. let me know. Thanks! ~ Ramona

    1. Oh! That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the clarification, Ramona. I share a blog with my friends where we keep track of the food from recipes we find on other food blogs. Do you mind if I make this recipe and write about it on my blog? Of course I will credit you and link back to your blog.

      If you have any guidelines that I need to follow, please let me know!

    2. Hi LeTran, Yes, you are more than welcome to make the dish and put it on your blog. Just link and credit my blog back as the source. Thanks! :) Hope you enjoy the dish. ~ Ramona


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