Like many other Indian families, Dal is an indispensable part of the dinner or lunch in our family too. Sometimes we make it light, sometimes it would be thick and hearty. My son will have it like a soup when it is light. There are several types of Dals which can be considered as aside dish too, specifically with bread. Though it looks very simple, you can make very delicious Dal preparation if you add your own innovation. For example, you can add different vegetables or even meats or egg or shrimp. There is little chance that you would go wrong with the flavors and taste.
I did similar experiment when I cooked this particular Dal couple of years back. I used to like bell peppers because it adds both flavors and color to any dish. So whenever I go for grocery, I buy some of them without any serious thought. That way some green and red peppers would be there in my refrigerator always. When I used them with this Dal, did not realize that the end result could be so delicious. This Dal has been highly appreciated by my friends and I guess you will also like it.
The recipe of the particular Dal that I am sharing is called "Flavorful Yellow Moong Dal". This is
the most common one along with other versions of Dal like Toor Dal, Chana Dal, Masoor Dal and Urad Dal. For my non-Indian readers, Dal is known as lentils outside India. It’s a readymade source of proteins for a balanced diet, particularly for those who like vegetarian diet. Most Dal recipes are very simple to prepare. The preparation of Dal always has two steps. First begins with boiling of Dal in water with turmeric and salt, then add fried garnish at the end of cooking. The process of adding fried garnish is called 'tadka'. Having a pressure cooker would ease the process of cooking Dal and make it faster.
Recipe of Yellow Moong with Bell Pepper : Serves : 4 to 5
Yellow Moong: 1 cup
Turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Green pepper : a small one ( chopped )
Red pepper : a small one or a half ( chopped )
Onion : a small one ( finely chopped )
Ginger paste : 1 teaspoon
Garlic paste : 1 tablespoon
Tomato : a small one ( chopped )
Oil : 2-3 tablespoon
Cumin seeds : 1/2 teaspoon
Whole dry red chili : one or half ( cracked )
Coriander powder : 1 teaspoon
Red Chili powder ( optional ) : as per tolerance
Chopped cilantro : a handful
1. First lightly toast the yellow moong in a dry skillet until nice aroma comes out and the color of Dal changes to golden yellow but not brown. Once it is done, let it cool down. Wash the lentils until the water runs clear.
2. Boil the Dal. There are two methods, one is pressure cooker method. Another one is sauce pan method.
3. For pressure cooker, rinse Dal and put it in the cooker along with enough water ( 4 to 5 cups) , salt and the turmeric powder. The water level should be half of the finger ( 1 cm approximately ) tall above the Dal. Cover the lid and let it cook in medium heat until you hear one whistle. Remove from heat, first let it cool down completely, then open the lid.
4. Another process of boiling Dal, take a deep sauce pan with lid, rinse Dal and put it in the pan with enough water, salt and turmeric. Bring it to boil and then let it simmer until the dal is well cooked. Add more water in the boiling process, if needed.
5. Once Dal becomes soft and well cooked ( but not mushy ) set it aside.
6. Take a pan or wok, heat 2 to 3 tablespoon oil. Add dry whole red chili and whole cumin seeds. Once they become aromatic and start to spatter, add the chopped onion.
7. Saute the onion until it becomes soft. Add ginger and garlic paste. Stir it and let it cook until raw smell goes off.
8. Add the chopped green pepper and red pepper and give some stirs. Add salt and stir it till they become soft.
9. Add turmeric, coriander powder, chili powder. Give some good stirs until oil starts separating from the side of pan.
10. Add chopped tomato and cook until it the tomato is mushy. Now drop the cooked dal to the pan. Stir everything well and let it cook for couple of minutes. Add water if needed.
11. Check the seasoning, add salt if required. Check the desired consistency. Add the chopped cilantro and turn off the gas.
12. Yellow Moong with Bell pepper is ready to serve. Pour it in a serving bowl and serve hot with rice or bread or as a soup.