A dry spicy dish of mung dal is very popular with the people of the mid West Coast of India, for example, Goa and further south into Kerala. It is easy to make and brings the beautiful and gentle taste of mung dal to the fore.
Mung dal is very easily digested and so is a favourite ingredient in Ayurveda and also for invalids. But there is no need to wait until you are on an Ayurvedic regime or are unwell, this is a dish that can be eaten any time. Often served for breakfast, it is also used as a side dish at a Konkani meal. It is also very good as a snack with chapathi too.
Mung Dal Usli | Muga Dali
Cuisine: Goa, India
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 30 – 40 mins
Serves: 1 – 2, depending on how hungry you are.
0.5 cup mung dal
0.5 tspn black mustard seeds
2 green chilies or to taste
1 sprig curry leaves – 10 – 12 medium leaves
A pinch asafoetida
0.5 tspn sugar
2.5 cm piece of ginger, finely grated
salt to taste
1 Tblspn fresh/frozen coconut
2 – 3 Tblspn finely chopped green coriander
Heat the ghee in a kadhai, wok or pan, add the black mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the curry leaves, green chilies and asafoetida and saute for a few moments.
Now add mung dal and stir around with the spices and the ghee, allowing it to get coated. Saute the dal gently for about 5 mins until it is a nice golden colour.
Add 2 cups water, cover the pan with a lid and cook over gentle heat until the dal is cooked to the tender stage but is not too mushy – up to about half mushy is OK. Add a little more water as required.
For the last few minutes, remove the lid and boil rapidly to evaporate any remaining water, so that the resultant dish is dry rather than wet or soupy. Remove from the heat.
Add the sugar, most of the green coriander and the grated ginger and mix well. Cover tightly and leave for 5 minutes to develop the flavours.
Garnish with coconut and green coriander and serve.
Cumin seed can be added with the curry leaves.
An additional Tblspn of coconut can be added with the mung for additional coconut flavour. The mung dal cooks with the coconut.
Red chillies can be used in place of the green chillies on occasion.
Vary the time for roasting the dal from a light roast to a darker roast for different flavours.