There are a lot of Drumstick Leaves (Moringa Leaves) available now, so we have been buying them and painstakingly stripping the leaves from the stalks. When Moringa Leaves become the next superfood, remember that India has been using them for centuries. (Turmeric too.) And the leaves are very tasty – a slight bitterness adds a delightful flavour note to dishes.
Tonight we made a dal with Mung and added Moringa Leaves. Usually Moringa Leaves are used with Toor Dal, but as we have already make Sambar with them, tonight we chose split yellow mung. The sweetness of the mung with the bitterness of the leaves is a delightful combination.
Moringa Leaf Dal | Dal with Drumstick Leaves
0.5 cups split yellow Mung dal
1.5 cups fresh drumstick leaves (moringa leaves, murunga Keerai), removed from stems and washed twice to remove grit
1 tomato, cut into 6 wedges
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 tspn coriander powder
0.5 tspn Indian chilli powder, or to taste
0.5 tspn jaggery (optional)
juice of 1 small lime or 0.5 lemon
sea salt to taste
1 Tblspn ghee
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
2 – 3 Indian dried red chillies
1 tspn ginger, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
Rinse the mung dal and cook the dal in 2.5 cups water for 15 – 20 minutes. Add the drumstick leaves, turmeric powder and tomato and continue to cook until the dal is soft and the drumstick leaves are tender. Add more water while cooking if necessary.
Mash the leaves with the back of a wooden spoon or ladle, if desired. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder and jaggery and mix well.
Make a tadka by heating the ghee in a tadka pan or small pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow to pop. Then add the chillies, cumin seeds and asafoetida powder. When the cumin seeds begin to colour, add the garlic and ginger. Allow to saute for a few moments, and then pour the spices and ghee into the dal. Mix and remove from the heat.
Stir in the juice of the lime or lemon. Serve and enjoy. The dal goes well with rice or roti.