Most Indians eat dal every single day and vegetarians rely heavily on dals for protein so it is hardly surprising that a vast variety of dals have evolved in the Indian repertoire. Punjab is known for dal makhani, Gujarat is known for its sweet dal, South India is known for its sambar and rasam. I'm happy to add Konkani moong dal ghassi to my list of favorites. This dal has a complex and exotic flavor and is perfect served with some plain steamed rice.
Moong Dal Ghassi
1 cup split (hulled, yellow) moong dal
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp. tamarind paste
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tsp. oil
2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
2 dried red chillies (or more to taste)
4 tbsp. dry unsweetened coconut (or fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp. oil or ghee
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
slices of fresh lemon
- Cook the moong dal in a pressure cooker or the stove-top and set aside.
- Make the masala by toasting the ingredients together in the oil until fragrant and then grinding with a little water to make a thick and smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil/ ghee in a pan. Temper with mustard and cumin seeds. Then add curry leaves, onion and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the dal, turmeric, salt, tomato, tamarind paste and masala paste. Stir well to mix everything together.
- Add enough water to get the dal to the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the balance of salty and tangy flavors. Simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
- Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lemon to add a fresh note. Serve hot.