A Comfort food
Moong Dal is a versatile legume found primarily in India, Indonesia and its neighbouring regions. It comes in three types, whole, split green and yellow. Each has its own benefits. Its nutritive nature makes it a light easy to digest comfort food. Eaten sprouted and raw is a weight watchers delight.
Suit your Taste
Moong dal can be cooked to suit most palates. Be it spicy, tangy or sweet. It can be cooked to suit what you like best. By itself, the green gram has a crunchy texture on the tongue and its basic flavour needs to be brought out via tempering or sweetening. Sprouted whole Moong can be eaten raw when garnished with salt, lime juice, fresh finely cut green chillies and fresh green finely chopped coriander along with some finely cut onions and tomatoes. It becomes a wholesome meal without additional carbs.
It’s the cooking process that enhances the flavour of the green gram and it’s the style of cooking that makes it a specialty every which way you see it.
Serve with Style
Moong dal preparations are best served hot. The sweet variant can be garnished with raisins, cashews, almonds and some saffron sprinkled over it. The savoury variant is best garnished with a dash of lime juice and fresh green coriander leaves. Savoury goes well with wheat breads and with rice.
What’s your style? Sweet or Savoury
Everybody has a sweet tooth. Here is a popular dessert made of yellow moong dal. It’s called Moong Dal Halwa. A Halwa can be best explained as a mash. But it’s a mash that has been cooked using milk, sugar, dry fruits and one main ingredient like carrots or moong dal or some other variant of lentils or legumes. It looks like a mash but its lip smacking delicious guaranteed to knock your socks off!
Moong Dal Halwa
Healthy and Tasty Moong Dal Halwa
Moong dal halwa is a cooked sweet dish that works wonders as a dessert for your menu. Made properly it is a sweet yet healthy option for desert. Moong dal halwa has its roots in the state of Rajasthan in India.
- 1 measure yellow moong dal
- 1 measure milk
- 1-2 measures sugar (Sugar would depend on how sweet you like your food.)
- ½ measure Ghee or clarified butter
- Cardamom, to taste (some like it lightly flavoured)
- Raisins, to taste
- Almonds, Sliced thin
- Saffron strands 4-5 (optional) soaked in a teaspoon of warm milk.
Note: You can use any measure of your choice, a cup, a glass, a bowl etc. Remember, the size of your measure will determine the quantity of your dish.
How to make
Wash the moong dal at least three times. After washing, soak the dal for a minimum of thirty minutes. The longer you soak it the better your Moong Dal Halwa turns out.
Drain out the excess water and grind your moong dal into a coarse paste. Don’t make it too fine else you will lose the texture of your halwa. Keep the paste, pasty not liquid or watery.
Heat the ghee in a large heavy bottom pan or wok. Keep the flame medium to simmer. Excess heat will burn the ghee and leave your moong dal half cooked.
Add the moong dal paste to the ghee and roast stirring continuously. Add the cardamom. You can lightly roast the cardamom seeds and grind them coarsely for a light but intense flavour.
Patience is the key here. Roast, stirring constantly, till Your Moong Dal Halwa turns a lovely golden brown.
Once golden brown, take it off the flame and slowly add milk and sugar. At this point, if you like saffron then add the saffron soaked in milk along with the rest of the milk. Blend it into the roasted moong dal. Put it back on the flame and start cooking, stirring continuously.
Soon you will find that the milk has dried up. Now cook till it reaches a consistency that you like. Don’t overcook it or the moong dal halwa will become crumbly and dry. It’s best to keep it soft and moist.
Add some of your raisins and almonds and mix it in.
Now pour your Moong dal Halwa into a glass bowl, garnish and decorate with remaining raisins and almonds.
- Moong Dal halwa can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When serving, warm the halwa with a little milk to bring back the original consistency.
- Since it is a cooked dish, it keeps for a decent amount of time but as with all food items, stored for too long means the flavours tend to fade away.
- While quite nutritive, moong dal halwa is also a tad heavy on the digestion so it is recommended that you eat small to moderate quantities.
One cup of dry yellow moong dal, about 50 grams, has the following values.
- Sodium 60 mg
- Total Fat 2 g
- Total Carbs 124 g
- Dietary Fibre 20 g
- Sugars 4 g
- Protein 52 g
- Vitamin A 8%
- Calcium 8%
- Iron 40%
Ghee, sugar and dry fruits add their own nutritive values to the overall nutritive and calorie content of the dish.
Moong Dal Halwa is a very nice Happy Ending to your dinner or lunch menu.