Dal-roti or dal-chawal is the staple Indian food. No matter what religion you follow, no matter what and how much you earn, no matter if you are a non vegetarian or not- one thing that every Indian love is daal. Again, there are many types of daal and many ways to make each one of it but no one can ever get over with their love for lentils. Lunch or dinner, served in party as well as on a daily basis- the fact is no Indian meal is complete without daal. For vegetarians eating daal is more important as it the only healthy source of proteins for them, ofcourse after paneer.
As said, there are many ways of preparing daal and if not thousand there are atleast hundred recipes to make it. Be it very simple yellow daal that can be relished with plain rice, or another version of the same dal but made in microwave. Or you might fancy- Lehsuni daal tadka which is infused with strong garlic flavours and is a perfect match for jowar ki roti. If runny and smooth dal is not your preference then you must have Massala Dal which contains whole grains of lentils and is quite dry- a must have with jeera rice.
Having said that, today I bring before you my favorite dal recipe which is very healthy as it includes green leafy vegetable- interesting isn't it? I am talking about Marwadi/Rajasthani Methi Moong Dal. This daal is thick and smooth flavoured with chopped fenugreek/methi leaves, spiced up with green chillies and a final tang is given by sprinkle of lemon juice. The idea is to have dark yellow colour with only green bits visible, and that is why the recipe doesn't call for tomato or even red chilli powder.
If you ever visit Rajasthan or a marwadi family over lunch or dinner during winters, you will surely find this dal in the menu. Reason?? Well, methi leaves are available in abundance throughout the winters and the usage of it crafts the boring moong daal to be very appealing and appetizing. One fine day, when it was raining really bad and the temperatures went down, I craved for this daal. Remember my tip on how to preserve/store fresh methi leaves?- well I used the same leaves to make this daal- who wants to wait till winters??
This daal is really thick and you have to enjoy this with parathas or rotis. All you need is dollop of ghee, some marwadi lehsun ki chutney and bajre ki roti to make it perfect meal.
1/2 cup yellow moong dal/split yellow gram
1/4 cup chopped methi leaves/fenugreek leaves
2-3 green chillies/hari mirch
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste/adrak lenhsun
1 tablespoon lemon/juice nimbu ka ras
1 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves/dhaniya
Salt to taste
In a pressure cooker, add moong daal with 1 cup water, turmeric and salt. Cook till 2 whistles releases.
In kadai/wok heat 1/2 tablespoon of ghee and 1 tablespoon of oil. When hot, add in hing and jeera.
Also add in ginger garlic paste, cook till raw smell fades away. Mix in green chillies and methi leaves. Cook till methi leaves becomes mushy.
Finally mix in cooked daal and lemon juice. Mix and let it boil.
Serve with dollop of remaining ghee and chopped coriander leaves.
I have shared authentic marwadi way of making this daal. If you want you can gram massala, tomatoes and even chopped onion.
Some people don't like chopped methi leaves, in that case puree methi leaves and that add. Doing so, will make the dal look green, but there will be no change in the taste.
For better results, it is advisable to soak moong dal for 30 minutes in the water before cooking.
This is smooth but a thick daal, so serve this with thick rotis- like jowar or bajre ki roti.