Having lived in a country where there is an umbrella and jacket kept in the bag all round the year, it’s hard to enjoy the rain as much as we used to do in India. First shower of the season and the joy it brought was something we really looked forward to. As a kid, playing in the rains was the biggest charm. And when we grew up, so was loitering on the roads with friends. But no matter what age group we were in, having some fried snack with Chai was the simplest way to complete the joyride.
Being from north India, it was mostly besan pakodas with different vegetables in it. But sometimes, this Moong dal fritters, popularly known as “Ram laddu” in Delhi and adjoining states also made their way to the platter. They are usually served with shredded mooli (radish), tangy green chutney, fresh coriander leaves and chaat masala on top. Having a chai with these freshly fried vadas is a definite pleasure in itself, which doubles up when you enjoy these during the showers.
These Mung dal vadas are pretty easy to prepare, and don’t need much preparation. Since Moong daal is very light to digest, these don’t stand heavy on palate either. I mix some chana dal into the batter, since that’s how these are prepared in some areas of U.P.. But you may prepare them only with moong dal.
I have seen quite a lot of people who don’t like to use Moong dal that often in their cooking. Somehow it is considered to be the lentil for sick or elderly. Which is kind of true due to its being very nutritious and yet light on stomach. But then that doesn’t make it bland for the rest of us as well. (aham! I havent considered myself elderly which I think is ok!)
I make use of Moong dal very often in my diet, mostly with plain rice. Sometimes I simply make mixed dal where I mix 2-3 lentils together to cook and Mung dal is a must in that; like I have used in this Lehsuni daal recipe. It imparts that smooth texture to the curry and of course enhances the nutritional value.
The fluffy and light vadas are so easy to prepare, you could easily serve them for your get togethers or potlucks. They make a great snack for kids too. Just serve them with lots of chutneys, some shredded radish and onion aside. And don’t forget the cup of chai!
What you need?
- 1/2 cup yellow Moong dal
- 1/4 cup Chana dal
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- Handful of fresh coriander leaves (dhaniya)
- 1-2 green chili, chopped very small
- small piece of Ginger, grated
- 1 tsp salt OR to taste
- Oil for frying
Soak both the lentils for about 2-3 hours together. Rinse, drain and grind coarsely without adding any more water.
Now add the rest of the ingredients to the ground lentil paste i.e. green chili, fresh coriander, ginger, cumin seeds and salt. Whip the batter rigorously for a few minutes till little bubbles start to form. You may also use your whisking machine for the same.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan for frying the vadas. Once the oil is sufficiently hot, drop the batter in small batches and deep fry the lentil balls till they are golden in colour. Keep the flame low-medium. Serve with shredded radish and green coriander chutney.
Though this recipe is a typically no onion-garlic snack, you may also add spring onions to it. They give a very nice taste to the laddus. I serve them with sliced onion and a dash of lemon juice on top.
Do not make a very runny paste from the daals, rather keep it slightly coarse to get the fluffy and airy textured balls.
If even after a couple of trials your vadas dont come out soft, add a pinch of soda into the batter while beating. Your vadas will come out super soft.
If you would like to try Moong dal in a rather rich curry, you may try this
Restaurant style Daal Tadka (lentil with spicy tempering)
And this one is yet another snack from Moong dal –
Moong dal khasta kachori
Sharing it with Kalyani’s “Monsoon Mojo” event