When the mind is happy with less and the stomach doesn’t ask for more,
When all one needs is a pot full of warm sunshine comfort, yellow lentils are a must.
Moong Dal or Split Yellow lentils are one of the most frequently used lentils in our house. I like it for its lightness, faint sweetness and also its cooling properties. Because it is so non-fussy and cooks in little time, it is by default a weekday favorite too.. Combine it with any veggies and it comes out delicious in any combination. No doubt it is our favorite.
Shahi Jeera or Royal Cumin Seeds are slightly longer, darker and a tad bit sweeter than regular cumin/jeera seeds. While it is more commonly used in Biryani and Tandoor dishes, it adds a special oomph to a simple dal such as this.
Red bell pepper flavors intensify when roasted. I’d love to try with roasted red bell peppers at another time..
Is there a lentil you call your favorite? Tell me how you like to cook it..
Red Bell Pepper and Pudina Moong Dal Recipe
Things you’ll need:
To pressure cook:
1/2 cup split yellow lentils or Moong dal
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium ripe tomato, quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
for the seasoning:
2-3 tsp peanut oil or ghee
1/4 tsp shahi jeera / royal cumin seeds or jeera / cumin seeds
2 stalks green garlic or spring onions, sliced thin
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
red chilli powder / cayenne pepper to taste
1 tsp dried mint or equivalent finely chopped fresh mint
juice of 1/2 a lemon ~ optional
How it’s done:
Wash and pressure cook lentils with diced red bell pepper, tomatoes, onion and a pinch of turmeric for 3 cooker whistles and keep aside to cool. Alternatively, cook on stove top until lentils are soft and are mashed easily.
When the cooker has cooled, whisk the cooked lentils for them to blend well.
Place oil in a medium pot over high heat. When the oil is hot enough, add shahi jeera or cumin seeds. When they start to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-high and add sliced spring onion/green garlic followed by grated ginger and sauté until translucent or light brown.
Pour in the mashed lentils over this tempering onto the sides, carefully avoiding the sizzling oil and rising steam.
Add red chilli powder, salt and give it a good stir. Add more water if needed or if the dal is very thick. Bring it to a boil and simmer for a few mins stirring in between to avoid the lentils from burning at the bottom.
Finish by sprinkling dried or fresh mint and lemon juice.
Stir well and serve hot with brown rice or chapati/roti.
For a deeper flavor, roast the lentils before pressure cooking, either on stove top over low flame until golden brown and fragrant or microwave for 2 mins in 30 sec intervals on a microwave safe plate.