This Indian inspired Curry will satisfy all your cozy cravings. Spicy Moong Dal has fiery spices and bold flavors paired with smooth and creamy moong beans. The recipe itself is on the longer side cooking time wise but it is well worth the wait. And since it is on the larger side serving wise, it is perfect for meal prep. This recipe produces several healthy and hearty lunches ready for the week or two family sized dinners.
Moong Dal split lentils are one of the healthiest pulses. They pack a large plant-based protein punch plus they are lower in fat and carbs than many other beans or lentils. They even may help lower cholesterol levels and help keep blood sugars stable due to being lower on the glycemic index. Add sweet potatoes and carrots to the dal when cooking to balance the spice with some sweeter flavors. The tempered seeds and chiles give it some deep heat rather than a spicy burning of the mouth. This is the kind of warmth that heats you from the inside out. Although it is not traditional I like to add smoked paprika to my curries to give it a little smoky flavor. All of these ingredients blend deliciously in this Spicy Moong Dal.
If you desire less heat and more comfort, feel free to omit the chiles, cayenne and crushed red peppers. Curry powder is an acceptable substitute for all of the dry spices such as turmeric, garam masala, seeds and smoked paprika. To simplify, omit the spices and use 3 tbsp of curry powder. Regular potatoes will work well in this dal also in place of the sweet potatoes. If moong dal is unavailable, anydry split lentil will work in this Indian inspired curry, Spicy Moon Dal Recipe.
SPICY MOONG DAL
- 2 pounds dry moong dal cleaned
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sweet potato peeled and chopped in cubes
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 tbsp ginger root peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper
- 2 dry red chiles
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- In large pot add moong dal with water to cover plus an extra 3 inches, bay leaves, sweet potato and carrot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes total.
- In a separate skillet, Sauté in oil garlic, onion and ginger until golden and fragrant then push to the side and temper cumin seeds and black mustard seeds until sputtering and fragrant
- Add fresh tomatoes and sprinkle salt and pepper and cook for 3 mins until tomatoes release juices
- Add turmeric plus crushed red pepper, red chiles and cayenne for heat (optional)
- Check the lentils. They cook really fast like within 30 mins they should be pretty soft. When they’re soft, add the cooked mixture to the pot plus tomato paste, salt and black pepper. Add 1 garam masala and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer to really infuse those lentils with flavor. When texture is smooth its ready to eat. Eat alone or with rice, and be sure to douse it in cilantro and black pepper
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