Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey
Indian cuisine rocks. I love it. Such a wonderful flavors and colors! Loads of spices! Healthy, natural ingredients! Fantastic resource of inspiration for vegetarians, but not only.
One of the staples of Indian cuisine is a broad variety of pulses, for example dried beens, peas or lentils. When I think "dal" usually it is connected with rather long cooking process. The recipe below is quite unusual, as these pancakes are made from the uncooked dal.
There are three types of moong dal - a whole green moong, a split green moong with skin and a split washed yellow moong. This recipe calls for the third type. You can see the difference between those three types here, in fact, if you have time and interest - I recomend checking descriptions and photos of many different types of grains on Manjula's blog.
Moong dal is rich in protein and used in a variety of traditional indian vegetable dishes. They have a nutty flavor and are easy to cook. Split washed yellow moong is relatively easy to digest. Boiled and mashed is even recomended for babies as an easy digestible source of protein.
180 g split washed yellow moong dal
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. salt
100 g shelled peas (I use frozen)
80 ml water
2,5 cm fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves
4 tbs. cilantro, finely chopped
2 fresh hot green chilies, chopped
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4-6 tbsp of ghee (neutral oil is fine if you don't have ghee)
1. Wash the dal in a few changes of water. Put in a bowl, add 1 liter of cold water and let it soak for minimum 5 hours.
2. Drop the peas into boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until they are tender.
3. Combine ginger, garlic, chilies, salt, turmeric, dal, and 80ml of water in the container of an electric blender. Blend until you have a smooth batter. Let the machine run for 2 minutes more so the batter gets light and airy.
4. Empty the batter into a bowl. Add the onion, cilantro and peas. Mix. The batter may now be covered and refrigerated, if you like, for up to 24 hours. Just before you get ready to cook, add the baking soda and mix it in.
5. In a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of ghee. When hot, drop a dollop of the batter in the centre of the pan. Now place the rounded bottom of a soup spoon on the centre of the dollop and using a gentle but continuous spiral motion, spread the batter outwards with the back of the spoon, smoothing out any ridges along the way. Each pancake should have about 13 - 15 cm in diameter. Dribble a little bit of ghee over the pancake and around its edges, cover the pan and let it cook for 2 minutes or until its underside turns a reddish color.
6. Turn the pancake over and fry it on the second side for 1-2 minutes or until it develops small red spots. Remove the pancake and serve immediately or put it on a plate and cover with a second plate to keep warm. Remember to stir the batter before you make next pancake.
The recipe makes 5 -7 pancakes, depending how thick you make them. I like to have a bite in my pancake, so I make them thick. Moong dal pancakes are best eaten hot, just as soon as they are made. I like to serve them with a sour cream or a Greek yogurt.