I’ve grown up with my mom making Daal, also known as lentils, so its been an integral part of my diet as a Bengali person. And what’s great about a freshly made bowl of mung daal is that rich in potassium, protein and fiber, but most importantly, that it reminds me of home. There are different types of daals, and the the distinct flavor of this particular recipe is from roasting the Mung bean. So, for this recipe we will need:
First you’ll roast the lentils.
Then you’ll sautee the spices in clarified butter, which we call ghee.
The lentil is then cooked with the spices and the green peas.
Roasting the mung bean:
Turn on a stove and heat the pan to medium hot. We sautéed everything in the pressure cooker, which we will later use to steam the daal, just to reduce the amount of dishes we need to wash at the end.
Add the mung bean and stir so the beans roast uniformly. It will take around 8-10 minutes depending on the temperature of the stove. Continue stirring till the daal takes on a brownish tinge. Then pour it out into a bowl. And allow the pressure cooker to cool down. Carefully wash the beans couple of times with water, draining each time. Then set that aside. At this point, if you feel like you need to you can wash the pressure cooker after its cooled a little bit. And then wipe inside dry. Put it back on the stove. And turn on the heat.
When the cooker is hot, add ghee. When the ghee is hot, add the combined mixture of dry red chili, bay leaf, cardamom, clove and cinnamon. Stir the mixture for about 15-20 seconds or till the aroma becomes distinct. Add cumin seeds. Stir till the seeds start crackling. Then add the washed mung bean. Stir to mix with the spices. Add 6-7 cups of water. Stir again. Add the turmeric powder, salt. Cover the pressure cooker and start heating. Wait for the cooker to build full pressure and then 5 more minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to subside. Then carefully open the lid. Stir and add the green peas and the green chilies. Bring it to a slow boil without the lid. Then turn off the heat. Remove it from the stove and cool to room temperature. Check for the salt and add if you need more. If you need to add the salt, then bring the mixture to a boil again. Add a teaspoonful of ghee to enhance the flavor (but this is optional. The daal is now ready.
Serve the mung daal alone or with steamed white rice or chapatti.