Cook And Enjoy The Famous Moradabadi Moong Dal Chaat

Cook And Enjoy The Famous Moradabadi Moong Dal Chaat

I once happened to visit the 8th largest metropolis of India, Bareilly. My visit would have gone incomplete without trying out the cuisine and also if I had not shopped anything as a souvenir. So, I decided to go to one of the markets located in civil lines, Bareilly. As I was walking by the market looking for the famous 'Bareilly jhumkas', I came across a particular shop where a man sold something of which, I was not sure.

On asking, the man replied it was the popular, 'Moradabadi moong dal Chaat’. To me, it was a surprise as I had tasted chaats which were either aloo tikis or matar tikis. Trying this 'Moradabadi moong dal Chaat became unavoidable because of two reasons, one it was the cuisine from another neighbouring city Moradabad and, second, the method of making the chaat looked different. I carefully observed the method followed by the man.

After much patience I finally got the chat. It was given to me in a ‘Kulhad’. While eating, I realized that along with, it being frugal in the preparation, it was also able to impress me by its simple, convincing flavours. One may notice that the cuisines and food travel from one place to another with people.

Moradabadi Dal or Moradabadi moong dal Chaat is a popular street food of Moradabad. Yellow moong dal cooked on low flame for at least 1 hour; forms the base of this chaat. What makes it more interesting is the variety of toppings like chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, grated radish, ginger, coriander chutney, tamarind chutney, a pinch of chat masala and a dash of lemon juice added along with it.

A story or two about this dal can be heard from someone who savors eating it. This dal/chaat became popular during the reign of Murad Baksh the youngest son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Murad liked this dal so much that he ate it in small quantities daily, every time with a different topping and a spoon full of ghee. Hence this dal got its name as Muradabadi dal. Murad’s eating habits were influenced by his great grandfather, who ate simple food.

Below is the recipe of the Moradabadi dal Chat.

Serves: Two

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the Dal :

1 cup yellow moong dal

1-2 green chilies(optional)

1 small piece of ginger(optional)

1 Bay leaf(optional)

salt to taste

For the Toppings :

1 medium chopped onion

1 medium chopped tomato

2 chopped green chillies

¼ cup chopped coriander leaves

1 small radish grated

A small, piece of ginger(grated)

coriander Chutney (according to taste)

Tamarind Chutney (according to taste)

1 tsp chat masala or roasted jeera (cumin) powder

Juice of 1 lemon

Method

1)Wash and soak the dal for half an hour.

2)After half an hour, put the soaked dal in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water, add the hing, salt and the other ingredients.

3)Let it cook for three whistles.

4)After this open the lid of the cooker and churn the dal with a wooden mathni(churner) and let it boil for another half an hour, keep stirring it.

5)After half an hour turn off the flame.

6)The dal is ready. Serve it in a bowl adding the toppings.

Benefits of yellow moong dal:

1)It is rich in proteins.

2) It is low in fat and also a good source of calcium and B complex vitamins.

3)Unlike the other dals like Arhar dal and Channa dal that can cause flatulency, this dal is lighter and can be eaten at any time of the day by anybody.

Serving Tip: Serve this chaat in a kulhad to get that earthy flavour.

Other Tips:

1)If the consistency of the dal is thick, then add some water.

2)You can make this dal without the ingredients like green chillies, ginger and bay leaves.

3)You can also cook this dal in a flat bottom kadhai instead of a cooker.

4)While serving, add a spoon of ghee to make the chaat even more flavoursome.

-- Sapna Chaudhary/Lucknow

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