sambar moong dal

19th October 2009


Last week I was on school camp and the food on offer was very different from my usual staple dishes.  So, by Friday running on a diet high in carbs (lots of potatoes and processed bread) and fat (creamy, cheesy, oily dishes), my system was suffering.   So, one of Stacey’s dal was very much-needed.  Light, fresh and full of flavour.  The dal I decided upon is my current favourite variation of all of Stacey’s dal recipes.  Using her Golden Dal recipe as a base, I added Sambar powder when heating the spices and adjusted a few of the ingredients.

Using the basic recipe model in Stacey’s dal she has included on our blog, there is a lot of scope for variation in the spices and vegetables used.  These minor changes allow this very easy cooking model become a treasure trove of new dishes, that are also healthy and inexpensive.

There are two basic steps to cooking a dal successfully.  One, simmering the dal of choice in water and turmeric with any hard vegetables, then adding softer vegetables towards the end.  Ginger can also be added at this stage or it can be fried with the spices. Two, warming the spices to allow flavours to develop, by heating the mustard seeds until they pop then adding others of choice.  Coconut, palm/jaggery/coconut sugar, salt and pepper are added at the end, adjusting for taste.  Just before serving, coriander is added is so desired. 


sambar moong dal

½ cup split moong dal

2½ cups water

1 tsp turmeric

1 Roma tomato (finely chopped)

1 tsp ghee/olive oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger

1 tsp sambar powder

1 red chilli (fresh or dried)

2 Tbsp coconut (fresh or dried)

1 Tbsp coconut sugar/palm/unrefined brown sugar

handful finely chopped fresh coriander

salt to taste


1.  Combine the moong dal, water and turmeric in a saucepan, bring to boil, turn down heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, or until dal is soft and fully cooked.

2.  Add the tomato and stir.

3.  Heat ghee/oil in a small saucepan, when it is hot, toss in the mustard seeds, allow to turn grey and pop, then add the cumin seeds, ginger, sambar powder and chilli.  Heat through to allow ginger to soften.

4.  Pour this into the dal, add the coconut, sugar, salt to taste and fresh coriander.

Serve with rice.

Shared goodness from Donna

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