yellow dal tovve

17th November 2013


I wake early and after my practice and morning duties, I take my morning tea up to my room, open the doors wide and sit enjoying all the different bird calls that welcome in the morning. Usually, it is still dark and I am blessed to witness that mysterious time when the incredibly generous light coaxes itself into a new day… I am always surrounded by colour and song.  It is actually my favourite moment of the day.

This morning, raindrops tinkled, leaving everything so clean and vibrant.  It was magical.  This is how it looked.



soothing yellow dal tovve

Moong dal is one of my favourite dal as it is so soft, soothing and is known for its very easy digestion.  It is a green round mung bean which is skinned and split.  In India, this particular dish is usually made with ash gourd, which is categorised as a very sattvic vegetable.  As ash gourd is very difficult to come by here, I have replaced it with zucchini.  

You could use red lentils, but it doesn’t quite have the same soft, soothing, pure quality found in the moong dal.  


1 cup split moong dal (green gram)

6 cups water

1 zucchini, peeled and chopped into small pieces

1 carrot, peeled and chopped roughly

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 large tomato, finely chopped

first voggarane

2 tsp ghee

1 small green chilli

¼ cup dried shredded coconut

second voggarane

1 Tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

8 curry leaves


juice of half a lemon

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

1 tsp heaped fine rock salt


1.  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, wash the moong dal until the water runs clear, add 6 cups water and bring to boil, lower the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer for 10 minutes, then add the zucchini and carrot, turmeric powder and ghee – simmer until the dal softens and breaks downs, about 30 minutes. 

2. Add the tomato to the dal – simmer for 5 minutes.

prepare first voggarane 

3.  Heat the ghee in a small pan, add the chilli – allow to sizzle, then turn off the flame, remove the chilli and set aside the ghee.

4.  In a high-speed blender, add the coconut, chilli and enough water to make a smooth liquid – blend for a few seconds, then add to the pot, using a little extra water to swish the blender clean.

prepare second voggarane

5.  Using the small pan with the previous ghee, reheat and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida powder and curry leaves – allow to sizzle for a few seconds, then turn off the heat. 

6.  Add the spices to the dal, salt to taste, add freshly squeezed lemon and the coriander leaves – allow to sit for the flavours to open up.

Serve with steamed broccoli and whole barley. Perfect food for these cooler Autumn evenings.


Goodness shared by Stacey

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