From Delhi’s Ram Ladoo to Gujarati Pandolis, from Rajasthani Kachoris to Bengali Moong Puli, these Moong Dal-based snacks from different parts of India are perfect snacks for your evening. Many of these Moong Dal recipes are deep-fried, but if you are health conscious, you should try the steamed ones too.
No Indian is stranger to Moong Dal, whether it’s the version with the skin on or the form which is split and without skin. Moong Dal, like all other indigenous lentils of India, has been used by the people of this continent since the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. Traces of Moong Dal have been found in ancient cities like Harappa, not to mention records of Moong Dal being used among other lentils in ancient texts. Even in medieval times, the Mughals included Moong Dal in their Panchmel Dal and Khichdi recipes. And if you don’t know the fascinating story of how Shah Jahan’s third son, Murad Baksh, established the city of Muradabad and innovated the popular Moong Dal dish, Muradabadi Dal, then you should!
But apart from being a part of Indian cuisines as a soupy lentil dish, Moong Dal has also become the basis of snacks we love. Like most Indian lentils, Moong Dal, when soaked and turned into a paste, has excellent binding qualities. This makes the adaptation of Moong Dal into snacks very easy indeed. Almost every regional cuisine of India has at least one Moong Dal snack to offer, making it a truly transcendental ingredient. Here are a few Moong Dal snacks from across the length and breadth of India that you should try out. Each and every one of these Moong Dal snacks can make your evening delicious, especially when paired with chai.
Hear the word Ladoo and you might assume this one’s a sweet dish, but it’s not. Ram Ladoo is a deep-fried snack made with Moong Dal and Chana Dal. It’s in fact a very popular Moong-Dal-based chaat from Delhi and is served with chutney and freshly grated radishes—making it a winter-favourite snack. Spices like cumin, dry mango, ginger and garlic make these round Moong Dal fritters so delicious that one serving of Ram Ladoo is never enough.
Moong Dal Kachori
Rajasthan is the land of Khasta or crispy-crunchy Kachoris, so it’s quite natural that the state will have a Moong Dal Kachori to offer. Jodhpur, in particular, has a popular Moong Dal Kachori which is packed with chillies and spices like asafoetida that give it a unique Rajasthani flavour. These Moong Dal Kachoris are served with chutneys, and apart from being available on the streets of Rajasthan, they can also be prepared at home with ease.
Moong Dal Pandoli
For those who didn’t know, Moong Dal Pandoli is an Idli-like steamed dish from the state of Gujarat. Moong Dal Pandolis are usually served with chutney and tea and can be a bit difficult to make the traditional version at home, since they were usually handcrafted. However, nowadays most people use Idli makers to prepare Moong Dal Pandoli at home, and so should you.
Originating in the state of Tamil Nadu, Adai Idli is a mixed lentil dish which includes Moong Dal as a key part of the recipe. Because it is prepared with Moong Dal among other lentils, Moong Dal Adai Idlis are protein-rich, soft and delicious. In fact, with the addition of fruit salts or baking soda, Moong Dal Adai Idlis can be whipped up without any prolonged fermentation process too.
Moonglet, in case you didn’t know, is a completely vegetarian and vegan omelette variety prepared with Moong Dal. The dish is very popular in North Indian vegetarian homes, and Moong Dal omelettes are also served on the streets of Delhi. Packed with chillies, veggies, plenty of Moong Dal and some spices, Moonglet is a filling snack which is also very healthy.
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West Bengal and assam have a range of Pithas to offer, so it’s quite likely that there would be at least one lentil-based version to offer—and that’s just what Moong Puli or Moong Dal Puli is. The outer shell of this fried Pitha is prepared with Moong Dal, and the stuffing is usually made with coconut and jaggery. The addition of Moong Dal in Moong Puli makes it a very balanced snack indeed.
Moong Dal Muthiya
Muthiya is a traditional snack from Gujarat that’s prepared with gram flour, veggies like bottle gourd and spices. But Moong Dal Muthiya is a healthier version of the snack because it’s loaded with more proteins from the lentil. The soaked Moong Dal is turned into a paste, laden with spices, veggies, sesame seeds, etc, steamed and then fried with a tadka. Paired with chutney and chai, this is a great snack!
Moong Dal Mangodi
Also known as Moong Dal Vada, Moong Dal Mangodi is a snack from Rajasthan that you can whip up at home and have every evening if you so please. This Moong Dal-based snack is so popular in Rajasthan that it is even served as a Holi-special dish. The Moong Dal batter is laced with spices, herbs like coriander and fenugreek and deep fried before serving with chutneys.
Just like Muthiya, Handvo is a snack from Gujarat that predominantly uses Moong Dal in the recipe. Handvo is a savoury cake that’s either prepared in a pressure cooker or a pan, and the recipe calls for plenty of Moong Dal, veggies like bottle gourd, herbs and spices. Since the snack is pan-fried or steamed, Moong Dal Handvo is considered to be one of the healthiest dishes out there.
Moong Dal Murukku
Also known as Paithamparuppu Murukku, Moong Dal Murukku is a South Indian snack which is popular by the name of Chakli in North India. Murukku is made with a batter of Moong Dal and rice flour which is deep-fried in oil, cooled and then served. The best thing about Moong Dal Murukku is that it has a long shelf life and can be stored at home for long periods of time.