While there are plenty of moong dal recipes popular across India, this Cherupayar Curry from Kerala stands out because of its unique flavours. Cooked with coconut oil and paste, this traditional moong dal curry is served with rice or puttu, making it a dish you can have for any meal. Here’s the recipe.
There is literally no dearth of moong dal recipes in India. Just like other common lentils, moong dal is used to whip up a plethora of dishes, from snacks to main course to sweet dishes. For most people in North, East and West India, however, the predominant way of making moong dal includes a tadka of onions, tomatoes, whole spices and powdered spices added to boiled moong dal. If you are bored with this typical moong dal recipe, then this Kerala-style Cherupayar Curry is what you need.
In Malayalam, Cherupayar refers to green moong dal, which is typically the moong dal variety most people use to make sprouted moong dal. The green skin of this moong dal adds a lot more dietary fibre to the ingredient, making this moong dal curry recipe from Kerala not only a dish that is packed with plant proteins but also fibre, vitamins and plenty of minerals. In many parts of the country, this green moong dal is soaked and then the skin removed before cooking. The Kerala-style Cherupayar Curry does not call for this step, which maintains the nutritional integrity of the lentils.
But this isn’t the only reason why this Kerala moong dal curry is outstanding. The dish is cooked with coconut oil and the spice blend used to prepare it also calls for fresh coconuts. The tadka includes typical spices from Kerala, including red chillies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. These additions which are unique to Kerala make this Cherupayar Curry so nuanced and delicious that adding it to your lunch or dinner plate can truly make for a remarkable meal.
The best part is, this moong dal curry can be eaten with rice as well as puttu. So, if you are planning a Kerala-style lunch or dinner, this recipe is a must. The recipe itself is quite hassle-free and easy, and any cook can whip it up in half an hour or less as long as the moong dal has been soaked for half an hour or so beforehand. Apart from this bit of pre-planning, there isn’t much you need to do to cook this Kerala-style moong dal curry at home. Take a look at the easy recipe.
Image used for representative purpose only. Image courtesy: amateurscookingdiary.blogspot.com
1 cup green moong dal
2 cups water
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt, to taste
For the spice blend:-
½ cup coconut
2-3 green chillies
2 garlic cloves
For the tempering:-
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsp coconut oil
1. Wash and rinse the green moong dal at least 3-4 times, then place it in a pressure cooker.
2. Add turmeric powder, salt and water.
3. Seal the pressure cooker, then cook the moong dal for 2-3 whistles or until the dal is tender.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the spice blend.
5. Place the coconut, green chillies and garlic cloves in a grinder jar.
6. Add a splash of water and grind everything into a coarse paste.
7. Now, heat the coconut oil in a wok.
8. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves.
9. Once these stop spluttering, add the coconut blend and stir fry it.
10. Cook the spices until the raw smell of coconuts goes away.
11. Add the boiled green moong dal along with the water.
12. Mix well and cook until the Cherupayar Curry is ready.
13. Serve hot with rice or puttu, with a side of papad.