Dal and Lentil Dishes, Gravy Curries, Moong Dal

Squash with Moong Dal

Moong Dal or Mung Dal is a tiny yellow lentil or dal that is a highly nutritious protein source and is widely used in South Asian cooking. Moong dal is also a significant source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. This powerhouse of a lentil also is very less gassy than its other lentil counterparts 🙂

Moong Dal or Mung Dal
Moong Dal or Mung Dal

Indian cuisine uses this dal in a variety of ways – there is the traditional dal tadka with moong dal, the various Kootu varieties in South Indian cuisine, the Moong dal chila which is a crepe made with moong dal and a multitude of ways to use this lentil..

On the menu today is a simple Squash with Moong Dal side variety that can be served with Roti (Indian bread) and/or Rice. As most of my recipes, no fancy ingredients, just keeping it basic so the flavors and textures of the Dal and Squash can play out..

Squash with Moong Dal
Squash with Moong Dal

You will need:
Moong Dal – 1 cup
Chayote Squash – 1; This squash is a small green is a summer squash and is very easy to cook. In South India is abundantly available and is typically called Bengaluru Kathrika (in Tamil), Seeme Badnekai (in Kannada) and Bengaluru Vankaya, Seema Vankaya (in Telugu), Sheema Katrika (In Malayalam) and Chow Chow (in Hindi).
Onion – 1 Medium
Tomato – 1 Medium
Green Chillies – 2
Garlic – 1 Pod (optional)
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Hing (Asafoetida) – a pinch

For garnishing:
Cilantro – a few sprigs
Fresh grated coconut – 1 tsp (optional)

1. In a sauce pan, boil about 6 cups of water. When the water is boiling add the moong dal into the water. Add a pinch of turmeric and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, peel, wash and deseed the chayote squash. Chop into cubes. Add this to the boiling water and moong dal.
3. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring in between until the dal is almost done (you will see the grains split as they begin to cook).
4. Add salt to taste and mix well. Keep aside.
5. In a different pan, heat the oil.
6. Add the seasoning ingredients one at a time.
7. Add the chopped onions, garlic and green chillies. Saute for 2 minutes.
8. Add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt.
9. Saute until the tomatoes are mushy. Add this mixture to the cooked moong dal and squash.
10. Place the pan on the flame and mix well. Cook for a few more minutes. Add a littl water if the gravy is too thick.
11. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and grated coconut and serve hot.