SOBJI DIYE MOONG DAL (VEGGIE LENTIL SOUP)

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Sobji diye Moong Daal is traditional Bengali daal or lentil soup delicately flavored with seasonal vegetables and whole spices. The daal is colorful, tasty, and nutritious all in one.


If you are a regular on my blog, you should know my love for lentils. Daal or lentil soup is an integral part of my everyday meals. I have an arsenal of daal recipes up my sleeve that I keep making in my kitchen. Most of these recipes are heirloom recipes handed down by my grandmother or hers. But, I have to admit that out of all the recipes, the Sobji diye Moong Daal holds a special place in my heart. 


Bengalis are generally perceived to be hardcore non-vegetarians who cannot have a meal without fish. While it is true that we dearly love our Maacher Jhol (Bengali fish curry), we do have an abundance of vegetarian recipes. We love vegetables, and we love lentils too, and this is as true as a straight arrow! We cook our vegetarian dishes in the most elegant ways imaginable. Ever heard of Shukto (stewed vegetables), Potoler dolma (stuffed pointed gourd), Dhokar Dalna (lentil cakes in spicy gravy), Labra (mixed vegetables), or the humble Aloo Posto (potatoes in poppy seeds)? I can go on and on, the list is endless. Sorry for digressing but, I had to get this off my chest!


The Sobji diye Moong Daal is one such beautifully crafted Bengali vegetarian dish. The sheer color and vibrance of the daal make it all the more appealing. Generally prepared during the winters with seasonal vegetables like carrot, peas, and cauliflower, this daal is also an integral part of festivities. Like every traditional recipe, there are many versions of this daal. This one is my recipe, the way I have grown up eating this daal.


While this daal is mostly a part of festive meals, it is a regular in my kitchen. Making this daal is also a smart way of sneaking some vegetables into your kid's diet. I remember us hating vegetables as kids but gorging on this daal without complaints. 

 


WHY SHOULD I MAKE THIS?


While I don't need a reason to make this awesome daal, here is why you should try it too. The daal is:


  1. Tasty
  2. Easy to make
  3. Nutritious
  4. Crowd pleaser
  5. Ultimate comfort food
  6. Kid-friendly


WHAT IS MOONG DAL?


Moong dal is also known as the Petite Yellow Lentil and is the most common dal used in India. They are nothing but hulled and split Moong Bean (Green Gram). They are small golden yellow lens-shaped legumes known for their high nutritional content.


When cooked, they have a mild, earthly flavor and soft texture. It makes a healthy comfort dish, easy to digest, delicious, low in fat, and full of protein. Also, it is generally pretty affordable to buy.


ABOUT THE RECIPE


Sobji diye Moong daal is a yellow lentil soup cooked with seasonal vegetables like carrot, peas, and cauliflower. The daal is different from other daal recipes in the sense that in this particular recipe, the lentil is dry roasted before boiling. Dry roasting the daal gives it a nutty aroma that meshes well with the whole spices, grated ginger, and ripe tomatoes to give it a unique taste. The daal is on the sweeter side, thanks to the sugar and the natural sweetness of carrots, peas, and tomatoes. The daal is finished off with a generous amount of ghee giving it a rich and luscious texture.


A bowlful of this tasty and healthy daal with steaming hot rice and papad on the side makes an ideal meal. 


INGREDIENTS


Here is what you need to make this daal:


Moong dal or Petite yellow lentils - You can get this daal at any Indian grocery store or online.


Vegetables - Generally, seasonal vegetables are used in this daal. I have used Carrots, peas (shelled), cauliflower, tomatoes, grated ginger


Whole spices - You will need bay leaf, whole dried red chili, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, clove


Other ingredients - Typical Indian spices like turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt, sugar, garam masala, oil, and ghee are used.


HOW TO MAKE IT?


Dry roast the moong dal in a heavy-bottomed pan. Once done, wash the dal and then add water and a pinch of turmeric. Cover and let it cook till the lentils are tender.


Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and shell the peas.


Heat oil in a pan, temper it with the dried red chili, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and cumin seeds.


Add the carrots and stir-fry them for a minute. Next, add the cauliflower florets and fry them for another minute. Finally, add the tomatoes, peas, grated ginger, and green chili, and fry them.


Add the cumin powder, salt, sugar, and turmeric, and saute for a few more minutes. Add a splash of water if it sticks to the pan.


Pour in the boiled daal with its water. Allow it to bubble. 


Finish it off with a dash of garam masala and ghee.

 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Why is lentil good for us?


Lentils comprise of complex carbohydrates, and they have a rich fiber content. On the other hand, they are low in fat and calories. Their high protein content makes them a perfect option for people on a weight-loss diet. When taken in combination with a whole grain, like brown rice or quinoa they can give us the same amount of protein as meat. 


Are lentils keto-friendly?


Well, the answer is yes and no. We know that normally vegetables that grow above the ground are considered to be keto-friendly options because they contain low carbs. Lentils are an exception because they grow above ground but they have high carbohydrate content. So, if you are on a keto diet, that recommends below 20 grams of carbs a day avoid eating them. However, if your diet is not so stringent in terms of carb content, you can certainly go for them in moderation.


Is this recipe gluten-free and vegan?


This recipe is 100% gluten-free, high in fiber and protein, low in fat and calories, and packed with flavor.


For a vegan version, skip the ghee in this recipe.


Why is the moong dal dry roasted? Can I avoid it?


Dry roasting the moong dal releases a nutty aroma that is the signature of this recipe. Also, roasting the daal before boiling ensures that the daal is not too mushy or slimy.


If you are running short of time, you may skip roasting the daal but, you have to understand that there will be a marked difference in taste. 


SERVING SUGGESTIONS


In a typical Bengali household, this daal is served as a second course with rice and fritters or stir-fried vegetables or roasted papads on the side.


You may also enjoy this daal with rotis or parathas, though I have to say that it tastes heavenly with rice.

 

 

STORAGE SUGGESTIONS


Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to serve, warm it. If the daal appears thicker,

add some water.


SOBJI MOONG DAL (VEGGIE LENTIL SOUP)
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SOBJI MOONG DAL (VEGGIE LENTIL SOUP)

Yield: 4
Author: The GradChef
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min
Sobji diye Moong Daal is traditional Bengali daal or lentil soup delicately flavored with seasonal vegetables and whole spices. The daal is colorful, tasty, and nutritious all in one.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 whole dried red chili
  • 1 piece bay leaf
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1-inch cinnamon
  • 1 clove  
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili slit
  • 1/4 cup carrots (cut into 1-cm cubes)
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower ( cut into 2-cm florets)
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1/4 cup peas (shelled)
  • 1-inch ginger grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ghee

Instructions

  1. Dry roast the moong dal in a heavy-bottomed pan. It will take almost 8-10 minutes for them to roast beautifully. Keep stirring at regular intervals. Once done, wash the dal 2-3 times and then add 2-1/2 cups of water a pinch of turmeric. Cover and let it cook on medium till the grains are cooked.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, temper it with the dried red chili, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and cumin seeds.
  3. Add the carrots and stir-fry them for a minute. Next, add the cauliflower florets and fry them for another minute. Finally, add the tomatoes, peas, grated ginger, and green chili, and fry them.
  4. Add the cumin powder, salt, sugar, and turmeric, and saute for a few more minutes. Add a splash of water if it sticks to the pan.
  5. Pour in the boiled daal with its water. Allow it to bubble for 6-8 minutes.
  6. Finish it off with a dash of garam masala and ghee.

Notes:

  • Dry roast the daal till it reaches a light, brown color. Anything more than that would make it burn.
  • The daal should be completely cooked but not mushy.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
lentil vegetables healthy quick vegetarian vegan gluten-free
main course
Indian bengali
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