Moong dal kaleji

Moong dal is a nutritious legume that has lots of protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres. It can be used in many forms in cooking, like in dal, pakode and even in soups. Moong dal has very less calories hence it is a great option for weight watchers and diabetics.

This recipe of mine is slightly different because it is neither a dal nor a soup, but a gravy dish for main course. I used moong dal as the main ingredient here but I steamed it to make dal cutlets, which are further cooked in an onion-tomato gravy. I used moong chilka dal for extra fibre, but you can use dhuli moong dal as well.

So, here comes my recipe!

Serves: 4
Course: Main course veg
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes


For kaleji:
Moong dal – 1 cup, soaked
Onion – 1, chopped
Ginger – 1”, chopped
Garlic – 6-8 cloves, chopped
Green chili – 3, chopped
Coriander – 1 Tb, chopped
Salt – to taste
Red chili pd. – 1 tsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp

For gravy:
Onion – 2 medium, grated or minced
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Tomato puree – 1 Tb
Haldi – 1 tsp
Red chili pd. – 1 tsp
Dhaniya pd. – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Kasoori methi – 1tsp
Oil – 2 Tb
Garam masala – to sprinkle
Chopped coriander, for garnish

Steps to make:

1. Grind soaked dal to a smooth and thick paste. Do not add water while grinding.
2. Seperately grind onion, ginger, garlic, green chili and coriander for kaleji.
3. In a big mixing bowl, combine dal paste and grounded onion masala and mix well.
4. Now add all dry masalas and again mix well.
5. Boil water in a steamer or pressure cooker to steam the dal paste.
6. Take a round or square metallic dish or mould, which can fit into your steamer or cooker. Grease the dish and put dal paste into it to 1 inch thickness from the bottom. If your dal paste is more, you can steam it in batches.
7. Place the dish or mould in steamer or cooker without whistle. Steam it for 15 minutes or until the fork comes clean from the middle.
8. Remove the mould from the steamer and keep aside for cooling. Steam other dishes as well.
9. Meanwhile, prepare the gravy. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 Tb oil.
10. Add grated or minced onion and fry till golden brown.
11. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry until raw smell goes.
13. Now put tomato puree along with dry masalas, except garam masala.
14. Add little water to avoid sticking of masala at the bottom of the pan. Fry until masala leaves oil on the sides.
15. Now add at least 1 1/2 cups of water to the masala and boil the gravy. Lower the flame, cover the pan and let it boil.
16. Its time to remove steamed dal from the mould. Cut the steamed dal cake into cubes of desired size.
17. Either deep fry or stir fry the cubes and put in the boiling gravy.
18. In few minutes the cubes will absorb most of the gravy so add more water to adjust the thickness of the gravy. It should not be too thick nor too runny.
19. Cover the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes.
20. Sprinkle garam masala over kaleji and garnish with coriander. Serve hot with roti and paratha.