Aromatic Mung Dal- vegan

Comforting and warm without being stodgy, this gently spicy dal will ease the transition from Summer to Autumn. 
There's nothing quite like a steaming bowl of dal to cheer up a drizzly September day, especially when  it includes fresh produce from the garden! This recipe is my husband's, which he dictated to me and I then cooked. He prefers it a bit heartier, made with half chana dal (split chickpeas) and half mung dal, but split yellow mung dal cooks very quickly, which makes it practical for a quick supper or lunch. We ate ours with brown rice and spiced vegetables, but you could have yours as a soup with a chunk of bread or chapatti. This recipe serves 8-10. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients; it's actually quite simple once you've amassed everything.

1 cup yellow split mung dal
7 cups water (or 6 if you like it really thick)1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup chopped seasonal vegetables (we used courgette)
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp turmeric
1/4-1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1-2 tsps powdered ginger (or 1 dsp grated fresh ginger root)
4 bay leaves
a 4" cinnamon stick
1/2 tab coconut oil
1 dsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp compound hing
1 dsp cumin seeds/ freshly ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sweet paprika
3 tsps gour/ raw cane sugar
  • Wash the dal and put in a saucepan with the water, salt, veggies, turmeric, chilli, ginger, bay leaves and cinnamon. If you are using chana dal, you may want to pre-soak it or use a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on.
  • Meanwhile, gently heat the coconut oil and pop the mustard seeds. Remove from the heat and add the cumin, which should toast lightly just to release the aroma, but not scorch. Stir in the hing once the bubbling has stopped.
  • Add the oil and spice mixture to the boiling dal- it will fizzle and splutter a little as it goes in.
  • Continue to simmer with the lid off until the dal is soft.
  • Lastly, stir in the garam masala, paprika and gour/ sugar. Make any adjustments to the seasoning.
  • The dal is now ready!


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