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Moong Dal with Tadka

November 13, 2020 0 Comments

We often forget how fast and easy it is to whip up a vegetarian Indian meal, especially with a pressure cooker (we like our stove top pressure cooker like this one). Moong Dal with Tadka makes for a quick and comforting lunch or dinner. We like to serve ours with some sautéed mustard greens over basmati rice.

Moong dal is split lentils. They are easy to find at H Mart or Indian grocers, or you can order organic moong dal from Amazon.

And Tadka? Here’s the definition from Cook’s Illustrated:

Tadka (variously known as chhonk, bagar, phodni, vagarne, oggarane, and more, depending on the region) is a core technique in Indian cooking that involves blooming whole spices (and sometimes other ingredients) in fat to extract their aromas and fat-soluble flavors. The highly perfumed fat and its contents are either spooned onto a finished dish (which often incites a flourish of crackling and sizzling) or incorporated during cooking. The particular ingredients in tadka vary greatly depending on the food that is being seasoned as well as the cook’s community, caste, and region, but classic combinations do exist. For instance, in Kerala, a mix of coconut, cinnamon stick, star anise, and clove is popular; Punjabis combine cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, clove, ginger, garlic, and onion; and Bengali cooks enjoy black mustard seed, cumin seed, nigella seed, and fenugreek seed. Regardless of the particular ingredients, the contributions of a tadka are many.

To make tadka, you can use a small saute pan, but we suggest getting a tadka pan to make the job easier.

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