This post has been a long time coming.
The Dal Moradabadi at Punjab Bistro has been on my mind ever since I tried it out, a couple of months ago. I fell in love with this dish at first bite, and have wanted to try making it at home ever since. Somehow, I never got around to doing that. When ‘Tradtional Dals of India’ was chosen as the theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop this week, it gave me the perfect foil to try my hands at making Dal Moradabadi, Punjab Bistro-style, at home. I was thrilled by just how beautiful in taste it turned out. It was a huge hit at home, with the family loving it to bits, and every bit of it getting polished off. It is such a simple dal, but one that is bursting with flavour, something that would make a beautiful addition to any meal.
For the uninitiated, the Dal Moradabadi is a very famous street food in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, popularly called ‘the city of brass’. The dal itself is very simple – plain split moong dal cooked soft and salted. It is the way this dal is served, with an assortment of toppings, that makes it so special. Commonly served with sweet and spicy chutneys, chopped onions and tomatoes, fresh coriander, fragrant cumin and black pepper powder, and some gorgeous black salt, the Dal Moradabadi is more of a chaat than a dal per se. It is typically had as an appetiser, on its own, even in weddings in Uttar Pradesh, but I love having it with rotis too.
There is a fascinating history behind the origin of Dal Moradabadi, too. Apparently, Prince Murad, son of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and the founder of Moradabad, was very fond of light, simple meals that were very flavourful. One day, his cooks rustled up this Dal Moradabadi, and the prince loved it to bits. At every meal, the prince would be served this dal, with a different set of toppings – it would taste different every time, and Murad was thrilled. Head over to this Instagram post of mine for a detailed account of the history of the Dal Moradabadi.
Now, let us check out the simple recipe for this beautiful Dal Moradabadi, shall we?
Recipe adapted from: Charming Chef.
Idea Courtesy: Punjab Bistro, Bangalore
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
- 1/2 cup split yellow moong dal
- 1/4 cup split orange masoor dal
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Roasted cumin (jeera) powder, as needed
- Black pepper powder, as needed
- Red chilli powder, as needed
- Black salt (kala namak), as needed
- Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves, as needed
- Ginger juliennes, as needed
- Lemon juice, as needed
- Finely chopped tomatoes, as needed
- Finely chopped onions, as needed
- Fried moong dal namkeen, as needed
- Spicy green chutney, as needed
- Sweet and sour tamarind chutney, as needed
- Butter, as needed
- Wash the split moong dal and masoor dal together under running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water.
- Add a bit of salt and turmeric powder to the washed and drained moong dal and masoor dal. Pressure cook the moong dal and masoor dal together, with just enough water to cover them, for 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
- When the pressure has gone down completely, mash the cooked dals well. The mashed dal should lose its grainy consistency and become soft and mushy.
- Now, take the mashed dal in a pan. Add in salt to taste and water as needed to bring it to a soupy but not too runny consistency, roughly about 1-1/2 cups. Heat till warm.
- Ladle the cooked dal into serving cups. Top each cup of dal with a dash of lemon juice, tamarind chutney, green chutney, black salt, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, and black pepper powder. Garnish with some fried moong dal namkeen, finely chopped coriander, tomatoes and onions, and some ginger juliennes. Add a dollop of butter. That’s it – Dal Moradabadi is ready! Serve immediately.
- Click here for a step-by-step recipe to make the sweet and sour tamarind chutney.
- Click here for the recipe for the spicy green chutney.
- You can use salted or unsalted butter as needed to serve the Dal Moradabadi. Desi ghee can also be used instead. This is an absolute must.
- I have used store-bought moong dal namkeen to serve the Dal Moradabadi.
- Roasted cumin powder is nothing but cumin (jeera) dry roasted till fragrant, allowed to cool down completely, and then powdered. The dry roasting adds a whole lot of fragrance to the dish.
- The kala namak aka black salt is an absolute must, in the serving of Dal Moradabadi.
- A dash of finely chopped green chillies can also be added to the Dal Moradabadi, while serving it. I have skipped them.
- Traditionally, only split moong daal is used to make Dal Moradabadi. I have used a mix of split moong daal and masoor daal, for the sake of better texture.
- Different street vendors in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, use different toppings on the Dal Moradabadi. Some serve it with papdi, some with fried green or dry red chillies, some with paneer. Some serve it with jalebi or imarti – dunk the sweet in the Dal Moradabadi and eat! The black salt, roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, butter or desi ghee, onions, tomatoes and coriander, the sweet and sour tamarind chutney and the spicy green chutney are almost always there, though. I made and served the Dal Moradabadi the way it was at Punjab Bistro, where I absolutely loved it.
- In Uttar Pradesh, Dal Moradabadi is served as an appetiser or a snack, not as a main course dish. It even occupies pride of place in weddings, where it is served as a sort of palate-cleanser chaat. At Punjab Bistro, however, Dal Moradabadi is very much a main course dish, and is served with roti. I love having it both ways – on its own as well as with flatbread. Take your pick! It tastes awesome any way!
- You can pressure cook the dal in advance and keep it ready, well in advance. Just heat up the dal when you are ready to serve it, and add the toppings to it.
Do try this recipe out! I’m sure you will love it as much as we do! 🙂