These little crispy fritters are always a hit at parties. They pack spices, protein, and a little heat. In restaurants, they are always deep-fried (think pakora!) but you can also bake them and still get a crisp bite! You can make them ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven until you are ready to serve them.
So what is moong dal?
It is the split version of mung beans. To be honest, I was a little confused at first because I sprout mung beans, and they are green. They are, by the way, the easiest thing to sprout and are ready to eat in a few days. So make sure to stock up on them as they can be added to salads, sandwiches, or just eaten as a snack!
The first time I purchased a bag of moong dal, I noticed that they were yellow. That’s because when the mung bean is split, the husk comes off and the inside is yellow! In India, it is also called green gram or mung dal. To make things more confusing, they can also be called yellow lentils! They can be purchased in Asian and sometimes health food stores.
What can you do with moong dal?
In India, moong dal is used to make porridge. It can also be used in salads, stews, stir-fries, and even sweets. It is often prepared in pressure cookers. For a quick meal, I sometimes like to add some to cooking rice to get complete protein. Looking for an easy lentil soup? Check this yellow dal recipe.
Health benefits of yellow lentils
They are naturally a low-fat food that is high in protein and fiber. So they make you feel full and by doing so will reduce tendencies to overeat. They are recommended for weight loss.
They are rich in Potassium and folate so they help cell buildup.
They are also high in iron so load up if you have anemia!
They can help prevent diabetes and help boost blood
To soak or not to soak?
Soaking beans is always better for digestion. 30 minutes to an hour is perfect. Drain and rinse. If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step.
In terms of condiments, you will need fresh or powder ginger, chili, or cayenne pepper, turmeric, and garam masala. Don’t worry, if you don’t have garam masala you can make your own using a mix of cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, mustard powder coriander powder, cloves, mace, and nutmeg.
The recipe makes 15 fritters that should be eaten hot but can be reheated later. You can add more chili or Indian spices if you like it hot.
Baked Mung Dal Fritters
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- 1 cup yellow lentils
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Pinch cayenne or chili powder
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp raw sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 minced garlic cloves
- 1.5 cup minced greens (kale, Swiss chard, etc.)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped red or green onions
- 1/2 cup minced fresh mint
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp vinegar (white or apple cider)
- 1/4 cup water
- Cover the mung dal with warm water and soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Drain and set aside
Prepare the fritters
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Place the soaked lentils, the spices (ginger, cayenne, turmeric, salt, garam masala), water, oil, and baking powder in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl and fold in the chopped cilantro, onion, greens, and minced garlic.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Using 2 tablespoons or a large ice cream scoop, make small mounds spaced apart.
- Bake 20 minutes until the edges are golden.
- Cool off.
Prepare Mint chutney
- Add fresh mint, cilantro, salt, sugar. lemon juice, vinegar, and water to a food processor and pulse until the sauce is smooth.