Moong Dal Pakoda, also known as Moong Dal Bhajiya or Moong Dal Vada is scrumptious snack popularly sold on the streets of Mumbai in Maharashtra. These are basically mildly spiced fritters made with yellow moong lentils and some spices, that are fried till nicely golden. One of those picks from the many Pakora variants that make the Indian monsoons even better. Try it in your home, and enjoy with your family and friends.
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Moong Dal Pakoda Memoir
I remember buying the lovely Moong Dal Bhajiya from a shop outside the Borivali station in the western suburbs of Mumbai. There was a certain charm in binging on these delicious pakodas of moong dal, dipped in sweet and spicy chutneys. What lovely days!
The guys at that particular shop made the Moong Dal Pakoda so soft, porous and with a unique taste. I would wonder how, as unlike urad dal, moong dal does not result in a soft texture in vadas or fritters.
So, I really suspected that they would add some urad dal too in the bhajiyas for the desired flavor and texture. Their recipe of Moong Dal Vada would also have whole coriander seeds and black peppercorns. However, I usually crush these spices coarsely and then add to the vada mixture.
More on Moong Dal Bhajiya
This Moong Dal Bhajiya is a simple and easy recipe that can be scaled too. Besides just soaking the moong dal overnight or for 3 to 4 hours, you just have to grind the lentils with the rest of the ingredients to make the batter.
Make the Moong Dal Bhajiya spicier by adding some more green chilies and black pepper. But I guess the quantities given in my recipe card are also good enough. Use any neutral flavored oil with high smoking point to fry the pakoda. While frying, make sure to not overcrowd the kadai with bhajiya.
Moong Dal Pakoda is a great choice of tea time snack in the monsoon and winter seasons alike. Serve these pakodas with tomato ketchup, coriander chutney, tamarind chutney or any other chutney of your choice. You can even sandwich these between bread slices or pavs to enjoy a Moong Dal Vada Pav.
How to make Moong Dal Pakoda
Soak Moong Dal and Prepare Batter
1. First rinse 1 cup yellow moong dal (hulled and split mung lentils) a few times in water. In a bowl, soak the rinsed lentils with 1.5 cups water for about 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
Drain the water and add the soaked lentils to a grinder or a blender. Add 1 to 2 roughly chopped green chilies (about ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped), 1 inch chopped ginger and 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing).
Also, add ⅛ cup water and grind to a smooth and fine consistency. Remove the batter in a mixing bowl.
Coarsely crush 1 teaspoon whole black pepper and 1 teaspoon coriander seeds in a mortar-pestle. Add these to the prepared moong dal batter.
2. Add salt as required. Stir the batter vigorously for a few minutes. This helps in aerating the batter which makes the pakoda fluffy and soft.
Fry Moong Dal Pakoda
3. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. Once the oil is medium hot, drop spoonfuls of the batter in the oil.
Depending upon the size of kadai you can fry more or less pakodas at a time. Just make sure there is enough space between the pakodas and the kadai is not overcrowded.
Tip: You can use any neutral flavored oil with high smoking point. You can even use peanut oil or sunflower oil.
4. Fry the pakoda till crisp and golden. When the pakodas look light golden, turn over each one of them, gently with a slotted spoon.
Fry until they look golden turning over as needed. You will have to flip them a couple of times for even cooking. Once done, remove them with a slotted spoon draining as much oil as possible in the kadai (wok).
5. Place the pakodas on paper napkins to remove extra oil.
6. Serve Moong Dal Pakoda hot or warm with coriander chutney, tamarind chutney, mint chutney or tomato ketchup. A cup of ginger tea or masala chai can also be served with it.
Moong Dal Pakoda vs Ram Ladoo
Ram Ladoo is not your usual mithai or sweet. But, a chaat. Yes, the Ram Ladoo is an extremely popular street food from Delhi in North India. These ladoos are actually pakodas or fritters that are jazzed up with classic toppings of different chutneys, grated radish (a must!), fresh coriander leaves, lemon juice and chaat masala. Your mouth is watering already, isn’t it?
A similarity between the Ram Ladoo and Moong Dal Pakoda is that the former also has moong lentils as one of the main ingredients in its batter. The extra is the chana dal. The Ram Ladoo batter has ginger, green chilies and asafoetida too like the Moong Dal Bhajiya batter.
The major difference is in the spices I use, especially in my recipes. In Moong Dal Vada, I add coriander seeds and black peppercorns and in Ram Ladoo, I add cumin seeds. Also, the way both these are plated are totally different. As mentioned earlier, the Ram Ladoo becomes a chaat and the Moong Dal Pakoda is served along side chutneys/ketchup.
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Moong Dal Pakoda | Moong Dal Bhajiya | Moong Dal Vada
For soaking moong dal
- 1 cup moong dal (split and hulled mung lentils)
- 1.5 cups water or as required, for soaking moong lentils
- 1 or 2 green chilies – chopped roughly or ½ to 1 teaspoon, chopped
- 1 inch ginger – chopped
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ⅛ cup water or as required, for grinding the lentils
- salt as required
- oil as required for deep frying or shallow frying
Making moong pakoda batter
- In a bowl, soak moong dal in enough water for about 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Drain the water and add them to a grinder or blender.
- Add the chopped green chilies, ginger and asafoetida. Add water and grind to a fine and smooth consistency. You can add some more water if required while grinding.
- Coarsely crush the black pepper and coriander seeds in a mortar-pestle.
- Add these to the ground moong dal batter. Add salt and mix well.
- Stir the batter vigorously for a few minutes as this helps in aerating the batter.
Frying moong dal pakoda
- Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan.
- Drop spoonfuls of the pakora batter in medium hot oil and fry till crisp and golden.
- When the pakodas look light golden, turn over them gently and continue to fry.
- You will have to flip the pakoras a couple of times for even cooking.
- Once the pakora becomes crisp and golden then remove them with a slotted spoon draining as much oil as possible in the kadai.
- Then place the moong dal bhajiya on paper napkins to remove excess oil.
- Serve the moong dal pakoda hot or warm with chutney varieties like coriander chutney or mint chutney or tamarind chutney or just plain tomato ketchup. You can serve it with any green chutney. They makes for a good evening snack accompanies with tea.
- The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
- You can use any neutral flavored oil with a high smoking point to fry the moong pakoda.
- Note that these fritters can be also made with split mung lentils with skins or with whole green mung beans. The taste and texture will be slightly different due to the presence of the husks.
- For a spicier taste, add more green chillies.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Moong Dal Pakoda recipe post from the blog archives first published in January 2014 has been republished and updated on 3 August 2022.