In November, I wrote about my love for Karachi and its food for TASTE and shared the recipe of my aunt's masoor moong daal.
I grew up in Islamabad, and went to college in Lahore. It's only recently that I began to visit Karachi for work, and became infatuated with its chaos and grit. My quick affection for Karachi however, did not really come as a surprise. I have always had a special place in my heart for its residents. Their easy confidence, cosmopolitanism, work ethic, and no-fuss attitude have always served as an important counterweight to the provincialism I found in my hometown. I have frequently looked to my Karachi friends and family for inspiration for the blog. See gujarati aloo (potatoes), baghara baingan, and gawar sabzi. More coming!
My young aunt from Karachi showed me how to prepare this mixed masoor moong daal that she learned from her Gujarati friends. The daal that I grew up eating was either green lentils (kaali daal) or simple red lentils (masoor daal) boiled with some turmeric and red chili powder. This mixed daal has more texture and flavor, thanks to the addition of tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and onion; and generous amount of kadi pata (curry leaves).
Read the full story about Karachi's diverse kitchens here, and see recipe below.
Masoor Moong Daal
- ¾ cup of masoor daal red lentils
- ¼ cup of moong daal mung bean, found in specialty Indian/Pakistani grocery stores
- 1½ teaspoon crushed ginger
- 1½ teaspoon crushed garlic
- 8 kadi pata curry leaves found in specialty Indian/Pakistani grocery stores
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced in half rings
- 1 roma tomato roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste preferably Kashmiri red chili powder
- 2 green chilies diced
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 6 round whole red chiles found in specialty Indian/Pakistani grocery stores
- Wash the masoor daal and moong daal till the water runs clear. If using whole moong daal, soak overnight. I prefer to use split moong daal, which cooks faster.
- Add lentils to a stockpot and add 5 cups of water. Bring to a simmer.
- Add crushed ginger and garlic, kadi pata, chopped onion, tomato, turmeric, and red chili powder, and green chili.
- Bring heat to low and cover. Let daal cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once the daal is ready, begin to get the tadka ready. Heat 1 to 2 tbsp. of oil in a saucepan and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds begin to pop, add cumin seeds. Once the oil becomes aromatic, add whole red chilies.
- After they have changed color slightly, pour the tempered oil on top of the dal. Serve.