Moong Dal Bhajiya—golden, crispy, crunchy, spicy drops of heaven—are among my favourite tea-time snacks. I was first introduced to the goodness that is Moong Dal Bhajiya at Guru Kripa in Sion. Yes, yes, the very same place whose samosas are so famous and available in many a movie theatre in Mumbai. It was love at first bite. What was not to love about these treats?
Then I had Moong Bhajiya from a small street vendor near my home and fell even more in love if possible because they are even more crunchy. For some reason, this gentleman tempers the batter before frying the bhajiyas and I have followed the same tradition. 🙂
How to Make Moong Dal Bhajiya
Soaking Time: 1 Hour
Grinding Time: 10 Minutes
Frying Time: 20-30 Minutes
- Moong Dal or Husked Green Gram – 1.5 Cups
- Chawal ka Atta or Rice Flour – 1 tbsp (optional)
- Lal Mirch or Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Sabut Dhania or Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp
- Hari Mirch or Green Chillies – 3 or 4
- Roasted Jeera Powder or Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Kadipatta or Curry Leaves – 6 or 8
- Rai or Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Hing or Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
- Oil for Frying
- Salt to Taste
- Soak the Moong Dal in 3 cups of water for 1 hour.
- Chop the green chillies to very fine pieces.
- Cut the curry leaves into fine pieces.
- Crush the coriander seeds.
Method to Make the Batter
- Drain the moong dal of all the water. I leave it in the colander for about 10 minutes.
- Grind to a coarse paste. Add very small quantities of water if required.
- Take the paste out into a bowl.
- Make a well in the centre of the paste.
- In a ladle, heat 1 tsp of oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Turn off the heat and add the chopped curry leaves.
- Add the oil, mustard seeds, and curry leaves to the well in the batter.
- Mix well.
- To the batter, add salt, rice flour, red chilli powder, green chillies, and asafoetida.
- Mix well. The batter should be semi-solid (more solid than liquid) but drop from the hand in small marble sized balls.
Making the Moong Dal Bhajiya
- In a large wok or kadai, heat about 1 cup of oil. The oil should be medium hot.
- To Test the Hotness of the Oil:
- Add a small pea-sized portion of batter to the oil.
- It should sink and immediately rise to the surface and fry there.
- Add small marble-sized portions of the batter to the oil.
- Fry over medium heat till the bhajiyas are golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the bhajiyas from the oil and place them on a kitchen napkin to remove excess oil.
- Serve hot with Dahiwali Pudina Chutney or Coriander Chutney.
- Be careful not to oversoak the dal. If you do the batter will be very watery and too smooth.
- The consistency of the batter should be such that it drops off the fingers (not slides).
- Ensure that the oil is not very hot, else the bhajiyas will cook only on the surface.
- The rice flour gives the bhajiya an extra crunch and can be omitted.