Moong dal pakoda are quick, crunchy and tasty snack made with moong dal, spices and herbs. Pakora also known as pakoda is one of the most enjoyed tea time snack in Indian subcontinent. There are many kinds of pakoras made across India. Undoubtedly Onion pakoda is the king of pakoras. But there are so many more varieties that taste very delicious and are very flavorful.
These moong dal pakoda are one of them. These are extremely flavorful, crunchy and tasty. A generous sprinkle of chaat masala over these pakoras is what makes these the best. These can be served with a cup of Masala tea or coffee. But a Green chutney or Schezwan sauce will be a great side.
Making these moong dal pakoda is very simple, just soak the lentils and then blend them. Then spice it up, add onions and herbs. Fry portions of this mixture in hot oil until crisp and golden. These can also be air fried for healthier option. I have included the instructions in the recipe card.
Usually pakodas are crisp and bhajiyas are softer from inside. With this recipe, you can make both crisp pakoras and even softer moong dal bhajiya.
Just that to make bhajiya, you will sprinkle water while grinding the moong dal. But at home we love the crisp ones as they are more flavorful and delicious.
You can also blend the lentils and refrigerate for up to 4 days. But without the addition of onions. Remember to keep the mixture thick like mine in the pictures below. If you make batter then pakodas will soak up oil.
Preparation for moong dal pakoda
1. Wash moong dal a few times until the water runs clear. Then soak it just for 60 minutes. If you like soft pakoda then soak for 2 hours.
2. Drain it and leave in colander for some time for the water to drain completely. There should be no dripping water left.
3. Next transfer it to the mixer jar along with red chilies. Use more for more spice. I used bydagi chilies which are less spicy.
4. Pulse this a few times to get a coarse mixture. If you like soft pakoras and not crunchy then you can blend to a smooth paste after sprinkling little water. But the mixture has to be still thick and not like pouring consistency otherwise you will get very soft bhajiya.
5. Transfer this to a mixing bowl.
6. Next add in sliced onions, ginger garlic paste and jeera.
7. Add garam masala and salt. Do not reduce the amount of ginger garlic paste and garam masala otherwise the pakoda will taste bland.
8. Next transfer chopped green chilies, coriander leaves and curry leaves. You can add mint leaves in place of curry leaves.
9. Mix everything well. The mixture must moist and not too dry. Check salt and add more if needed.
How to make moong dal pakora
10. Heat oil in a kadai. When it is hot, drop a small amount of ground lentils to the oil. It will sink and then rise slowly without browning. This is the right temperature.
11. Drop bite sized portions of the moong dal mixture to the hot oil. Do not disturb them till they come up.
12. Keep stirring and fry on a medium high flame and not too high or too low. Moong dal pakodas turn hard if fried in low flame.
13. When they are golden and crisp remove them to a kitchen tissue. After making the first batch, you can adjust the texture of pakoras. If you want soft, then just sprinkle handful of water to the batter and mix.
14. Similarly fry all the pakoda in batches and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle a generous amount of chaat masala.
Serve moong dal pakoda hot or warm.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup moong dal (split mung lentils)
- ¾ cup onions sliced & halved (1 medium)
- 2 green chilies chopped (use as needed)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 dried red chilies (skip if you don't have)
- 3 sprigs curry leaves (or 2 tablespoons pudina – mint leaves chopped)
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (fine chopped)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon salt (or as needed)
- 1½ tablespoons ginger garlic paste (or 1 teaspoon each chopped)
- ¾ to 1 cup oil (or as needed for frying)
- ½ teaspoon chaat masala for serving
- Wash and soak moong dal in a large bowl for 60 mins. For softer pakoras soak for 2 hours or soak them in slightly hot water for 1 hour.
- Drain the water completely and leave the dal in the colander for a while until the water drains completely.
- Add it to a blender jar along with red chilies.
- Pulse the dal a couple of times in the blender until you get a coarse mixture. If you prefer soft moong dal pakoda then blend it to a smooth yet thick batter.
- Transfer this to a mixing bowl.
- Next add in onions, ginger garlic paste, green chilies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, jeera, garam masala and salt.
- Mix the dough and taste it to check the salt and spice. If needed add more.
Frying moong dal pakoda
- Heat oil in a deep pan.
- Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of the mixture. The mixture sinks and then comes up without browning quickly. This is the right time to make pakoras.
- Take small portions of the pakora mixture and drop bite sized dough to the hot oil.
- Do not disturb the bhajiyas until they rise up. Fry them stirring on a medium high flame until golden and crisp.
- Drain them to a kitchen tissue. Continue to fry the pakoras in batches.
- Sprinkle chaat masala as desired. Serve moong dal pakora hot with green chutney or sauce.
- If your air fryer requires preheating, preheat it at 350 F or 180 C for at least 10 minutes.
- Place small portions of the mixture on the greased rack and air fry for 11 to 13 minutes at 350 F or 180 C. Adjust the timings as needed depending on the size of your pakoras. Air fry them until crisp and golden.
- After air frying I brush the hot pakoras with ghee instead of spraying oil. Sprinkle chaat masala or serve them with chutney or chai.
- Sometimes I add half cup fine chopped baby spinach to the mixture. Avoid using mature spinach.
- The moong dal pakora mixture can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days but without adding onions.
- To make softer moong dal bhajiyas, sprinkle some water while blending & make slightly loose batter that is still thick.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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