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.