Lentil is a good source of protein but I had never seen it in the Chinese cuisine. Thus, I had decided to cook a non-spicy version of dhal for my family especially my son to try it out. With much help from an Indian friend, recipes from the internet and many personal attempts, I had finally derived at the following recipe.
200g pumpkin (cut into chunks)
50g yellow lentils (moong dal)- washed and soaked for ½ an hour
1 tomato (chopped)
½ red onion (sliced thinly)
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin powder (I prefer powder than seeds because the smell is milder)
½ tsp tumeric powder
10 curry leaves (I used 20 leaves because I love the aroma.)
Coriander leaves (coarsely chopped)
Salt to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice (about 2 tbsp)
1) Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium fire. When hot, stir-fry mustard seeds and curry leaves until the seeds pop.
2) Add in onion and fry until translucent, then add in ground spices (cumin and tumeric powder) and stir to mix well.
3) Add in pumpkin chunks and chopped tomato. Stir-fry for 2 min.
4) Add in enough water (including water used to soak the lentils) to slightly cover the ingredients. This should be about 1 cup.
5) Cover the pan and simmer for 5 mins until the pumpkin is half-cooked.
6) Add in lentils and simmer until lentils turn mushy. It takes about 15 mins.
7) Season with salt. Add in coriander leaves and lemon juice. Cook for another 1 min and turn off the heat.
1) The time required to cook pumpkin varies. Eg Japanese & local pumpkin takes longer time as compared to Australian pumpkin. Hence, cut the size accordingly.
2) Lentils (Moong dal) can be cooked easily. Hence, soaking is optional. Previously I used yellow split peas (tun dal) which required longer cooking time to turn mushy ie 1-2 hours.
3) For step (6), alternatively, you can boil the lentils with water in a pot until they turn into puree. Then pour all the ingredients in step (5) into the lentils puree.
4) You can add a variety of vegetables (ie eggplant, cauliflower, potato, carrot) to the dhal based on personal preference.
5) You can also add in chickpeas to substitute some amount of lentils for a variance.
If you like this article, please share: