In the western world, Indian cuisine is mostly equated with rich, spicy gravies – kofta curry and chhole bhature and shahi paneer and their ilk. In reality, Indian cuisine is far broader than that. Indian food can be simple and minimalistic, as this dish I’m going to write about today – roasted moong dal with a green vegetable combination. A recipe I picked up from a friend from Andhra, it’s been a regular in my kitchen since.
Ridge gourd and moong dal are both very gentle on the stomach, as are asafoetida (hing in Hindi) and lemon, the prime flavourings in this dish. Hing is a strong spice and, I suspect, an acquired taste. If this is the first time you’re cooking with hing, I’d suggest using very little of it. If you like it, use more another time. I do recommend it warmly, especially for its wide array of health benefits.