Another awesome dish from my childhood – Moong Dal Bhajiya/ Lentil Fritters! If you have ever lived/been to Mumbai, India then you would have surely visited the famous Mahalakshmi temple which was built in 1831. Its one of the most iconic spots of the city also because of its picturesque location. It’s by the sea overlooking a beautiful mosque called Haji Ali. I have been visiting that temple ever since I can remember. We would begin every year on an auspicious note by visiting this temple along with some others around the city. It was our family day out.
Now how does this story connect to this recipe you would wonder. Well, there is a small restaurant behind this temple, by the sea. They serve the world’s best Moong Dal Bhajia. It’s delicious. Even writing about it makes me crave for them right now. It’s a family run restaurant which is managed by them since generations. It’s not an upscale place but serves food clean and tasty. Our visit to the temple is incomplete without gorging on these yummy bhajiyas. It’s funny that as a child I associated this temple visit with this delicacy. Guess, my mind was tuned to food since birth. 😉
These Lentil Fritters are super easy to make and is perfect for large group gatherings. That is why I chose to prepare this dish for our Holi party at home. You can check out some other Holi recipes I made here – Achari Aloo Capsicum/Pickled Potato Bell Peppers, Spinach & Black Eyed Peas Masala, Sesame flavored Rice, Carrot Halwa Trifle and No Bake Oreo Truffles. We were having more than 25 people over to celebrate this lovely festival of colors. So I was looking for some appetizer recipes which are easy to make and to feed a large group. That is when I remembered this recipe.
It’s my mom’s version. As a child, when I used to throw a tantrum asking her to take me to the temple just so that I could eat these fritters, she decided to make them herself to please me and stop my unreasonable behavior. I used to wait patiently by the counter watching her prepare this appetizer. I enjoyed a bowl full fritters as a snack. Dip this in Coriander Mint Chutney or ketchup and loose count of how many you eat. I have seen her make this recipe so many times that I know it at the back of my hand. They taste exactly like the ones you get at the temple, at-least they do for me.
This recipe was perfect for the party because just with few ingredients, you can prepare this dish for a large group. You need to soak moong dal for at least 2 hours. Drain and grind it with no water. Add dried red chillies, salt and asafoetida while grinding it to a smooth paste. Pour the batter into a mixing bowl. Add onions and cilantro and mix it well.
Keep the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes. Heat the frying oil in a pan. Using a small spoon, pour the batter into the hot oil. Fry them till they turn golden brown. Take them out in paper towels to soak the excess oil.
These fritters are best served hot. Like I said earlier, serve them with any chutney/ketchup.
My husband, KR surprisingly had never had these bhajias when he was in Mumbai. So I have promised him a trip to that temple just to taste them when we visit our hometown next time. He wants to go there because he loved these fritters. In fact everyone at the party loved it too and they were all gone quick enough. Happy is the host when her party is a hit!
Moong Dal Bhajiya/Lentil Fritters
- 2 cups of moong dal
- 1 large onion - finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 8-10 dried red chillies
- Pinch of asafoetida
- Salt as required
- Oil for frying
- Soak moong dal for atleast 2 hours. Drain and grind it with no water. Add dried red chillies, salt and asafoetida while grinding it to a smooth paste. Pour the batter into a mixing bowl. Add onions and cilantro and mix it well.
- Keep the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes. Heat the frying oil in a pan. Using a small spoon, pour the batter into the hot oil. Fry them till they turn golden brown. Take them out in paper towels to soak the excess oil.
- These fritters are best served hot. Like I said earlier, serve them with any chutney/ketchup.
These fritters are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Mind you, they are very addictive! If you looking for some more snack options, here are some popular recipes on my blog – Lemon Vermicelli Croquettes, Spinach & Paneer Puffs, Baked Parmesan Garlic Potato Fingers, Moong Dal Sticks or Dill ke Pakode/Dill Croquettes. No one ever got tired of snacking right!
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For this recipe I recommend