Green Gram Lentils (Chilka Mung Dal) have a lot of nutritional benefits. They are a good source of protein, high in dietary fiber and low in calories. It has low GI (glycemic index), which make it good for people with diabetes. These lentils are also easy to digest making it an attractive option for people with sensitive stomach. However, traditionally these fritters are deep fried and all the above nutritional benefits are lost during the frying process. Fried food, as everybody knows, leads to clogged arteries which in turn lead to strokes, Alzheimer’s and other serious health issues. Below is an attempt to make low fat Green Gram Lentils (Chilka Mung Dal) Fritters but with same authentic taste. This proposed method makes this appetizer much better on health chart. Also shown below are several variations on how you may serve these with different accompaniments.
- Green Gram Lentil (Chilka Mung Dal) – 2 cups dried and then prepared per method below
- Green chilies – 4 to 5 chopped
- Ginger – 2 inch piece chopped finely
- Cilantro – handful chopped finely
- Radish/Diakon – 1 cup grated (optional)
- Green Onions – 1 cup chopped (optional)
- Mint leaves – 2 or 3 sprigs
- Salt – as per your taste
- Red chili flakes – 1/2 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Fenel Seeds – 1 tsp crushed (optional)
- Asafoetida (hing) – 1 generous pinch crushed (Do not add for gluten free version)
- Accompaniments used for different variations
- Green Mango – 1/2 cup grated (not in picture)
- Mint cilantro spicy and tangy dip (green chutney)
- Tamarind and dates sweet and sour dip (saunth)
- Yougurt (dahi)
- Roasted cumin seeds powder
- Black rock salt powder
- Red chili powder
Above quantity of ingredients will easily serve 6 to 8 people.
- Green Gram Lentil Preparation – Wash and soak the lentils for two hours. Then strain it and blend in in a blender. If you want you can use the skinned lentils also, but I prefer to use lentils with skin for their nutritional benefits.
- Transfer the batter into a mixing bowl and add green chilies, ginger, cilantro and spices (salt, red chili flakes, cumin seeds and asafoetida).
- Mix it rigorously to make it uniform.
- Here, I have used a seasoned cast iron takoyaki plate in place of appe pan. Heat the pan on medium heat and brush each cavity with oil.
- Now pour the batter in each of the cavities and flip it after few minutes when bottom side is brown. If the pan is seasoned properly then batter wont stick to the pan and fritters should easily flip with just a stick.
- After removing from the pan, let the fritters rest on mesh to keep the crispy while they cool a little bit.
- Your fritters are now ready. Serve them with mint cilantro and tamarind dip (green chutney and saunth).
Variation 1: Plain Fritters Topped with Yoghurt and Tamarind Chutney
This particular version is not vegan due to use of yogurt. Soak the fritters in salted warm water for 15 minutes and then squeeze all the water out from each fritter. Now, either dip the soaked fritters in yogurt or just top with yogurt on the plate. Sprinkle some roasted cumin powered, black chili powder and salt on top. Serve with mint cilantro and tamarind dip (green chutney and saunth).
Variation 2: Modified or Plain Fritters served as a savory and tangy snack (chaat – Ram Laddu)
‘Ram Laddu‘ is a very famous street food in northern India. The flavors of radish and green gram (mung) lentil fritters compliment each other very well!
If you are planning to use this variation, you can either use plain fritters as described above or add green onions and radish to the batter mix before making fritter. This will further enhance the flavor of the fritters and at the same time increase nutritional benefits. Radishes are rich in folate, fiber, riboflavin and potassium. They are also a good source of copper, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and calcium.
Mix the fritters in a bowl with some grated redish, green mango, mint cilantro chutney, chopped cilantro, chopped fresh mint and lemon juice.
Your savory and tangy snack ‘Ram-Laddu’ is ready.
Let us know which variation you liked most…