Moong Dal Ki Goli-Curried Lentil Balls

I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas.Ours was fully packed with movies, eating out and trips to the strip.It was a lovely long break after a long time.We went to Bellagio Casino to especially see the holiday decorations, waited 2 hours in queue to get in ..but trust me it was so so worth it.Really awesome decorations.I really wonder at times how does the casino staff manage perfection in everything they do? It must be taking a lot of effort! Anyhow,Vegas casinos are a treat to the eyes..attaching some pictures I took! ;)

After some insane baking for last 2-3 weeks, I m back with another really traditional and indian dish from my grandmother’s kitchen.This is one of those dishes which she made on occasions when there used to be some get-together in the house on birthdays, anniversaries etc. The best part which I like about this dish is that the lentils balls are not deep-fried, so its a very healthy recipe but little labour intensive.Maybe because we occasionally got to see this curry gracing the table, it is one of the favorites.

This is a staple recipe from the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.In some part, urad dal is also used for making this dish, but I always use yellow moong dal, simple because it is light in texture and has a very good taste. I have tried to include  step by step pictures for making the balls, coz that is slightly a tricky part.This recipe forms a very nice side dish and if u keep the gravy thick, it can be served as an appetizer too.Once prepared, the dish can last for 2-3 days in the refrigerated and the taste becomes better and better with time coz the balls continuously absorb the spices.Below it is the recipe:

What I need:

For the balls (Recipe makes 13-15 balls depending on size)

  • 2 cups yellow moong lentils
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped into chunks
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida [hing]
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves [kasuri methi]
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the curry:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp grated garlic
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder [adjust to taste]
  • 2 tsp dry coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves [kasuri methi]
  • 2 tsp dry mango powder [amchoor]
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Santa Claus at Jean Phillipe Patisserie @Bellagio

How I did it:

  • Wash the yellow moong lentils thoroughly under running water.
  • Soak the lentils in 5 cups of water overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  • Once soaked, drain and discard all the water from the lentils and transfer it to a blender.
  • To the lentils add the chopped ginger, dry fenugreek leaves, turmeric , salt and chillies and blend with as little water as possible to a paste.The paste should neither be too coarse or too fine.

  • Take a wide mouthed vessel or a pan and heat 2 tbsp oil in it.Once heated, transfer the ground lentils to the pan.

  • Start stirring the lentil paste on a low heat.You have to continue untill the lentil paste starts to thicken and starts coming together in a soft dough.About 15-20 minutes. Taste the lentils to ensure that the rawness is gone.The most important part to monitor is the heat..if the heat is very high, the dough will form quickly but the lentils will be raw and since we are not deep frying the balls,this is the only step where lentils are actually cooked.

  • Once the dough starts forming, immediately remove from heat, coz the lentils will continue to cook for 5-10 minutes in the absorbed heat.
  • When the mixture is cool enough to handle, with oiled palms, roll into medium-sized balls or “golis”. Set aside the balls.

To make the masala:

  • In another cooking vessel add the oil and heat it up till the oil starts smoking slightly.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and cook till golden brown.After this add the bay leaf &  grated garlic & ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes along with chilli,coriander,turmeric powder and salt.Cook this masala [ spice mix] on low heat till the oil starts separating from the mix along the sides of the vessel.
  • Add the garam masala & fenugreek leaves next to the vessel and cook for 2-3 minutes to combine.

  • Lower the heat to minimum and 1/2 cup or more of water depending on how thick you like the gravy,cover and let the gravy come to a boil on a low heat.
  • Once the curry has simmered for 8-10 minutes, add the dry mango powder, stir it and add the lentils balls that you have prepared before.Let simmer covered for 5 more minutes. Once you have added the balls, do not stir the curry much else the balls will break.
  • Remove from heat, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm with rice or flatbreads.


This is my entry to MLLA#30 hosted by Priya & brainchild of Susan-The Well Seasoned Cook!

Sending this to Hearth n Soul # 28 & Bloggie Mass#7



  1. I am curious to find out how these might taste. They looks quite tempting. I have only tried the fried ones which are so addictive by the way! :)

  2. Tanvi I have to try these at home. Oh goodness, they look wonderful!!! I’m going to soak some moong right away! :)

  3. Moong ki Daal golis look delicious. Also, Thanks for the beautiful write up. Christmas Pics were amazing.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. Bookmarked dear, I cannot get over how beautiful the whole gravy and those balls look, amazingly presented and very very tempting.

  5. Tanvi,

    nice clicks, new curry to me. Looks delicious. Love it.

  6. Hmm, comfort food! And therefore, I’m sure, delicious.

  7. Great photos. Interesting dish too. I would love to learn to cook Indian food. Need to start with baby steps…

    Thanks for stopping by…Have a Great New Year!


  8. The dal balls look delicious, love the Christmas tree over there.

  9. I’m assuming this would be tasting like sukhi moong dal that I make where the ingredients are pretty much the same. I can’t wait to try this.

  10. saw this dish on NDTV last month…was looking for a proper recipe and here it is. will try this. looks wonderful.

  11. Looks like your Christmas was very merry and bright! This curry dish caught my imagination. Lovely to look at and a different treatment for lentils. thanks.

  12. pics are so tempting, love the recipe….have bookmarked this to try….

  13. That dish looks so comforting, fragrant and warming! Something I’d love to try.

    Happy New Year!



  14. After all of the holiday eating, I could use some good, comforting, healthy food! This looks wonderful. And I love your Christmas tree photos!

  15. It’s true, we do need to be more grateful and appreciative of what we have. My friend and I were just talking about that yesterday – it is so easy to be envious, yet we live such good lives. The holidays are a great reminder to us of that.

    This is a lovely dish. Some of the ingredients are unfamiliar to me but I would love to try this! I can tell that like you said, it is quite healthy, and I from what I can see very flavorful and delicious!

  16. Very very tempting dish..Its healhty and love to try it..

  17. Wow! That looks sooo good….I’d love to try some right now! Thanks so much for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  18. LOoks so tempting…loved the recipe….Loved the christmas snaps too…..

  19. While the casino shots are beautiful…I could look at the photos of the curried lentil balls all day long…YUM! I love the sound…the spice…the history…bookmarking w/ hopes of trying this new-to-me dish soon :D Thanks for bringing it to the hearth and soul hop this week, Tanvi :D

  20. wow this is a tasty dish and thanks for sharing the decorations with us we recently waited 2 hrs to see christmas lights but it was also worth it :-)
    happy new year Tanvi


  21. I’d love to see Vegas one day. I am not into gambling, but I’d love to see all those theatrical hotels, … and maybe some shopping :D
    Great dish! I cook a lot of indian food, but I’ve never seen this one before. Looks wonderful.
    Happy New Years!
    *kisses* HH

  22. I can’t say I’ve ever had a moong dal goli curry before, but this looks seriously delicious. Thanks for sharing a family recipe, and I think I’m going to try this very soon!

  23. I like the fact that are not fried and the sauce they swim in looks irresistible

  24. Amazing clicks and this edible balls looks perfect and delicious….

  25. This dish looks so tasty. I love curry; I think it’s become my favorite spice as of late; I’m finding myself adding it to everything! You got some beautiful Christmas snaps as well. I can only imagine how beautiful the casinos were. They are known for going above and beyond!

  26. Sounds promising..will try this out.

  27. Did you spend Christmas in Vegas? Or just leading up to Christmas? Either way, I LOVE the lights in Vegas – looks incredible! Love the photos, thank you for sharing :)

  28. We make with toor and chana dhal and steam it- but moong dhal sounds excellent and the method is cool.
    That is why Bellagio is top rated :) Love the santa Claus @ patisserie pict!

  29. I am DEFINITELY looking for healthy recipes at the moment after all of that Christmas splurge and this sounds delicious!

    I try not to think too much about all the people who have nothing when I have so much. I do what I can, when I can but I can’t feel guilty all the time. That’s not fair either!

  30. My favorite pics were of your beautiful lentil balls. Now I know exactly what to do with the golden dahl I recently bought.

  31. What a great recipe, in the Tamilian Kitchen there is a very similar dish, the balls are made from Toor Dal and cooked in Sambar!

  32. Oh my, I would love to have some of that right now! It reminds me of the tamil urandai kulambhu, but in that one the toor dal balls are steamed and the gravy is made with tamarind, so quite different. I must try this!

    Sounds interesting living in Vegas. I’ve never been, but your pics are lovely. :)

  33. oh lovely recipe and those balls looks so perfectly done and same in shape and size…pictures of Christmas looks scintillating :)

  34. Really do need to try these and the truffles out. Wish you an AWESOME New Year Tanvi! :) I have been off the blog world for a while. Finally updating myself with all my fave blogs…

  35. I’m glad I found your blog! :-) I’ve missed my mom’s food a lot since getting married but not been able to replicate it (since her recipes seem to all include “thoda Yeh, thoda woh, bas!”) – your blog is a lifesaver! Can’t wait to try this.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tanvi Srivastava and Tanvi Srivastava, Tanvi Srivastava. Tanvi Srivastava said: Moong Dal Ki Goli-Curried Lentil Balls: […]

  2. […] Moong Dal Ki Goli-Curried Lentil Balls | Sinfully Spicy December 28th, 2010 on 1:16 am […]

  3. […] gobbled down at least a few dozens of warm homemade gulab jamuns. Sometimes, dum aloo and moong dal ki goli were added to the menu but relishing that aromatic, earthy chickpeas curry is what my most fond […]

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