Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Pappulusu - Moong Dal with Lemon

Pressure Cooker - the basic appliance in most of the Indian households whether they are in India or abroad. When someone is going abroad for the first time, every one asks them to take the pressure cooker without fail. That's the importance of this appliance in the Indian Kitchens.

Most of households have more than 1. I myself have 3. One is in the garden shed as it a huge one. I use the other 2 regularly. Pressure Cookers cut the cooking time by less than half (in most cases) - making them ideal if you want to save on your energy bills.


It takes time to get used to the pressure cooker times. Once you are used to it, you will wonder how you ever got on without it. Since I never cooked before moving here, I didn't know how to use it. When my mother came here during my delivery, I saw her and learnt about the whistles and everything.

I remember when me and my mom used to cook (OK I admit it was only my mom who cooked and I would just stand there and see) after my delivery, my dad would keep V on the dining table (also in the kitchen) and play with him. Every time the whistle went off, V would give a jerk and howl. He was scared then and still is after 3 and a half years. He does an about turn from the kitchen when he sees it on the hob. His nightmare??? Seeing both the Pressure Cookers on the hob side-by-side. So no "help" from him on this dish. It actually finishes fast for me. :D

I am not sure how many of you make this - but this is a regular (and cherished) dish in our house. The preparation is similar to Sambar but without the veggies and sambar powder. You also add lemon juice instead of tamarind pulp to give the tanginess. You can have it with rice or roti (my father swears by it). You should be able to have this as a soup - I haven't tried it, so I can't be sure of this. I like it best with Rice.

This was another dish I never enjoyed so much as sambar when I was growing up. I used to eat it but like it the most with Potato Fry. I enjoy both equally now. The other thing about this dish is that you don't have to soak the tamarind in advance. Just cut a lemon and squeeze the juice. I hate the soaking tamarind bit. I can never remember to do it.


Serves: 6 - 8

1 cup Moong Dal - washed
1 Onion - sliced
5 Green Chillies - Slit vertically
1 Tomato - chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Dry Red Chilli - torn in 2 pieces
1/2 tsp Methi Seeds (Fenugreek Seeds)
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
10 - 15 Curry Leaves
4 - 5 cups Water
2 tbsp Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves for garnish

  1. In a Pressure Cooker, take the Moong Dal, 3/4thof the Onion, Green Chillies, Tomato,Turmeric Powder and 2 cups of water and cook till the Dal is cooked - I generally cook it for about 2 whisltes depending on the dal.
  2. In the meantime, make the popu or tarka.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. When hot, add the Dry Red Chilli, Methi, Mustard and Cumin Seeds.
  5. When they start spluttering, add the leftover Onion and Curry Leaves and fry till the Onions turn golden. Take the pan off the heat.
  6. When the pressure goes down, mash the dal to a smooth, creamy consistency.
  7. Now add the salt, 2 cups of water (this depends on the consitency you are looking for), the popu / tarka and mix well and bring to a boil.
  8. Add the Chopped Coriander Leaves, mix well and turn off the heat.
  9. Add the fresh lemon juice, mix well and cover and let it rest for atleast 10 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
  10. Serve hot with Rice and a side dish. I love my Alu Fry with this.

Note1: If the Dal is not mashing up easily after cooking, it means the dal is not cooked properly or you have used too much water. If you are sure the dal is cooked, you can blend it using a hand blender. Or put it back on the stove for a couple of more whistles.
Note2: There is absolutely NO SUBSTITUTE for Fresh Lemon in this recipe. I admit I used to do it with the concentrate one but it s just not the same. Trust me on this.

This goes to the following events
Krithi's and Denny's Serve It - Pressure Cooked / Slow Cooked
Priya's Healthy Diet Event hosted by Vardhini

Pappulusu Pappulusu


  1. Super delicious comfort food !! Lo ve to have with chapatis !!

  2. Wow... love the tangy lemony addition..
    Thanks for sending over to the event..
    Serve It - Pressure Cooked/Slow Cooked

  3. we too make this...simple n comforting one..coming to the tamarind soaking mom gives me an easy version of tamarind(it needs one day of labor) which does not soaking and just need 2 extract pulp whenever we need..or alternatively u can microwave the tamrind in water forr 40-50 secs n let it is easy way2 extract pulp rather than soaking it for several time

  4. Yum yum,super comforting dal..would love to have with a bowl of rice and spicy potato roast..

  5. yum yum, wat a super tempting dal recipe..
    nice blog with yum recipes.catch me in my space ven u free dear.

  6. wow...looks yummy and its my fav. too.


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