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  • Moong Dal Poora

    YIELD: 12–15 (5- TO 6-INCH / 13- TO 15-CM) POORAS
    TOOLS: A powerful blender, such as a Vitamix; a medium and a small mixing bowl; a tava, cast-iron frying pan, or flat griddle; a ladle; a spatula; and a warm plate.
    NOTE: To best balance and moderate the heat, pull the pan off the burner as you pour and shape the batter. As you move through the batter and the pan becomes hotter, the cooking time on each side may decrease slightly.
    TRY THIS! I love using these pooras as gluten-free wraps stuffed with Indian stir-fries. You can also eat them for breakfast with an egg or tofu scramble.

    As my husband and I have moved closer and closer to a gluten-free diet over the last year, these pooras have become my savior. Not only are they mega nutritious, they are tasty and completely addictive. I love making the batter and storing it in the fridge so we can make a fresh batch whenever we get hungry. The bonus? The kids love them too.

    • ½ cup /110 g sabut moong dal (whole green dal with skin), soaked overnight in warm water and drained (should yield 1½ cups / 350 mL)*
    • 2 tablespoons besan (gram or chickpea flour)
    • ¼ large yellow or red onion, roughly chopped
    • 1 (1-inch / 3-cm) piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 1–2 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed
    • 3 long, fresh cilantro stalks with leaves
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • 1 cup /240 mL water
    • Vegetable oil, for frying
    • End of a raw onion, for prepping pan
    • Achaar (spicy pickle), for serving (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon butter or almond butter and jelly, for serving (optional)
    1. Add the ingredients, except the oil, the onion end, and the optional serving items, to the blender in the order listed. Blend on high until completely smooth (should yield 3 cups / 710 mL of batter). Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
    2. Place ¼ cup / 60 mL of the oil in a small mixing bowl and place the bowl beside the cooktop.
    3. Warm a tava, cast-iron frying pan, or flat griddle over medium–high heat. Rub the cooking surface with the flat end of a raw onion. The raw onion helps prevent the poora from sticking to the pan. Stick a fork into the onion end, with the flat side facing the pan, and rub down the pan each time before you place batter on the pan. Using some of the oil in the bowl, lightly grease the pan.
    4. Reduce the heat to medium–low. Using a ladle, pour ¼ cup / 40 mL of the batter into the center of the pan. Feel free to use a bigger ladle and dole out more, but less is better with these, because thinner pooras cook through better. Using the back of the ladle, spread the batter in a circular, clockwise motion from the center toward the outside of the pan, creating a thin, round, 5-inch / 13-cm pancake.
    5. Drizzle a small spoonful of oil from the bowl along the edges of the poora. Cook for 1 minute and 50 seconds, until the poora is browned on 1 side and turns over easily. Cook for 1 minute and 50 seconds on the other side, pressing down a bit with a spatula to ensure that the middle cooks through. Turn the poora over and cook for 5 to 10 seconds. This second flip, I find, is important because the lentils are soft and need a few more seconds to cook through completely. Remember, the thinner the poora, the better. Remove the poora from the pan and set aside on a warm plate.
    6. Adding oil as needed to prevent sticking, continue cooking until you have used all of the batter and stacked all the pooras on the plate. Remove from the heat.
    7. Serve hot with a side of achaar (spicy pickle) or 1 tablespoon of butter or almond butter and jelly.

    *Before using the drained moong dal, be sure to sift through them and remove and discard any lentils that are still hard. If you are using a powerful blender, it should break down even the hardest lentils.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.