Mungodi or mung wadi are tiny little lentil drops made out of yellow moong dal, dal is washed and soaked overnight, grind to a smooth paste and then sun dried until all the moisture is evaporated. This may sound like an elaborate and time taking process but it is a routine affair at many households in North India. At my home, more than routine it is ritual to make mungodis every year, my mother will wait for the perfect winter sun to dry up the wadis, then everybody in the family was instructed to keep an eye on the wadis and adjust the trays as per the sun rays direction. In this metro life, where we live in these cramped spaces so called apartments, it is not possible to get that perfect winter sun rays and especially in Bangalore where the weather has it’s own mood swings.
Now I rely on my aunt (bua ji) living in Nainital for my yearly supply of mung wadis and dal wadis. Since we (me and my brother) got settled in different metros, maa makes very limited edition of mung wadis but my aunt. She makes wadis in big batches to share with everyone in the family and the taste of her homemade mangodis is just perfect. Maybe because the air in Nainital is till so pure, the winter sun has the right degree of hotness, also she still uses stone mortar and pestle to grind moong dal and with her experienced fingers shape equal tiny sized wadis.
During my recent trip to Nainital, I realized life is yet so much simple there and untouched by the plasticity of metros, though it has become much more crowded now but still it has that air of purity and simplicity, which makes you feel so close to nature. After coming back from vacations, one day when I cooked mung wadis gifted by my aunt, with each bite I felt so nostalgic and called her up immediately. In this busy metro life whenever I miss my aunt and the freshness of Nainital, I cook up these tiny mung wadis and look forward to the next trip to Nainital.
Masala Mung Wadi/Mungodi Curry Recipe
Masala Mung Wadi Recipe is a delicious and simple curry of dry lentil drops.
In a skillet, add ghee and roast the mung wadis , while constantly moving them around, for about 3-5 minutes on low heat. They should have golden to light brown spots on them. Remove them from heat, transfer them to a bowl or plate and set aside to cool.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan (Buy it here, heat cooking oil, add cumin seeds, hing once it starts releasing aroma add turmeric and red chilly powder. Stir and add chopped onion.
Sweat the onion on low heat until translucent. Now add ginger garlic paste and chopped green chillies.
Saute nicely until the masala turns slightly golden brown in color.
Add chopped potatoes, coriander powder, salt and garam masala. Saute for 5 minutes or until roasted aroma of spices starts releasing.
Once masala is ready add 1 cup of water along with tomato and roasted mung wadi. The quantity of water also depends upon the size and variety if wadi, so adjust accordingly.
Simmer at low to medium heat, partially covered until the wadis and potatoes are almost done. Switch off the heat and remove the pan from the heat. It should take about 10-15 minutes depending on the kind of wadis.
Take out the curry in a bowl and garnish with the coriander leaves. Serve hot Masala Mangodi Curry with chapati or rice.