Moong Dal Pakora (Hulled Split Mung Bean Fritters, Paasi Parupu Bajji)

Though I am completely on a WFPB diet, I do have cheat days. Thankfully, rarely – about once in six months. And only one dish. A few years ago, I was visiting the local market and was fascinated to see an interesting deep-fried snack being sold by a street vendor. I decided to cheat and bought a plate. It was absolutely delicious! On enquiry, I discovered that it was a mung bean snack – a popular street food of Mumbai. I immediately resolved to try it at home – with no oil, of course. The first attempt was disastrous, to say the least. So, I decided to let the thought lie fallow for a little while. And revived it yesterday – with suitable modifications to the recipe. The ensuing result was out of this world!

Ingredients
1 cup yellow mung lentils (moong dal, paasi parupu)
1 – 2 green chillies, roughly chopped
1/2″ piece of ginger, chopped
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1 tsp whole black pepper (sabut kali mirch, kurumilagu)
1 tsp coriander seeds (sabut dhania, kothamalli varai)
A fistful of flattened red rice (lal poha, sivappu aval)
2 tbsp potato flour
Salt to taste
Method
Soak the mung lentils in water for 3-4 hours or overnight
Drain the water and add to a blender
Add green chillies, asafoetida, flattened rice, potato flour and ginger
Add very little water and grind to a smooth paste
Crush the coriander seeds and pepper corns coarsely in a mortar-pestle
Add these to the batter
Add salt and mix well
Stir the batter vigorously for a few minutes
Make small balls of the batter and steam for about 10 minutes
Transfer to an air-fryer and ‘fry’ for 15-20 minutes at 200°C or till the fritters are golden brown
Let the fritters cool slightly
Serve with any green chutney (dip) of your choice
Enjoy!

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