I am in ‘plan-B’ mode these days. I think I must make a decorated, layer cake for my dad’s birthday, then switch last minute to a brownie with frosting and finally make just the brownie. I buy loads of green chillies to make Mor Milagai but I can’t find Mor (buttermilk) anywhere. But I didn’t look for it. To think that just a couple of weeks back our fridge harboured not just tons of Mor and yogurt but other assorted wild cultures of I don’t know what (and I threw them out, peasant me. Sour-dough illiterate!). I make pizza dough, pizza sauce and even ready the toppings but don’t make pizza because I can’t find Mozzarella. My to-make vathal and oorkai (pickle) list are growing, summer is full blast on in Madras and I do nothing.
I am waiting for yogurt to sour when there is no yogurt at home, for bananas to blacken but they get eaten up.
I am there, yet not there. It’s there, but not there. I want to do, but don’t. I know many people who’d call this laziness. Maybe. I can’t wholly deny that, so I’ll accept it.
So one morning I wake up to an idli-batter less fridge which means tiffen other than idli/dosai. I’d planned pesarattu or French toast but made Fried Moong dal toast instead.
It is not my invention though. I remember a similar recipe in a Nita Mehta book that I am not able to locate now. I soaked moong dal in some hot water for 10 minutes (you can soak in regular water for 20-25 minutes) because I woke up late and I was in a hurry which is my normal state of things. I then ground the dal to a coarse paste, mixed in finely minced green chillies and fresh coriander leaves and slathered them on some bakery bread (these are smaller than your regular loaves and are usually softer) – both sides of each slice and then deep fried them till the edges are dark brown and crisp. I had a mild attack at the amount of oil the bread was taking up and I tried a skinny pan fried version with a couple of slices. I am sorry health freaks but deep fried toast was undoubtedly the winner – crispy edges and slightly chewy, crunchy dal coated inside. It was fantastic.
I made this for breakfast. You can make it for tea, as a snack for kids or as an appetizer for parties. Cut them into triangles or vertical strips if you wish. You could serve these alongside a spicy chutney dip too.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Bread slices – 8 (I used white bread)
Moong dal – ¾ cup soaked for 20 minutes
Salt to taste
Green chillies – 2 minced
Coriander leaves – a handful chopped fine
Oil for deep frying
1. Rinse and soak moong dal in water for 20 minutes. Drain the water and grind to a coarse paste. Remove to a bowl.
2. Add chopped green chillies, salt and chopped coriander leaves to the moong dal paste and mix well. Set aside.
3. Spread a thin layer of dal paste on both sides of the bread slices.
4. Heat a wok with oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot, drop a bread slice into the hot oil. Once the underside is nice and golden – about 1-2 minutes, flip over and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to absorbent paper. Deep fry the remaining bread slices in the same manner. Don’t crowd the wok. It is best to fry one at a time. You could cut up the bread slices into triangles or vertical strips and deep fry them too. Serve hot.