Moong dal Jamun / Moong dal Pitha
Pitha- A kind of dish prepared usually with rice flour or wheat flour as the main ingredient and is sometimes filled with sweet or savoury fillings. There exist many varieties of pithas which are quite common in the eastern parts of India.
Usually, Moong dal pitha is made with cooking the cooked & mashed moong dal with the rice flour, making Jamun sized balls out of it, fry and soak them in the sugar syrup. Some patterns could be made on the pithas using toothpick or fork before frying to make it looks inviting.
Moong dal Jamun tastes almost similar to the regular gulab jamuns but stays unique with the hint of moong dal flavour. As my version of moong dal jamuns is soaked in the syrup of brown sugar, it is much healthier than the usual moong dal pithas and of course, the usual gulab jamuns.
Why my Jamuns break while frying and how to prevent them from breaking?Maintain the right temperature:
- You might have fried the jamuns in the low flame. Low flame tends to break the jamuns.
- Medium-high flame prevents the jamuns from breakage.
- Putting the jamuns in the smoking hot oil also helps.
- Adding very less amount of rice flour may result in Jamun breakage.
- Add more rice flour to the cooked moong dal that could help the jamuns from breaking into pieces.
- Additionally, I add wheat flour in the recipe which binds the dough very well and helps prevent messy jamuns. All-purpose flour could be used instead (but I don't prefer!).
Dry dough :
- Always do close the dough with a moist cloth while making jamuns or rush up making the balls quickly (as I do!).
- Keeping the dough open may dry the dough which again could break the jamuns.
Why my Jamuns have a hard centre?
- Hard centred jamuns are not a sign of perfection.
- Frying in the very hot oil or in a very high flame may yield hard centred jamuns.
- Again, the medium flame is the mantra for perfect jamuns.
Milk is really needed for this recipe?
- The answer is 'NO'.
- You can add water if you want to skip the milk. You will get the perfect jamuns even if you skip the milk.
- Milk adds taste and richness to the recipe and it is preferable to add water and milk in the 1:1 ratio which is the usual moong dal pitha ratio.
- I haven't added water in my version and the result was super-duper with the richness added along with the yummy taste.
What's unique in my Version of Moong dal Jamun?
- Using brown sugar for making syrup.
- Flavouring the syrup with a cinnamon stick to better lift the uniqueness in the flavour profile.
- Adding rice flour directly and kneading like gulab jamun dough.
- Adding little wheat flour to better bind my dough.
What can I do if my dough is still sticky after kneading?
- Try adding more rice flour and knead.
- You could try adding little more rice flour or wheat flour keeping the dough over the burner and mix it over the flame until they gather together as a nice soft dough.
- Caution: Adding more wheat flour to the dough could make the jamuns harder.
⌚ Cooking Time: 30 minutes
🍽 Yields: 30 to 35 jamuns.
What to Use?
- Moong dal – 1 cup
- Milk – 2 cups
- Wheat flour – 1 tbsp
- Rice flour – 2 tbsp
- Ghee - 2 tsp
- Brown sugar – 2 cups
- Water – 3 cups
- Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon stick - 1-inch piece
Jamun sized balls made with cooked moong dal, rice flour and wheat flour are deep-fried and soaked in the brown sugar syrup.
Moong dal Jamun / Moong dal Pitha
Step-by-Step Procedure with Pictures
How to Make?
- Take a cup of moong dal in a pressure cooker.
- Wash the moong dal twice or thrice with enough water.
- Dry roast the washed moong dal until you can be able to smell the nice aroma of the dal. Don't over-roast as it may change the taste of the end-product.
- Add 2 cups of milk or 1:1 ratio of milk and water or 2 cups of water to the roasted moong dal. I've used 2 cups of cow's milk for my recipe.
- Pressure cook the moong dal for 4 to 5 whistles or cook the moong dal until mushy.
- Once the pressure releases out completely, mash the cooked dal when it is hot. It would be difficult to mash if it cools down.
- To the mashed dal, add wheat flour which helps bind the dough.
- Add rice flour to the mashed moong dal.
- Add in a dash of ghee for the nice flavour.
- Knead gently until it gathered as a soft, non-sticky dough.
- There is not any need to rest the dough for a while before frying.
- Make small Jamun sized balls and make patterns on it using toothpick or fork.
- In a wok, add enough oil for frying. I have used cold-pressed groundnut oil for frying.
- Fry in the medium-hot flame until the outer side turns golden brown in colour.
- In another big utensil (big enough to soak all the jamuns!), take brown sugar (unrefined and organic!).
- Pour water to the brown sugar and make the syrup (turn off the flame when it is sticky to touch).
- Add cardamom powder to the syrup for flavouring.
- Flavour with a cinnamon stick which adds a unique aroma and taste to the syrup.
- Add the fried moong dal jamuns to the syrup. Let the jamuns soak in the syrup for at least half an hour.
- Serve the moong dal jamuns after they soaked well in the syrup.
- Maintain the medium-hot temperature while frying which is much mandatory to prevent the balls from breakage and to avoid hard centred jamuns.
- If the cooked dal is watery or if the dough doesn't turn non-sticky after kneading, try adding more rice flour.
- Always try frying the little ball in the oil for testing. If it breaks, add more rice flour or wheat flour and knead it with a ladle again over the burner.
- Strictly stick to the quantities of ingredients mentioned to avoid messy jamuns.
- Soak the jamuns in the hot syrup which eases the process of soaking.