Lentils form such an important part in a vegetarian diet.There is such variety of food that can be cooked up from these great sources of plant protein and the tastes are so varied that you can never get bored.
I don't remember exactly when I started making moong dal dosa, but I can tell you that it is a favorite recipe of mine. Moong dal makes one of the softest dosas I know of in my kitchen at least. Though a lot of people make it with just the dal, I add in rice as well to form some balance between protein and carbohydrate.
The moong bean is pretty native to India. The split lentils are quick cooking, and I often like to use this dal instead of the usual toor dal. It has better taste too.
This is how I make the dosa:
I wash and soak overnight about two cups of moong dal, one cup of parboiled rice and about a spoon of fenugreek (methi) seeds. The next morning I grind this into a smooth batter and pour into a pot where I allow it to ferment.
Most people use it directly, adding cooking soda in order to soften it and give it an airy texture. I prefer to ferment it as it is a natural bacterial action and who wants extra sodium in their diet anyway! Fermenting it actually gives the dosa a wonderful softness.
The batter ferments rather quickly, within four to six hours, so we have the dosas for dinner too that same day as well as the next morning. Dosas can be prepared from the plain batter. For more taste, I usually chop up generous amounts of ginger, a couple of green chillies, coriander leaves and curry leaves which I mix up in the batter. I feel that the taste of ginger goes very well with moong dal dosa.
I heat up my flat iron griddle and grease it lightly. I pour a ladleful of batter onto the center of the griddle and make concentric circles from inward to out without lifting the spoon, of about six inches in diameter (depending on the pan size, of course). I cover this with a lid for about a minute or so, allowing the dosa to cook on low flame. I then remove the lid and peel off the dosa once it attains a golden hue around the edges and at the bottom.
I serve the dosas hot with a side of green or red chilli chutneys.
Leftover batter is often used up to make appas the next day or after.