Hesar Kaal (Full Moong Lentil)

Hesar kaal is one of the specialties of north Karnataka cooking. I still remember the days when my granny’s sister – chigawamma – used to visit us from the village. She always gets us katak rotti, hesar kaal, yengai, jhumkad vadi, peanut chutney and khaara (red chilli chutney)! Ooooh – how I long for that kind of food! The best part was that it was cooked on a “vali” which is a mud cooking stove where they use firewood and coal to cook. The aroma that the food gets because of that cannot be explained!


1 cup full moong lentils (hesar kaal), one tablespoon oil, fresh curry leaves, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, one small onion, garlic – 2-3 big cloves, cumin powder,  turmeric powder, 2-3 small green chillies crushed, salt, lemon juice, jaggery and fresh chopped cilantro for garnishing.


  • Add 1 cup of water to the 1 cup of hesar kaal (moong lentil).
  • Cook it in a cooker – three whisles, turn off the gas and let it cool for 15 minutes. Keep aside the cooked lentils. This is a dry vegetable – so make sure you don’t put too much water. 1:1 ratio of uncooked lentils to water is recommended so the lentils do not overcook.
  • In a pan add one tablespoon oil.
  • When the oil heats up, add the curry leaves and mustard seeds.
  • When the seeds crackle, add cumin seeds.
  • Add chopped/crushed garlic and crushed green chillies.
  • Add finely chopped onion.
  • Saute for a few minutes until the onion turns transparent.
  • Add turmeric powder and cumin powder.
  • Add the cooked lentils, masala khara or red chilli powder, fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of jaggery or sugar and salt to taste.
  • Cover the pan and cook on low fire for about 5 minutes.
  • Add gural powder and lightly mix the lentils.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.


  • Gural powder is typically added to lentils and to green vegetables (don’t ask me why!)
  • Gural powder should be added at the end so that it does not burn when cooking on low fire.

Typically Served With:

Hot chapatis, jolad rotti, katak rotti, sajji rotti.


7 Responses

  1. i love north karanataka dishes.specialy jolad rotti and yengai badnekai i would like to know more receipes from u. thanxs for the tasty receipes.

  2. love north karnataka oota, would love to know where to find masale khara in bangalore

  3. I love north karnataka dishes. Especially the palya’s and sweet dishes and ofcourse roti wow great

  4. Love the palya.
    Please let us know what is ‘gural powder’?
    can we buy it or prepare it at home?


    Thanks for your comment. Gural Powder is made by roasting gural seeds and then making it a powder in the mixer. We can buy it in India but I have never found it in the US (NJ, SC, NC or Florida).

  5. Hi,

    Chend adavu nimma adigegalu…

    Niv togari bele palle nu hakri…


  6. […] Hesar Kaal (Full Moong Lentil) « North Karnataka Recipes – Ootak …Hesar Kaal (Full Moong Lentil). Posted on February 14, 2008 by Harsha Bennur. Hesar kaal is one of the specialties of north Karnataka cooking. I still remember … […]

  7. very good recipe and nutritious

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