Moong dal or green gram is the second most important food that should be consumed daily according to Charak samhita.
There are normally 5 most popular pulses used in cooking – Moong dal(green gram), masur dal(red lentils), tur dal (pigeon pea), channa dal(chickpea) and urad dal(black gram).
Ayurvedic features of Moong dal – kashaya(astringent) and madhura(sweet) rasa, dry and produces drying effect in the body, cool in temperament, Katu vipaka (primarily produces fats after digestions), light to digest, Vishada (eliminates mucus), decreases excess Kapha and Pitta dosha.
All pulses cause bloating. But moong dal causes the least bloating as compared to other pulses. It is “grahi” according to Bhav Prakesh. The word “grahi” means a substance that kindles the digestive fire and accelerate the digestion. Moong dal also helps in the overall formation of faecal matter. Therefore, Moong dal is also a good choice for people suffering from constipation as well as diarrhea.
Because of cool and sweet nature, Moong dal is said to be netrya (beneficial for the eyes). It also helps to relieve fever. That’s the reason why moong dal khichdi is highly recommended for people suffering from fever.
Moong dal has a lot of varieties. They can be classified according to their colour. For example Black kama yellow white, red. Previous varieties black lighter to digest as compared to the latter.
According to Charak samhita and other Ayurvedic texts, moong dal is
considered to be the best of pulses in Ayurveda.
Moong dal is the easiest to digest among all the other pulses. It does not tax the digestive system, therefore it is the preferred dal for making khichadi. Khichadi is a combination of rice and moong dal cooked together. It is an ideal meal for the sick and recuperating people. Normally digestion of the sick is weakened and they are not able to extract nourishment from rich and heavy food.
Moong dal is kashaya and madhura in rasa. It has a cooling effect on the digestive system. Therefore, it never causes or aggravates acidity, peptic ulcers, skin disorders, blood disorders, fever or any other kind of pitta related disorders.
Moong dal does not aggravate or causes any kind of kapha disorders like cough, cold, congestion etc. because of its dry and vishada (clear, anti-mucus) nature.
According to Ayurveda there are many varieties of moong dal. Some of them are black, yellow, white, red, green et cetera in colours. Green moong dal is considered to be the best according to Acharya charak and Acharya Sushrut. For this reason moong dal is also called green gram English.
Green moong is so easy to digest that only sprouts of green more consumed, and not of sprouted Chana, sprouted tur dal, escorted masoor dal.
Ayurvedic tips for cooking Moong dal
All the dals, including moong dal, should be cooked in excess water in a open pot. It is advisable not to use pressure cooker for cooking dals.
When the dal starts getting cooked, some froth forms at the top of the vessel. You should remove this froth once or twice in the beginning. This froth helps to eliminate the drying effect of dals. Once the froth is removed, sprinkle little turmeric powder and let the dal cook on slow flame.
Drying effect of moong dal can be moderated by tempering it with ghee and digestive herbs like asafoetida, curry leaves, cumin, turmeric etc.
It is always advisable to eat dal with ghee or oil tempering. Adding a tsp of ghee to dal enhances the taste as well as prevents the drying effect. Ghee is also considered a “yogavahi’ or the vehicle of nutrition. Ghee also is said to kindle the digestive fire. Anything consumed with ghee gets digested and assimilated properly.
Right Combination with Moong dal
Like rice, moong dal can be consumed along with most of the edibles like meat (dal mutton), dairy (moong dal halwa), vegetables, grains etc.
Moong Dal Sprouts
Sprouts of any grain are considered to be heavy to digest according to Ayurveda. Cooking of the grain makes its nutrition more bio-available.
Greens green grain. Moong sprout definitely has much more nutrition as compared to the cooked Dal, but sprouted moong dal is not for everyone. Only people with excellent digestion and a very active lifestyle should consume moong dal sprouts.Also, moong dal sprouts should be consumed during the daytime in order to enable better digestion and absorption.
Different Prakriti or body types in Ayurveda react differently to moong dal sprouts. Most susceptible to undesirable consequences is vata Prakriti. A vata dominant Prakriti has the highest tendency to get vata vitiation if frequently exposed to heavy and dry food. Therefore people with vata Prakriti ideally should consume mong dal sprouts tempered with digestive like ginger, garlic, black salt, green chili, etc. They should also avoid using onion with sprouts as onion is cool in temperament and very heavy to digest.
The same story is true for kapha Prakriti people as well. Kapha Prakriti people are prone to sluggish digestion and body metabolism. Frequent consumption of sprouted moong dal can cause indigestion, nausea, heaviness in the body, breathing problem body, numbness in the et cetera.
In case of severe indigestion of sprouted moong dal, aggravate diseases like cold, cough, asthma, diabetes, and other kapha related disorders in kapha dominant people.
Moong dal sprouts are best digested and absorbed by Pitta Prakriti people in good state of health. However, if Pitta Prakriti people are also suffering from indigestion, they should also refrain from the consumption of moong dal sprouts.
If mung daal is under-digested in Pitta Prakriti people because of some reason, it might aggravate all kinds of skin and blood-related disorders. It might also aggravate inflammation in the body.
The bottom line is, consume moong dal sprouts only if you are exercising regularly and have very good digestion and an active lifestyle. Healthy and active athletes, soldiers, and sportspeople can consume moong dal sprouts at any point in time in irrespective of their Prakriti.
If a person is able to digest moong dal sprouts properly, he might receive a great amount of nutrition from it. However, if a person is not able to digest sprouts properly for any reason, the undigested sprouts might create toxins in the body. These toxins or “ama” can aggravate and complicate numerous diseases as mentioned above.
Therefore invite only health with proper cooking and consumption of moong dal
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