Moongdal Upma/Pesarapittu

Moongdal upma is a traditional dish also known as heserbele upittu or pesarapittu. A protein rich dish that is tangy and spicy, so perfect the cold weather. This is a long forgotten dish including the name. Here is how I got to making this. It has been raining and super cold here, a friend mentioned she made this moongdal upma, that’s when it struck to me that I should make it too. Also I did not remember the traditional name for this dish, but remember eating this. I posted a pic of it and my sister-in-law asked me “Is it pesarapittu?”. I was not sure of the name so I told her how I made it, then she confirmed it is called “Pesarapittu” in Telugu :). It is so good for breakfast or as a snack with evening chai/coffee. As it is full of protein, helps curb the urge to snack :).


moongdal 1/2 cup
red chilli 3
peppercorn 6
jeera/cumin seeds 1 tsp
salt 3/4 tsp or as per taste
onion 1 big, chopped
green chili 1, slit
lemon juice 2 tsp
oil 6 tsp
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
urdhal 1 tsp


Wash and soak moong dal for 4-6 hrs.
Drain the water, grind the moongdal along with peppercorns, red chili, jeera and salt into to paste using 1/2 cup of water.
Grease a bowl and transfer the paste into it.
Steam this in a pressure cooker or using Instant pot like idli till completely cooked.
(Note: I have used instant pot to steam this.
Setting: Steam
Time: 15 mins
Vent: open
Pressure release: Naturally (NPR) )

Once slightly cooled, grind this cooked moongdal idli into a coarse mixture.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let splutter.
On medium flame, add green chili, urdhal, and onion into the pan.
Sauté till the onion is translucent.
Mix in the coarsely ground moongdal mixture.
Finally add the lil salt (optional: about 1/4 tsp) and lemon juice, mix till all combined.
Cook for another 2-3 mins and serve hot.

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