Monday, March 19, 2012

Whole Moong Dal :: Meatless Masala Monday

Hope you all had a fantastic St. Patrick's day celebration. If you are in need of something wholesome after a weekend of debauchery, I have a wonderful dal that is easy to make and leaves your body feeling good after a eating a bowl. 

I am convinced that most wonderful thing about being a vegetarian is eating Indian food. And I'm not talking about oily, restaurant indian food. I mean good, home cooked indian meals.

Take dal for example. Its really just lentils that sometimes are simmered with a few basics like onion and garlic but in other preparations nothing else is added.

You may recognize whole moong (also known as mung bean) as it is commonly used for sprouting.

This delicious wholesome dal is very easy and quick to make. It is rich in protein and low in fat. There is no need to soak the whole moong overnight before cooking, a pressure cooker is sufficient to bring out the creamy flavor of the whole moong.

Whole moong dal is best served with steaming hot basmati rice and yogurt.

Whole Moong Dal (Whole Green Lentil Dal)
1 cup whole moong
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2" ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asofetida
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 lemon juiced
garnish 1 tomato, chopped

Wash dal. Pressure cook dal with 2 cups water for 15 minutes until cooked. Once the pressure is released, open the pressure cooker and stir the dal. Add more water if necessary.

In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 tbsp oil until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and cook over moderate heat until the seeds start to pop. Add asofetida and onion, saute onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, cook about 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Do not overcook the garlic or let it brown.

Add turmeric, red cayenne pepper, ground cumin, and ground coriander to the oil, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add dal and some water, mixing well. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes until flavors meld together. Season dal with salt and lemon juice to taste.

Serve hot, garnish with chopped tomato.

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