indian cooking

green mung dal with Indian spices (revisited)

16th March 2014


The following post was first published in June 2009 in the very beginning stages of our blog. We both love this dish, so thought we would update it and repost it.

Usually, I never know what I am going to cook until I venture into the garden and start picking, smelling, and just being present and then, the excitement and inspiration start to flow, followed by a sense of elation.

The idea of planting a seed, watching it grow, protecting it, then eating the result which was nurtured, fed and watered gives an extraordinary sense of completeness and purpose. A closer connection to a higher source.  A sense of joy.

This dish is a particular favourite.  Earthy and filling.  Usually, at this time of year, there is an abundance of spinach, kale or chard in the vegetable garden, which I steam lightly until emerald-green.  I try to keep the greens bursting with colour, flavour and nutrients by giving them very little cooking time.  Sometimes, if the zucchini’s need to be picked I use those instead of the beans, sweet peas in Spring or broccoli in the colder months.

This is also one of those dishes which will keep you warm and nourished in Winter and because of the unique nature of the beans – cooling in Summer.  Mung dal is easy to digest and in Ayurveda are considered medicinal, cleansing and one of the keys to a long, vibrant and healthy life.  Mung dal are also valued for their anti-inflammatory benefits and highly nutritious blood purifier.  By neutralizing toxins throughout the body, they are able to calm the mind and promote the healing of all diseases. They are high in protein, rich source of fibre and packed with vitamins and minerals.



Below, is a dry version I made recently by adding ½ brown round rice and ¾ cup mung beans/dal, adding less water until the water evaporates and the dal and rice are dry and cooked, adding the vegetable with the voggarane, lemon juice, fresh coconut and lemon zest.

mung dal with Indian spices

serves 3 – 4


½ cup/100g whole mung dal

4 cups water

½ tsp turmeric powder


1 tsp ghee

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped

8 fresh curry leaves

1 whole green chilli, split

½ cup coconut, freshly grated 

handful green beans, finely chopped

350g fresh spinach/chard/kale

1 tsp fine rock salt

juice of 1 lemon

½ cup coriander leaves, chopped


1.  Wash the dal and place in a saucepan with water, add turmeric, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer, partially covered until tender – about 30 minutes.  Just keep in mind you may need to add more water when cooking.   If using a pressure cooker, allow for three whistles and wait for the pressure to release.

2.  Wash the spinach or chard and steam until just wilted – set aside to cool then squeeze out excess moisture and chop finely – set aside.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a small pan, heat the ghee, add cumin seeds, ginger, curry leaves, and whole chilli; when the cumin seeds darken slightly, add the green beans and saute until just tender.

4.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, add spinach, salt, coconut and coriander. Turn off the heat and let the flavours steep for 5 minutes. Before serving, pour in the lemon juice, adjust more or less to taste.

Drizzle with ghee when serving.  Enjoy with a bowl of quinoa and oven-baked sweet potatoes or slices of pumpkin.


references –

Goodness shared from Stacey

soothing quinoa and dal kichadi

13th January 2014


This is a magical meal I make a lot especially when travelling.  It takes no time at all and is much lighter than the brown rice version.

We have just spent some time in Israel, and this was the first time I had been back since leaving.  I love the vegetables in Israel which have a unique freshness and tastiness which I have not encountered anywhere else.  The cucumbers and oranges are AMAZING!

For the first week I used this opportunity to do a simple cleanse, and each morning, I walked through the Jaffa port to a quaint health food store ‘Niroli’ in Neve Tzedek and had a freshly made green juice.  The rest of the day was salads and this soothing warming kichadi for dinner.  Served with a simple grated beetroot salad and home-made pickle, it is a complete easy meal which soothes the mind, body and spirit.


This was the only photo I took while in Israel in Jaffa, but I am so glad I did.  As now I am back to a European Winter, it is nice to be reminded of the light in Israel and how uniquely beautiful and amazing it is. P1070333 P1070332

soothing quinoa & dal kichadi

Serves 3 – 4

Inspired by Kristin,


¾ cup quinoa (preferably soaked for 20 minutes)

½ cup split moong dal

3 cups water

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ghee

1 medium carrot

1 stick celery

½ cup chopped cabbage

½ cup broccoli florets

½ tsp tamarind paste/lemon juice

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

1 tsp fine rock salt

few rounds of ground pepper

¼ cup dried shredded coconut

½ cup fresh coriander, kale or young broccoli leaves, finely chopped

for the voggarane

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

tsp asafoetida powder

1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger

¼½ tsp chilli flakes/1 fresh green chilli, cut with a slit into it

6 curry leaves, fresh

½ tsp rasam powder

to serve


lemon wedges

spicy pickle


1.  In a saucepan, rinse the quinoa and dal, until the water runs clear – set aside to soak for 15 minutes, drain, then pour in 3 cups water, a spoon of ghee and turmeric powder, bring to a boil, turn down to a slow simmer – simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.  You may have to add a little water if it looks like it is drying out.

2.  Cut the carrots, celery and cabbage into small uniformed pieces and add to rice and dal -simmer for 15 mins.  Depending on the desired consistency, add water.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a small saucepan, heat a little ghee, when hot, add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, ginger, chilli, rasam powder and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds, swish or stir pan for spices to fry evenly.

4.  Add the voggarane to the kichadi, along with the finely chopped broccoli – allow to simmer for a few minutes until the broccoli is just tender.

5.  Add tamarind, jaggery, coconut, salt and pepper to taste – combine well. Stir through the coriander, kale or broccoli leaves.

When serving, drizzle each bowl lavishly with ghee.  Serve with freshly grated beetroot and home-made pickle.


Goodness shared from Stacey

yellow dal tovve

17th November 2013


I wake early and after my practice and morning duties, I take my morning tea up to my room, open the doors wide and sit enjoying all the different bird calls that welcome in the morning. Usually, it is still dark and I am blessed to witness that mysterious time when the incredibly generous light coaxes itself into a new day… I am always surrounded by colour and song.  It is actually my favourite moment of the day.

This morning, raindrops tinkled, leaving everything so clean and vibrant.  It was magical.  This is how it looked.



soothing yellow dal tovve

Moong dal is one of my favourite dal as it is so soft, soothing and is known for its very easy digestion.  It is a green round mung bean which is skinned and split.  In India, this particular dish is usually made with ash gourd, which is categorised as a very sattvic vegetable.  As ash gourd is very difficult to come by here, I have replaced it with zucchini.  

You could use red lentils, but it doesn’t quite have the same soft, soothing, pure quality found in the moong dal.  


1 cup split moong dal (green gram)

6 cups water

1 zucchini, peeled and chopped into small pieces

1 carrot, peeled and chopped roughly

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 large tomato, finely chopped

first voggarane

2 tsp ghee

1 small green chilli

¼ cup dried shredded coconut

second voggarane

1 Tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

8 curry leaves


juice of half a lemon

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

1 tsp heaped fine rock salt


1.  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, wash the moong dal until the water runs clear, add 6 cups water and bring to boil, lower the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer for 10 minutes, then add the zucchini and carrot, turmeric powder and ghee – simmer until the dal softens and breaks downs, about 30 minutes. 

2. Add the tomato to the dal – simmer for 5 minutes.

prepare first voggarane 

3.  Heat the ghee in a small pan, add the chilli – allow to sizzle, then turn off the flame, remove the chilli and set aside the ghee.

4.  In a high-speed blender, add the coconut, chilli and enough water to make a smooth liquid – blend for a few seconds, then add to the pot, using a little extra water to swish the blender clean.

prepare second voggarane

5.  Using the small pan with the previous ghee, reheat and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida powder and curry leaves – allow to sizzle for a few seconds, then turn off the heat. 

6.  Add the spices to the dal, salt to taste, add freshly squeezed lemon and the coriander leaves – allow to sit for the flavours to open up.

Serve with steamed broccoli and whole barley. Perfect food for these cooler Autumn evenings.


Goodness shared by Stacey

summer moon kichadi

27th June 2012

I spent the late, late part of the day working in the garden under a big, white, round moon…..

summer moon kichadi

Guaranteed to soothe unsettled hearts.

Generously serves 3 


½ cup brown basmati rice

½ cup split moong dal/red lentils, although the moong dal is ideal as it has a very soft, soothing quality

3 cups water

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ghee


2 tsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger

¼ – ½ tsp chilli flakes/or a fresh green chilli, chopped (depending on your level of spice)

½ tsp rasam powder

6 curry leaves

2 small carrots

6 small zucchinis (just a little bit bigger than your index finger)

½ cup fresh/frozen green peas

1 tsp salt

½ tesp jaggery

¼ cup coriander leaves

squeeze fresh lemon

to serve

lots and lots of ghee


1.   In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, rinse the rice until the water runs clear, add water, ghee and turmeric powder, bring to a boil, then turn down to a slow simmer for 20 minutes.

2.  Rinse the dal until the water runs clear and add to the rice, continue to simmer.  You may have to add a little water if it looks like it is drying out.

3.  Cut the carrots and zucchinis into moons and set aside.

prepare the voggarane

4.  In a medium pan, add ghee and cumin seeds, asafoetida powder, ginger, chilli, rasam powder and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds.  

5.  Add carrots and zucchinis, cover and saute until just tender.  You may need to sprinkle a little water once or twice.  

6.  Add the green peas and saute for a few minutes, then turn off the heat, and set aside.

7.  When the rice and dal are soft, add the vegetable mixture, salt to taste, jaggery and combine well – simmer for a few minutes.  Depending on the desired consistency, you can add water.

8.  Add the coriander and a squeeze of lemon.

When serving, drizzle each bowl lavishly with ghee.

Goodness shared from Stacey

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie