whole mung beans

favourite rasam recipe – three ways

22nd August 2018

This is a recipe I fall back on as a twice or thrice weekly meal. It is the same recipe, same measurement of spices, using a variety of different dal and vegetables. The first two recipes include grinding the coconut-rasam mixture, while the third does not, making it a quicker dish to prepare. It’s a good example of how one recipe can be used in many variations to give a totally different dish.

In these three recipes, I alternate between using mung beans(whole moong dal)toor dal and split yellow moong dal. The rasam powder can be replaced with sambar powder in all dishes.

whole mung beans with tomatoes & chard

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients 

½ cup/100g mung beans(whole moong dal)

4 cups water/1-litre

1 medium tomato(100g), finely chopped

1 cup/50g tightly packed chard leaves (can use kale/fenugreek)

2 heaped Tbsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

sambar-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, pour in 4 cups water into the saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer.

2.  After 10 minutes, add the tomatoes – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes. 

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the dried coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute, until smooth, then add to dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, heat the ghee, add mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

5.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, add salt, jaggery and stir in the chopped chard leaves.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to settle, the chard to soften and dal to thicken slightly.  Taste adding more sweet, tamarind or salt.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and drizzle with a spoon of ghee.

split moong dal with charred okra & fenugreek

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This dish requires frying the vegetables, in this case, the okra, in the voggarane until nicely charred, then stirring it through the cooked dal when ready to serve. I like to keep 1 cup of the okra aside to use as garnish. This method of cooking works very nicely with green beans as well.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g split yellow moong dal

3 cups/750ml water

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

rasam-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (moderately spiced)

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

3 Tbsp peanut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped Tbsp channa dal

1 heaped tsp urad dal

400g okra

15 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

2 cups fresh fenugreek/kale/ coriander leaves – chopped

preparation

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, pour in 3 cups water and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

2. Top, tail the okra and cut into 1 cm pieces and measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the rasam powder, tamarind, dried coconut and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute, until smooth, add to the dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal, fry until both dals are golden-brown.

5.  Add the okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges – approximately 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and fold in the chopped fenugreek leaves.

6.  Set aside 1 cup of the cooked okra for garnishing and stir the remaining into the dal.  Taste adding more sweet, sour or salt.

This dish is best served immediately as the okra can become gooey, otherwise, keep the okra and dal separate until ready to serve. Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

toor dal with carrots and green beans

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This is the same procedure, using a different dal and vegetables, however, the rasam and coconut are added directly into the dish, no grinding required.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g toor dal 

cups /1-litre water

1 medium/100g carrot – finely chopped

1½ cups finely chopped beans (can use cabbage in Winter)

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

1 ½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation 

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash dal until the water runs clear, drain, then pour in 4 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. 

2.  After 10 minutes, add the carrot and green beans, simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

3.  Stir in the coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, salt and jaggery, mix to combine well – simmer for 4 -5 minutes.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric, swishing the pan for the spices to fry evenly.

5.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, and stir in the coriander.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the flavours to settle and dal to thicken slightly.  Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

warm salad of roasted carrot, cauliflower, dal & mustard

10th January 2017

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So good to have my site back.  It had disappeared for 10 days – having it back was like having the comfort of an old friend.

We just came back from a holiday with my husband’s family travelling through parts of Kerala in the South of India.  We started in Cochin, staying in a lovely place called The Eight Bastion in Fort Kochi, where the food was exceptional and prepared by a wonderful chef who catered for all our odd dietary needs, taking such pride, care and enthusiasm in everything he prepared.  We saw the Chinese fishing nets and visited a few local churches and a Synagogue – in the heart of Fort Kochi. We then travelled high up into the hill stations of Munnar staying at a lovely resort called ‘The Spice Tree”, where we were literally up in the clouds.

We went on hikes through the plantations and saw all sorts of spices grown – peppercorns, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and even had a go at cutting and harvesting rice. The evening sunset walks were particularly special, enjoying the breath-taking views down into the valley.  The last part of our trip was exploring the backwaters. We spent a day on one of the typical house-boats made of teak and bamboo – observing how the local people lived on the water, using the river to bathe, to wash their clothes and dishes, as a source of food and transport and everything in between.  We watched palm tree after palm tree pass us by, paddy fields and colourful houses and a romantic way of life that seems unchanged for centuries.  This is the beauty of Kerala.

For the last 25 years, we have been travelling to India, and this was the first time as a tourist, rather than a budding yoga practitioner.  India as always, presented her magic and opened all our hearts – it was a truly memorable and magical trip.

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~ Chinese fishing nets in a bright sky at Fort Cochin

~ Tea Plantations taken from the bus window at the end of a winding, five-hour journey, Munnar

~ Domestic chores along the river, Kumarakom

~ Water, vegetation and sky all become one, Backwaters

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a warm salad of roasted carrot cauliflower, dal & mustard

Recipe slightly adapted from Grown and Gathered.

Don’t be shy with the kale greens, just make it green and lots of it.  I love how the carrot adds a splash of colour; roasted beets would also work.  I serve it with a whole avocado, sliced and spread into a fan, and slices of grilled halloumi. It is also great with a bowl of hummus.  A welcomed dish to take along to a lunch or dinner.

Serves 4, as a side dish or 2 as a main.

ingredients 

400g carrots or Baby (Dutch) tops trimmed to 2cm

½ head/400g cauliflower

½ cup/100g whole moong dal (mung beans)

3 cups water

120g kale, mustard greens, chard, spinach, coarsely chopped

mustard dressing 

1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp brown sugar/jaggery/honey

zest from two lemons

vinaigrette 

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 Tbsp lemon juice (1 large lemon)

½ tsp fine rock salt

⅛ tsp ground black pepper

1 Tbsp honey/sugar (optional)

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 190 C/ 375F.

2.  Cut the cauliflower into rough 4 cm florets, and peel the carrots and cut into matchsticks, about 5 cm in length and place in a large bowl – set aside.

3. In a mortar and pestle, grind the mustard seeds until about half are ground and half are cracked; add the remaining dressing ingredients and continue to grind gently until combined.

4.  Pour the dressing over the cauliflower and carrot and toss, using your hands until thoroughly combined.

5. Spread the vegetables out on a baking tray in a single layer and roast for 45min – 1 hour, or until the vegetables are just beginning to blacken around the edges.

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6.  Wash the dal and place in a saucepan with the water, bring to a rapid simmer and leave, uncovered until they are tender – about 20 – 30 minutes. Just keep in mind you may have to add more water when cooking – depending on the quality of your dal. You really need to keep an eye on them and judge so that you are not left with mush. You want the dal firm, but cooked. When ready, pour into a strainer to drain off any excess water – leave for a few minutes.

7.  Prepare the vinaigrette – place the oil, lemon juice, zest, honey, salt and pepper in a jar. Seal with a lid and shake well.  Set aside.

8.  Remove the stem from the kale, mustard and chard, and roughly chop, then lightly saute in a skillet, turn off the heat and cover for a few minutes until just wilted.

9.  Place in a large salad bowl, pour over the vinaigrette, add the cooked dal and toss gently.  The heat from the dal will help soften the leaves even more – set aside for the flavours to come together while the vegetables are still roasting.

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10.  When the vegetables are ready, add them to the marinated greens and dal and gently combine. Garnish the top with a large avocado, sliced and spread out into a fan, then add a few good rounds of freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

sprouted moong coconut lemon palya

8th March 2016

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I made this last weekend for a relaxed lunch with family and friends.  It was served with fermented Indian dosasspicy chickpea sambar, carrot palya and a bowl of sliced avocados with arugula leaves and mustard micro-greens.  After a last minute panic, thinking this may not be enough, I had moong dal sprouts waiting to be used.  Initially, I had soaked them for fermented moong bean pancakes but had not got around to grinding them, so they ended up as sprouts waiting for a purpose.

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-sweet winter plum tree. In Summer, it is laden with fruit that is brilliant in colour.

-went outside to find her – soft and silent when she is out of the water.

-slate skies, frosty mornings and fingers tingling.

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sprouted moong dal coconut lemon palya

Serves 4

Any left-overs from the fresh coconut can be kept in the freezer, otherwise, it tends to go off before it can be used.  If you are unable to obtain fresh coconut, replace with ¾ cup unsweetened, dried, shredded coconut.  The urad and chana dal add a nice crunch, however, if you are unfamiliar with these, they can be omitted and replaced with roughly chopped cashews or almonds, frying them until golden.  The secret to getting this simple palya just right is to saute the sprouts very minimally so that they are just slightly soft, but still, retain their freshness and are not overcooked.

During colder seasons, sprouts act as an excellent source of fresh vegetables.  Cooking them at this time of year balances their cooling nature. When lightly steaming or sautéing, they still keep their vital and energizing qualities. 

ingredients 

2½ cups sprouted whole moong dal (whole mung beans)

1½ cups freshly grated coconut

1 Tbsp oil/ghee

1 heaped tsp urad dal

1 heaped tsp channa dal

½ tsp cumin seeds

10 curry leaves

zest from a lemon

juice from a lemon

1 cup chopped coriander

salt and pepper, to taste

pre-preparation

1.  For sprouting, follow the directions here, using 1 cup whole moong dal. After an overnight soak, the sprouts are ready in just two-three days.

preparation

2. Grate the fresh coconut into fine shreds until you have 1½ cups.  Set aside.

3.  In a skillet over medium heat, add the ghee/oil and urad and channa dal, fry until both dals are golden-brown, then add cumin seeds and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds. Add in the sprouts and saute for a few minutes, stirring to keep the sprouts moving.

4.  Add the grated coconut and saute for 2 more minutes, or until the sprouts are slightly wilted, but still hold their shape.

5.  Transfer to a medium-sized serving bowl and mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, coriander and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

6.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon or salt as needed.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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