Mung Bean Dal

Source: ‘Food, Ayurveda and Wholeness,’ by Leanne Backer, Executive Chef, The Chopra Center for Well Being

  • 2 cups of mung beans (about 1 pound) - aka 'moong' dal

  • Vegetable broth (or cubes) to cover the mung beans

  • 2 TBL ghee or a good cooking oil

  • ½ tsp mustard seeds

  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 30 cardamom seeds - crushed (not the green pods, but the black seeds within the pod)

  • 1 cup chopped leeks or onions

  • 2 inches of a fat ginger root, peeled, then diced small

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp corriander

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon dry, powdered ginger

  • ½ teaspoon cardamom, ground

  • 2 TBL tomato paste

  • Red chilie flakes to taste

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Soak the mung beans overnight, then boil them until tender (scrape off any foam). When done, drain off the water and rinse the beans, set aside.

  2. In a separate fry pan, heat the oil (or ghee) until fairly hot (not smoking). Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and crushed cardamom seeds to the fry pan (and chilie flakes if using). Cover the pan, saute until most of the seeds 'pop'.

  3. Then add the onions and ginger to the fry pan, saute another 5 minutes.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add all of the other ingrediants to the fry pan. Saute a few more minutes.

  5. The fry pan should now contain a 'paste like' mixture.

  6. Combine the cooked mung beans with the spice mixture. Toss well, season to taste, and add water if needed for the desired texture of the dish.

  7. Serve hot with rice or quinoa.

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