This recipe is from my dad's mother, my Mamma, who is pushing 94, and looks 80, according to her :-) I was visiting my aunt in Toronto one year, and Mamma happened to be there visiting as well. She is quite a foodie, and has loads of recipes that she got from all over, including her own mother. This particular one, I got off her, as my aunt was cooking it. I love it, as sprouted moong dal (also known as mung beans or green gram) are beautifully healthy and so good for you.
I love all the different textures in this dish, its spicy, but with a beautiful hint of sweetness from the moong and the coconut, and its got a distinct tang from the lime juice. The pictures may not look like much, but trust me this is one book you don't want to be judging by its cover :-) The complexity of flavours is unbelievable, and what's even more cool is that my grandma told me that she'd come up with this recipe on her own, as she had run out of some spices. So she improvised, and the result was so well loved, she continued to make it like this. I, for one, am glad she did, as its a firm favourite in our home. Kay told me that it tasted like India, and I thought that was such an apt description for this simple, but stunning, side dish.
With a pescitarian husband and a vegetarian daughter, I have to make sure that the food I cook has to be to both their tastes, plus nutritious, which is a challenge. But being from India, the home of the vegetarian, life's been a lot easier. I cut down significantly on the oil too, to make it healthier. I also kept the spice level quite mild, so feel free to play around with a bit more heat.
To sprout the moong, leave it in a bowl of warm water for about 24 - 36 hours, or until the moong sprouts. Like this
2 and half cups moong
Salt to taste
1/2 cup water + a little more, if required
1 sprig curry leaves
1 medium onion (chopped)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (fresh, frozen or dried)
1/2 lime or lemon
1 tbsp oil
To grind together:
3 – 6 dried mild long red chillies (
1 small onion (chopped and fried)
4 flakes garlic (pounded and fried)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds (
1/2 tsp turmeric
A small bit of tamarind or 2 tbsp tamarind paste
Soak the moong in warm water until sprouted (it takes about 24 - 36 hours, depending on how warm it is outside)
Toss together the chillies, coriander seeds, cumin and peppercorns in a heavy pan, until toasted. Blend the spices with the fried onion and garlic, with a little water, until finely ground.
Fry the chopped medium onion and the curry leaves together in a little oil.
Add the finely ground masala and fry gently till the initial rawness of the ground spice starts to disappear (about 8 to 12 minutes)
Add the water, salt and the sprouted moong and bring to the boil. Simmer gently till all the raw smell of spices disappears. Taste and adjust seasoning. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon on top.
Stir in the dessicated coconut, at the last minute.
Serve with boiled rice or chapatis.
This recipe is going to Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen for No Croutons Required. The theme for March is Mung or Adzuki Beans, and Lisa has relaxed the rules to allow for a casserole too, instead of just soup or salads.