Monday, July 31, 2017

Whole mung bean curry..

whole mung bean curry, dal tarka

Dal or lentil along with rice and roti is an usual affair in every Indian kitchen. A wide variety of lentils are consumed and preparations vary from region to region. My family is no exception, almost everyday or the other I prepare dal. To make sure it doesn't get boring I use all the different varieties of lentils I know and also try to prepare them in different ways to bring variations in the menu. I already have different recipes involving lentils on my blog, here is another one to add to the list. This time, I have made a whole mung bean curry.
Lentils have many health benefits, apart from being a rich source of protein, it is low fat, cholesterol free and high in fiber too. Besides the taste and nutritional value I like lentils for some other unusual reason too, I found lentils to be very photogenic. The colors, the texture, lentils are truly a delight for a photographer. So before I started cooking I clicked few shots of the lentils, as I usually do. If you are regular to my blog you must know by now how much I enjoy to shoot ingredients before cooking them.

whole mung bean curry, dal tarka

Being a self taught food photographer, every time I take an image I learn something new. Just for instance, when I looked at the above image it appeared so empty. To fill the frame I used the spice containers form the masala dabba (Indian spice box), that added colors to the frame too. And as the spices in the containers were also part of the recipe the whole scene makes a perfect sense. I would love to hear from you all about these two images, feel free to comment.

whole mung bean curry, dal tarka

Coming back to the lentil recipe, I followed a simple recipe to prepare the whole mung beans. It's advised to soak the lentils for at least 3-4 hrs before cooking to reduce the cooking time. But there are many instances I have forgot to soak the lentil and cooked directly. So even if you forge to soak the lentils don't worry, simply use a pressure cooker to cook the lentils, whole mung beans do not take much time to cook.

whole mung bean curry, dal tarka

Things needed whole mung bean curry:

  • Whole mung beans: 1 cup
  • Onion (finely chopped): 1 cup + 1/4 cup
  • Garlic: 2-3 cloves
  • Garlic paste: 2 tsp
  • Ginger (paste): 1 tbsp
  • Ginger (cut into julienne): 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato (roughly chopped): 1
  • Cumin: 1 tsp
  • Cardamom: 3-4
  • Cinnamon: 1 inch
  • Cloves: 3-4
  • Dry red chilies: 2-3
  • Green chilies: 3-4
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida): a pinch
  • Kasuri methi: 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil: 2-3 tbsp
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste

Steps of making whole mung bean curry:

1. Wash the whole lentils, soak for 3-4 hrs.

2. Take the soaked and washed lentils in a pressure cooker along with water, 1/4 cup chopped onion, Chopped green chilies, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, turmeric powder, half of the ginger paste and cook for 3 whistles. Wait till the pressure releases.

3. In a kadhai or deep pan, heat oil. When the oil is hot add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, as the cloves start to splutter add the chopped onion and cooked till brown. Add garlic paste, rest of ginger paste, cook for 3-4 min.

4. Add roughly chopped tomatoes and cook till tomato is cooked or for 5-6 min.

5. Add red chili powder, cook till oil separates.

6. Add the cooked lentil, salt if needed, little sugar to taste. Add water if needed. Mix well well, let it boil and cook for 5-6 min. Add kasuri methi, mix and cook for 2-3 min. Transfer the lentil in a serving bowl.

7. In a pan heat ghee, when hot add hing (asafoetida), cumin, dry red chilies, julienned ginger, as the seed start to change color switch off the heat and pour the tempering over the lentil. Serve hot with rice, roti, paratha.

whole mung bean curry, dal tarka

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