Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Season to keep old memories alive

Time: 5:30am. I woke up. It was cool outside and the breeze came through with a whoosh as I flung open the windows. It was raining.

Standing by the window and looking at the rain made me think of my childhood - spent in Bombay………the rains came down in sheets. Everything around me took on this wonderful silver hue at daybreak. The fragrance of fresh rain and earth made for a heady perfume.

I like the rains.

Overwhelmed, I ran out the door. Standing in the rain, drenched to my bones in utter silence…….what an incredible feeling it was.

I wanted, no needed a bowl of hari moong ki dal. During the monsoons, my mother often made a Mung bean dal that really warmed our cold bones and souls too…..thanks, mom!

Now that I’m back in India and experiencing a monsoon after two decades I just had to make this moong dal from my childhood memories, of course it does not taste half as nice as the one my mom makes, but maybe she will come visit me next monsoon…..wink wink, mom are you listening?

Whole green mung beans are fairly easy to find at most grocers and let’s face it, beans mean lean, so you can have a big bowlful and not feel guilty. I’ve found this dal tastes better when eaten with a hearty bread that sops up the liquid gravy and still holds its texture.

Monsoon Moong Dal

100 gms/ ¼ lb Whole green mung beans, washed and soaked for an hour (if you have the time)
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped (Roma, if available)
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ inch piece of ginger, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
4-8 curry leaves (optional)
2 tsp coriander leaves, chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp cumin seed powder
½ tsp coriander powder
2-3 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Boil the soaked Mung beans and cook until al-dente. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and add the cumin seeds, allow it to sputter, then add the garlic, green chilli, ginger and cook on a medium flame until the onions turn pink. Add to chopped tomatoes and spice powders. Cook until the tomatoes are pulpy. Add the cooked mung beans and cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes, or until the beans have softened but still retain their shape. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves before serving.
This recipe has been submitted for the event, My Legume Love Affair (MLLA-24), created by Susan of the The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted by Diana of A little bit of Spain in Iowa

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