I could eat Indian food every day! I love the intense flavors, scents, and ethnic vibe I get right in my little kitchen. This recipe for mung daal will get you that funky ethnic food vibe without ever leaving your house.
I can hear the protests from here – “I don’t have time to cook complicated Indian food – I don’t even have time to cook basmati rice for 40 minutes!!!”.
I am going to share with you my favorite short-cuts to preparing Indian food. Remember my mantra…
FRESH + CONVENIENT = A HEALTHY COMPROMISE
Start with a packaged curry paste. There are healthy convenient products available – search them out. I love Patak’s Mild Curry Paste (also used in my recipe for Easy Lentil Curry). Here are the ingredients:
- canola oil
- coriander, cumin, turmeric, ground ginger, paprika, chili pepper
- tomato puree
- corn flour
- citric and lactic acids
Not bad huh? This little jar holds the magic solution to a quick vegetarian Indian recipe…pronto!
Let’s talk about rice. Who has the time to cook it from scratch? In my family, we are honestly too hungry to wait 40 minutes. Grab yourself a box of Minute Instant Brown Rice – 10 minutes! Or buy the microwavable version. Now that is more like it. A realistic solution to getting whole grains in minutes.
My take on Mung Daal is a bit different than the traditional version which is normally served more like a soup; however, I like it thicker and heartier, more stew-like. Traditionally, the mung beans are cooked in water then thinned out with a hand blender. I mixed it up by draining most of the cooking water, adding some coconut milk, and whisking it briefly to slightly break down the beans. Finish with fresh cilantro, and a sprinkle of Garam Masala.
Simple Everyday Vegetarian Food. Quick. Easy. Convenient.
Happy cooking to you!
- 1 cup organic split mung beans
- 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil for vegan version
- 3 large shallots, chopped small
- 1½ tablespoons Patak's Mild Curry Paste
- 2 tablespoons of the hard fat from a can of unsweetened coconut milk
- Garnish: Fresh cilantro, Garam Masala
- Serve with Minute Instant Brown Rice
- Put daal in a large soup pot, add 7 cups water and bring to a gentle boil, stirring.
- Turn heat very low and cover pot with lid slightly ajar. Check pot and stir frequently, as the daal has a tendency to boil over in the beginning. Skim off and discard any foam that rises. Cook for about 45 minutes, until quite soft. Taste and adjust salt.
- Option 1: For a smooth, velvety consistency, purée daal in a blender, then return to pot. If you prefer some texture, just beat with a whisk for a minute or two. (If dal is very thick, thin with a little water.)
- Option 2: Drain daal and return to pan with coconut milk fat, and a couple tablespoons of water. This makes a thicker, stew-like daal.
- Make the tarka: In a small skillet, melt the butter or coconut oil. Add the shallots and curry paste and cook over medium heat until soft.
- Add the tarka to the daal and combine well.
- Finish with cilantro and a sprinkle of Garam Masala
- Serve with brown rice.