This blog is certainly a departure from the norm. After responding to a tweet from Rollin’ Oats (the best grocery stores in Tampa Bay) I was invited to post a recipe for a dish that I made the other night.
I welcome the opportunity because, originally, I planned to blog about a lot of different topics (hence the name of the blog-Selected Topics), such as books, movies, current events, etc., but as I have only been posting about one (my favorite) topic I had to change the sub-topic of the blog recently to reflect that.
Anyway, this post will be a recipe for making a Split Moong Bean Fry. Incidentally, I use this exact same recipe to make Masoori Daal, as well. Although these two things have quite different (but both wonderful) flavors, I have found this recipe works great for both. This recipe will probably require a trip to the Indian grocery store, if you are not already properly equipped.
The foundation for this process was something I found on the internet a while back. But, I’ve modified it quite a bit since then, and have gotten some good tips from my friend Nikhil, who is from India and was taught to cook by his Mom.
Split Moong Bean Fry or Masoori Dal Recipe:
2 Cups- dried Split Moong Beans or Masoori Dal
6 Cups- water
1/2 teaspoon- mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon- cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon- dill seeds
6 tbsp (or whatever)- vegetable oil
2 teaspoons- garam masala
2 teaspoons- tumeric
2 teaspoons- salt
2 teaspoons- cayenne pepper
1 big ol’ hunk- ginger
1/2 of a onion
5 cloves of garlic
First, put the two cups of split moong beans into the pot you use to cook pasta. Rinse the moong beans thoroughly. Add water and bring to boil. Set timer for 10 minutes. Once boiling, reduce temp to medium. (If all the water gets absorbed and evaporated- add more water).
Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat.
Chop garlic and ginger. The more ginger the better, it seems to me. Cut off about a two-three inch hunk off of the big gnarly root you buy at the grocery store, peel off the skin, rinse and chop. Dice onion.
Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dill seeds to the oil. My friend Nikhil told me it’s not about adding more and more spices that it’s important-it’s the timing of when you add these ingredients.
*When the 10 minute timer goes off add half of the spices to the moong beans, stir, and set the timer for another 10 minutes.
The oil is ready when the mustard seeds start popping. Once this occurs add the other half of the spices to the oil in the frying pan. Stir this mixture around a little bit for a minute or two. The heated oil allows the flavors from the spices to be released more fully than adding them to the food later.
*Addendum! I accidentally forgot to add the spices to the hot oil recently and added after putting the lentils in and it had much more flavor. I think adding them to oil was cooking off all the flavor.
Add the ginger, garlic, and onions. Cook for a minute or two until onions are that yellowy done looking way.
When the timer for the moong beans goes off, stir them, and add them to the frying pan. Stir well, reduce heat, and simmer for five minutes. Finally, remove from heat, let stand for five minutes and serve over rice.
If you’re like me, you’ll probably add a little more salt.
Fresh curry leaves are another good thing to add if you can get them.
There are many ways to make this more spicy, of course, if you prefer. You can add some variety of chopped hot peppers, hot sauce, or whatever you generally use to make things spicy.
If you’re making the dal recipe you can experiment adding tomatoes also. I used to always add tomatoes, but kind of like it better lately without them. One time I even used a can of Rotel (maybe it was half a can), when I made this for Nikhil, and he said it might be the best dal he ever had!
Play around with it, add other stuff you like, and see what works for you.
It’s also good to have another vegetable dish to go with this, I think. You can make something like a little cauliflower curry to go with it, and/or get some naan at the Indian grocery store.
The picture is of masoori dal. I don’t think I’ve taken a picture of the moong beans yet.
Jolly good luck! : )