Here is an adaptation of a recipe that I found in Madhur Jaffrey’s memoir Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India. Madhur Jaffrey’s version is more feisty with its inclusion of chickpea flour, green chillies and onion. I kept mine simpler. Also her version called for cooking the greens in the pressure cooker. I opted to chop them and add to the dal when it was boiling.

Spinach and Moong Dal

Spinach and Moong Dal

Ingredients (makes a meal for two when eaten with rice)
2/3 cup green moong
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 – 3 dashes of asafoetida (hing)
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 small bunch of fresh spinach, chopped fine
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
5 – 6 slivers of fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ghee
2 – 3 squeezes of lime juice

Method

  • Cook the moong with twice the quantity of water in the pressure cooker.
  • After cooked, open the lid of the pressure cooker. Add water to the cooked moong dal, bring to a slight boil.
  • Add the chopped spinach to the boiling moong dal.
  • Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat. Let it simmer.
  • In a small frying pan, warm ghee. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric, ginger and fenugreek seeds. When the seeds are brownish-red in color, add the dried fenugreek leaves.
  • Take off the heat. Add the ghee-spice mixture to the dal.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Add a couple of squeezes of lime juice.

Serve with steaming brown basmati rice and a side of lime pickle… Yum!

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