The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Tag: moong (page 1 of 2)

A Hefty Dose of Protein, Greens on the Side: Spinach and Moong Dal

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

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


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!

A Look at Lunch

Lunch yesterday was a colorful affair, thought I’d write about it.

On the menu was brown rice, yellow moong dal with fresh ginger, green chilly, turmeric, cilantro and a generous dollop of ghee, steamed carrots and pole beans with a tadka of mustard seeds, ajwain seeds, dry coriander and cumin powder. Fresh peas steamed and cooked in coconut milk, spiced and garnished with cilantro was a leftover from the night before.

The moong dal was excellent. I cooked it in the pressure cooker (as I do with most dals) and blended it into a smooth puree. Moong dal is very easy to digest, light on the tummy, and perfect for those days when you want to give your digestive system a break but need the energy to go about your day. Moong is a pale yellow grain and it cooks up like a dream. You could make this dal even if you don’t have a pressure cooker. All you need to do is soak it in water for an hour or so and cook it on the stove top in a regular pan as well. Once cooked, add water and blend to the desired consistency. Fresh ginger adds a gentle tang that lightens the taste of the cooked dal. One green chilly adds very little spice – I wonder why I add it! This is the thick green chilly, not the little Thai kind that packs a mighty punch. Cilantro is my eternal favorite; it adds a punch of color and I adore its taste and freshness. Ghee adds depth of flavor with its rich taste. A post on ghee is coming up soon (whenever I get to it).

Carrots and beans came from Sandy Springs Farmers Market. Steamed them using the IKEA steamer (it’s cute!). Warmed some sesame oil, threw in mustard seeds, ajwain seeds (or carom seeds as this website tells me), dried coriander and cumin powder. You could add a few pinches of turmeric and/or red chilli powder as well. Don’t forget to add salt to taste.

Steamed peas in coconut milk? An unsuccessful experiment… 🙁