Creamy mung bean dahl with ginger and other warming spices is the perfect winter comfort food. Mung beans are some of the easiest beans to digest and if you eat them with rice, you get a complete protein. Sometimes, I eat dahl with potatoes for a change. Millet is nice too. Or quinoa. (I can’t digest it. But other people like it.) Or toast. If you like cilantro, it pairs beautifully with this spicy dahl and adds a vibrant touch. I usually add two to three times as much cilantro as in the picture above.
1 cup dry mung beans
1 knob butter
1-2 tbsp olive oil
half a leek diced (I used about 3 inches of a 1 inch diameter leek, white and very light green parts)
2 stalks celery, diced small
1 medium carrot, diced small
2 tsp maple syrup (or other sweetener)
3/4 tsp whole cumin seeds
3/4 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 tsp grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp hot curry powder (Gathering Place makes a fantastic organic one)
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp shoyu or tamari
enough water to hydrate mung beans
- Soak mung beans 20-24 hours. Drain and rinse when ready to make dahl.
- Melt half a knob of butter and about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a 3 quart (3 liter) saucepan. Add diced leek and cook on low-medium heat until somewhat soft (about 2 minutes). Stir in diced celery, let cook 2 minutes or so. Stir in carrots. Add some butter or oil if necessary to keep the vegetables thinly greased. Let vegetables cook 2 more minutes. Stir in maple syrup, cumin and fennel seeds. Let cook a couple more minutes. If the seeds are fresh, their scent should bloom in the hot oil.
- Add mung beans and enough water to cover beans and vegetables with about an inch of water.
- Bring water to a boil and let it boil vigorously for 5 minutes. Stir in 3/4 tsp of salt. Reduce heat and cover pot. You want a gentle-medium boil.
- Check water level after 20 minutes. If beans and vegetables not covered with water, add a bit more water. Let boil in covered pot for 15 to 30 more minutes (until mung beans are soft).
- Stir in ginger, curry powder and shoyu. Remove saucepan from heat, cover and let the ginger and curry mellow and meld with the other ingredients for 10-15 minutes.
- Add salt/shoyu to taste. Add a bit of butter and olive oil if you want a richer and creamier dahl.
You can serve the dahl with rice. Classic! Or steamed potatoes are a fun change.
Cilantro makes the dahl go from good to awesome. If you feel like a bit of citrus, squeeze a wedge of lemon over the cilantro.