Yellow Mung Dal
Here are some ideas about how to prepare mung dal in different ways. First, here’s the basic one-pot recipe:
Put your pot over medium heat and add:
1 tsp. ghee
½ tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. turmeric powder
1/8 tsp. hing
When the seeds are lightly browned add:
2-3 cups water (see below)
½ cup yellow mung dal, washed
Simmer 30 to 45 minutes until the dal is very soft, then add chopped cilantro and mineral salt to taste.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a thicker dal to put over rice or quinoa, and sometimes it’s nice to have a thinner soup on the side. Adjust the water according to your preference. To get a brothy taste, add 1 Tbs. Finely chopped onion (when you add the water), and use half salt and half Bragg’s. If you use a pressure cooker the dal will get very soft and creamy in only 15 minutes.
For a spicier dal, try ½ tsp. mustard seeds in place of the cumin seeds, and add ½ tsp. cumin powder and ½ - 1 tsp. coriander powder. Kokum tastes really good in dal. Kokum is a dried sour plum from India, available at Indian groceries. Add a few pieces while the dal is cooking, and remove at the end. Try adding a few curry leaves (from Indian grocery) or a bay leaf. To make the dal hotter, add some very finely grated ginger root, to taste. For special, sweet taste, add a little jaggary or evaporated sugar cane juice. The main thing is to be willing to try these ideas in different combinations to create an endless variety of dals.
Here’s a way to make a very nice, Ayurvedic creamy vegetable soup: Reduce the dal to ¼ cup, and add any combination of celery, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, or bell pepper. For the spices, eliminate the mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric, and use lots of coriander powder, and if you like, a little basil, rosemary, or thyme. You can make a delicious red pepper soup with a little celery and cabbage, a fair amount of red bell pepper, and Bragg’s, rosemary, and thyme. When it’s cooked so that the dal and veggies are soft, throw it all in the blender and puree into a beautiful soup. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.
And enjoy your food!