I am cooking a lot from the internet lately, it is such a source of inspiration that I find I often use it more than cookbooks! It is great for pushing the boundaries of food knowledge and providing ideas and creative urges.
One dish that I have made recently is an Indian stir fry using whole Mung Dal or Mung Beans – those green round lentils that are less common then their sisters, the yellow, skinned, split mung dal.
The inspiration comes from the prolific and beautiful Red Chillies. She sprouts the mung dal by soaking it and then keeping moist for a few days. When the mung have sprouted, they are stirfried with spices. Her recipe is here.
You could try this with purchased mung bean sprouts. It would be a slightly different dish because the sprouts are left to grow longer and the beans themselves will be softer. Yet I think it would work.
It is a dry curry, perfect to eat on its own with flatbreads like roti, with rice, partnering other Indian dishes such as dal or vegetable curry, or as a side dish to any meal.
Mung Bean Sprouts Stir-fry (Mooga Usli)
Source : inspired by Red Chillies
Prep time: 10 mins plus sprouting time
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 3 – 6 people, depending how you use it
1 cup whole mung dal, soaked and allowed to sprout, or use 3 or more cups of purchased mung bean sprouts
3 cloves garlic
2 – 3 green chillies (adjust to taste)
green coriander (cilantro)
1 Tblspn black mustard seeds
1 or 2 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt to taste
If you have sprouted your own mung dal, the sprouts will be much shorter than purchased ones and the seed will remain harder. Cook the sprouts in boiling water for 15-20 minutes until tender and then thoroughly drain the water from the beans.
Meanwhile, chop the onion and garlic very finely. Take the chillies and split them from the tail till close to the head, but not completely through. If they are large chillies, do this again so that they are in 4 pieces, attached at the top of the chilli.
In a heavy pan, melt the ghee, and add the mustard seeds. Allow the seeds to pop (it transforms their flavour from mustardy to a lovely sweet earthy taste). As the popping dies down, add the curry leaves and pan fry for 20 or so seconds. They release their flavour into the ghee.
Add the grated garlic, cloves, onion and green chillies, and saute until the onion is transparent.
Add the salt and the mung dal sprouts and mix through, stirring well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Squeeze the lemon or lime juice over the curry and add the chopped green coriander. Serve warm, topped with more green coriander. Enjoy!