There are many variations of mung dal, ghee and spices. Mung and Ghee are like a match made in heaven. It can be as simple yet heavenly as Neiyyum Parippum, as complex as a Dal Tadka, or even more complex. Each, although very different dishes, are divine. The simplest variation of spices can make all the difference.
This Mung Dal with Ghee adds cumin, fenugreek (optional), green chilli and garlic to a simple Neiyyum Parippum. Now it must be said that Cumin is the third partner in a trinity that is amazing – Mung Dal, Ghee and Cumin. The fenugreek, which can be left out, adds a slight bitterness. The chilli adds flavour and texture without bite, and the garlic a little groundedness.
This recipe comes from Kerala where it was shown to me by a local chef. This comes from my quickly scribbled notes. I hope you enjoy it.
Mung Dal with Ghee and Cumin
1 cup mung dal
2 tspn ghee
0.5 tspn turmeric
2.5 cups water
2 tspn of ghee
1/2 tspn fenugreek seeds (optional)
1/2 – 1 tspn cumin seeds
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
Take Mung Dal and wash by putting it in a bowl, covering with water and swishing it around. Then carefully pour the water off. Repeat until the water runs clear.
Bring to the boil in the water, with the turmeric and ghee. It may boil up, so watch it carefully. Putting a wooden spoon across the top of the pan may restrain it from boiling over. Reduce the heat and simmer until well cooked, about 30 minutes. It will be quite mushy and losing shape. Stir occasionally, adding more water as necessary. The final consistency can be soup-like, or thicker, according to your preference.
When it is cooked, make a tadka by taking the additional ghee and heating gently. When heated add fenugreek seeds (if using). After a couple of moments add cumin seeds, then finely chopped garlic and green chilli.
Pour the spices over the mung dal. Turn the heat off, cover the dal and let it rest for 3 minutes for the flavours to penetrate. Stir and serve.