Every Indian household has their version of Moong Daal. This incredibly simple yet delicious recipe is my family's favourite!
Yields: Serves a family of 4
1 cup yellow moong / mung beans
1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp finely chopped coriander
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Rinse and soak the lentils for 2-3 hours (or a minimum of 30 minutes if in a rush). This helps reduce the phytic acid (an anti-nutrient that blocks mineral absorption) content and shortens the cooking time.
Discard the soaking water. In a pot for which you have a lid, bring the lentils and 3 cups of fresh water to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer for 5 minutes, skimming any foam that arises. These are carbohydrate molecules that cause flatulence, so removing them makes it easier to digest.
Add the ginger and turmeric, cover partially and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils have disintegrated and dissolved. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir well. At this point you should have a medium thickness, soup-like consistency.
While the lentils continue to simmer, in a separate saucepan, heat the ghee or oil on a medium-high flame until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and sauté for 30-60 seconds until they are brownish and aromatic. Add the garlic and sauté until just pinkish. Tip the oil, cumin and garlic mixture into the pot of lentils and stir well.
Add the salt and coriander. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Serve with a sprinkling of lime juice and cayenne for added heat (skip for kiddos if you like). We love ours with fluffy quinoa cooked with smashed cardamom pods and spinach on the side.