Yamuna Devi Recipe # 17 : Creamy Mung Dal with Chopped Spinach (Palak Moong Dal)

Yet more recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

moong dal.jpg:

Moong, North India’s most popular dal, was a great favourite of my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. It is easy to digest and has a good flavor and high vitamin content. The spinach, preferably fresh, enhances the texture and marbled color of this power-packed dal soup, and the fried spices poured in at the end of the cooking add lashings of flavor. (note from Kurma: moong dal is also known as split yellow mung beans.)

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 10 minutes,
Cooking time: 1¼ hours or 25 minutes in a pressure cooker,
Serves: 5 or 6.

2/3 cup (145g) split moong dal, without skins,
8 ounces (230g) fresh spinach, washed, trimmed, patted dry an coarsely chopped, or ½ of a 10-ounce package of chopped frozen spinach, defrosted (140g),
6½ cups (1.5 liters) water (5½ cups/1.3 liters if pressure-cooked),
1 teaspoon turmeric,
½ tablespoon ground coriander,
½ tablespoon scraped, finely shredded or minced fresh ginger root,
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil,
1 ¼ teaspoons salt,
1 teaspoon cumin seeds,
¼ teaspoon cayenne or paprika,
¼ – ½ teaspoons yellow asafetida powder (hing),
½ tablespoon lemon juice.

Sort, wash and drain the split mung beans. If you are using frozen spinach, defrost it at room temperature, place it in a strainer and press out all excess water.

Place the mung beans, water, turmeric, coriander, ginger root and a dab of ghee or oil in a heavy 3-quart/liter nonstick saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring to a full boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently boil for 1 hour or until the dal is soft and fully cooked. For pressure cooking, combine the ingredients in a 6-quart/liter pressure cooker, cover and cook for 25 minutes under pressure. Remove from the heat and let the pressure drop by itself.

Off the heatuncover and add the salt. Beat with a wire whisk or rotary beater (or a bamix, says Kurma) until the dal soup is creamy smooth. Add the fresh spinach, cover and boil gently for 5-8 minutes more; or cook frozen spinach for 2-3 minutes.

Heat the ghee or oil in a small saucepan over moderate to moderately high heat. When it is hot, pour in the cumin seeds and fry until they are brown. Add the asafetida and cayenne or paprika and fry for just 1-2 seconds more. Then quickly pour the fried seasonings into the soup. Cover immediately. Let the seasonings soak into the hot dal for 1- 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, stir and serve.

*Note that since Yamuna wrote her recipes using US measurements, the weights are in US with metric in brackets.

More importantly, her tablespoons are US (15ml) whereas Australian/metric tablespoons are 20ml. So if you follow these recipes using metric measures, your tablespoons should be scant.

Similarly, the US cup is 240ml as distinct from the Australian/metric 250ml cup. The same scant measuring should thus apply to Australian/metric cup users.

The teaspoon is a universal 5ml.

Posted by Kurma on 11/10/10; 7:17:36 AM

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