Eating this particular dish is an absolute treat. My grandmother used to make it every time we would visit India. It's healthy, nutritious and really delicious. This dish is a favorite in both Maharashtra (located on the southwestern coast of India) and Karnataka (south central) states. Green moong dal is tasty on its own but when sprouted, it adds a whole other layer of flavor and creates a unique texture to the dish. You could easily make this dish using sprouted lentils or any other sprouted dal you prefer, or apply the same recipe to make any bean, lentil or daal of your choice.
How To Sprout Beans, Lentils and Dals:
Only whole lentils, beans and dals can be sprouted. Rinse your dal carefully under cool running water. In a large bowl, soak the dal overnight in enough water to cover completely. Drain, rinse well and transfer the dal back to the bowl and cover with a slightly damp cheesecloth (or dish towel). Store in a dark warm area. Check periodically to make sure there is enough moisture, but you should see lovely sprouts within 24 hours.
2 cups sprouted whole green moong dal
1 tsp garam masala (use kala masala if you have it)
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida (hing)
4-6 fresh curry leaves (kadi patha)
3-4 dried red chilies
1/4 cup of cashew pieces (toasted and unsalted)
1/2 can of coconut milk
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp oil (veg or canola)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup or stock pot on medium high heat, add the sprouted dal and enough water to cover (around 4-5 cups) and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cook for 30 minutes. The dal should be tender but not mushy. Add the red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and add the coconut milk, cashews and lemon juice. Simmer for another 5-6 minutes, then taste to adjust any seasonings.
In a small wok or sauce pan, add the oil until just smoking. Carefully add the mustard seeds as they have a tendency to splatter. Turn off the heat, and quickly add the cumin seeds, asafetida powder, curry leaves and dried red chilies. Pour this entire mixture on top of the sprouted moong dal curry and serve with fresh chapathis and fragrant Basmati rice.
Feel free to add a potato to this dish if you like - just boil a medium potato until just fork tender. Carefully peel & dice into large cubes. Then add it in after the spices & follow the rest of the rest as directed above.
You can also bamboo shoots to this dish for a wonderful taste & flavor. Since the canned ones are the easiest to find - simply rinse them well & julienne them into matchsticks. Then add them in after adding in the spices & follow the rest of the rest as directed above.