Thursday, December 29, 2011

Green Lentil Curry

This mung bean dal is a rustic spicy soup or curry. Warm and colorful soup, good served with flatbread or rice.

Mung beans are type of green lentil common in Indian and Chinese cooking. They can be purchased whole and split with a couple of pulses of a food processor.

1 cup split mung beans, (green lentils)
1 in fresh ginger, chopped
1 whole green chili pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cups water
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
handful fresh cilantro, chopped

In pot add split mung beans, ginger, whole chili, turmeric and water, and bring to boil, 10 min. With strainer remove foam.
(Use split mung beans, or use whole mung beans and give 5-10 pulses in food processor, until more beans are split open than not. Don't process too much, or you quickly get just lentil flour and dust.)
Then reduce heat and simmer, 15-25 min., until lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, in spice grinder, grind cumin seeds. After lentils have simmered, add tomatoes, cumin powder, garam masala and salt, and simmer additional 10 min. (Total cooking time for lentils is 45-55 min.) Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.
Quick use of stick blender turns into finished soup, or serve chunky and rustic. (Remember to remove the chili if you don't want hot!)

Curry can be made more or less hot by adding or leaving out chili pepper.

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