This is the mainstay of Ayurvedic cooking. Beans are used for cleansing and building the body and are usually served with rice and leafy greens to form a perfectly balanced and nutritious meal. They are low in fat, high in fibre, but they also provide significant amounts of vitamin B, protein and iron. Split mung beans are lighter and more easily digested than some of the other lentils and don’t give you so much wind! The asafetida helps prevent the build up of gas as well as giving a delicate flavour. I try to eat a lentil and vegetable meal at least twice a week.
1 cup split mung bean or toover dhal
8 cups water
2 cups courgettes, cut into ¼ in slices
1 cup carrots, cut in to ¼ in slices
½ tsp asafetida (available from any Indian grocers)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 ¼ tsp ground, or fresh turmeric, finely chopped
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice or tamarind water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped or grated
1 small chilli, red or green, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tsp black mustard seeds
15-20 curry leaves
coriander leaves to garnish
Rinse dhal until the water runs clear.
Wash and chop the vegetables.
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and add the asafetida, turmeric and lemon juice and fry for 30 seconds, making sure that nothings burns. Add the dhal and fry gently for a couple of minutes.
Add the chopped vegetables and stir fry for another couple of minutes.
Add the water, salt, ginger, pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes, checking to make sure the dhal doesn’t get overcooked. I like mine with a bot of bite, some recipes call for this to become more of a soup.
Temper the cumin and mustard seeds in hot oil, until they pop, and add the curry leaves allowing them to crisp up but not burn, it only takes a few seconds.