Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mung Beans with Greens and Panchphoran

Working through more recipes in Indian Home Cooking, I made this dal with greens a few days ago.  I was particularly attracted to it because of the spice blend, Panchphoran, which was unfamiliar to me.  But these spices, especially combined with broccoli rabe (which was my choice--the original recipe called for spinach), were just too bitter for my taste.  Still, with different spices and/or greens, this could be a really satisfying and nourishing dish.

I used this somewhat random recipe for Panchphoran.  I'd love to know if anyone has a recipe that differs much from this one.  Also, the recipe calls for you to use whole dried chilies, which I found did not actually make the dish spicy--you'd need to chop or grind them up to get more heat out of them.

Mung Beans with Greens and Panchphoran
(adapted from Indian Home Cooking)

1 TB canola oil
1 c split mung beans, rinsed
1/2 tsp turmeric
3-4 c water
1 bay leaf
1/2-1 tsp salt
2 c packed greens, washed, trimmed, and finely chopped
2 TB canola oil
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
3 whole dried red chilies, broken up
juice of 1 lemon

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Cook mung beans and turmeric several minutes before adding water, bay leaf, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
2. Add spinach.  Simmer some more.
3. In a frying pan, fry up oil, seeds, and chilies, for 1 or 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.  When cool, stir in lemon juice.
4. Add oil and spices to the lentil mix.  Serve hot.  Serves about 4.

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