Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Moong Dhal (vegan, gluten-free)


I'm completely in love with Indian cuisine. Dhal is a classic food found in every region of India. It's a hearty soup made from lentils and spices. This dhal is made from split and skinned moong beans, found at any Indian grocery. The recipe below is a standby in my kitchen. My Indian cooking is heavily influenced by the Punjab region, known for the best food in all of India. 

For me, dhal is perfect for days when my body needs a little boost, or when I'm busy as it is easily prepared in the crock pot. You will need a standard size crock pot to accommodate the portions in this recipe, although it's fine to cook it on the stovetop as well. I always make enough for 3-4 meals. It reheats well after refridgeration, but I don't recommend freezing.

Crock pot

3 cups of split moong dhal, rinsed very well
8 cups water
1 Tbsp turmeric powder

1 tsp sea salt

Add rinsed moong beans, water, salt and turmeric to the crock pot. Set on high heat for 6 or more hours, until beans are completely mushy and mostly dissolved into the water.

1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 small onions, diced
1 inch ginger root, diced very small

3 cloves garlic, diced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1 heaping Tbsp dried methi leaves (fenugreek)
salt to tast

Heat coconut oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and a dash of salt; saute until onions are translucent. Add garlic, crushed red pepper and methi leaves; saute for 2 minutes more. Add onion mixture (called a turka) to the dhal in the crock pot, stirring well. Adjust salt to taste. Dhal can be served now or allowed to heat for another 30 minutes or so to better meld the flavors.

Serve with basmati rice, although it is delightful solo as well.

*gluten-free, soy-free, contains tree nuts (coconut)

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