This is gain a simple recipe from the book "How the Banana goes to Heaven" by Ratna Rajaiah. The author, who is from Karnataka, talks of this recipe as a variation of the normal traditional dal. The recipe and the style are very new to me. I have made Kenyan style mung stew but this one from my adopted state stumped me. The mung bean is roasted and then cooked and mashed and seasoned and is preferably served cold -a perfect soup for summer or a warm gravy with rice on chilly nights. Hesaru is what mung bean is known in Kannada. I googled for a similar recipe,but could not find any.I have scaled down the original recipe to suit my requirements.
Mung beans (whole green gram): 1 cup cleaned,washed and drained.
Tamarind paste: 2 tsp or more as per taste
Garlic : 3-4 small cloves unpeeled
Green Chillies: 2-3 as per taste
Fresh coriander Leaves/ Cilantro: 1 tbsp finely chopped (I omitted this)
Oil: 2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Dried Red Chilli: 1 small broken into pieces
Hing/ asafoetida: a pinch
Lemon Juice: (optional): for more tartness
Pick wash and drain mung. Sry roast the bean in a thick pan,until it starts to turn brown and gives off a nice aroma.Cool down and cook till soft adding enough water.You can see the difference between between raw mung and washed and roasted mung from this pic.
Roast the green chillies and the unpeeled garlic cloves separately till the skin starts to char. Peel the roasted garlic .
Grind together the cooked mung and roasted chillies to a thick coarse paste. Add in the peeled soft garlic cloves,salt and tamaring paste/juice and give it a final blend. Add water -preferably cold in case you are going for a soup - to get the consistency or thickness of your choice.
Instead of blending the ingredients,you can simply mash them with a ladle or use as much.I actually blended few table spoons of cooked mung,little salt,tamarind paste,roasted chillies and roasted garlic together coarsely and mixed with the remaining cooked mung and adjusted the salt.
Add the finely chopped cilantro and mix well.This adds a fresh flavour to the gravy/broth which has a smoky taste what with all the roasted ingredients. I did not have cilantro- after making chutney 2-3 times,my cilantro bunch was gone- so I did not add any.But the flavour went well for me.
Heat the oil for tempering,add the mustard seeds and dried red chilli. When the mustard stops spluttering,add curry leaves and hing.Remove from heat and add it to the mung broth saving few for garnish. Adjust the salt and increase the tartness by adding lemon juice.
Serve warm as a side with rotis/bread toast/rice. Else chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes and serve as a cold soup for summery nights.
I tried it warm as well as cold. It excelled well in its two roles.Mung has a cooling effect on stomach basically. Other mung bean dishes I normally try out are Konkani style upkari and humman and the Kenyan style .Just like peanuts, mung is a family favourite and this stew was comforting and I can see this becoming a regular.
This goes to AWED:Indian at Taste of Pearl City ,an event by DK and also to NCR:Mung Beans at Lisa's.