Simple Mung Bean Curry (Tadka Dal)
1 cup yellow split mung beans
(yellow moong dal), well rinsed
Water, as needed
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small red onion, minced
1 serrano green chili, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 small tomato, minced
Table salt, to taste
1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Tadka in Indian cooking means “seasoning.” This yellow dahl (dal) is a North Indian favorite. Serve atop steamed Indian basmati rice.
1. In a deep pan, combine 4 cups of water, the turmeric, and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Bring to a boil, then add the mung beans. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the lentils are very soft. If the water starts to dry up, you can add another ½ cup of water. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a medium-sized skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the cumin seeds; when they begin to sizzle, add the red onions. Sauté for 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions are well browned.
3. Add the ginger, green chili, and tomatoes. Cook for another 8 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.
4. Add the salt and cilantro and mix well. Add the onion mixture and mix well. Reheat gently and serve hot.
Some lentils contain gas-forming compounds. In order to reduce these, rinse them well. Never cook them in the soaking water — always use fresh water.