Mung Beans with Yogurt

This recipe for mung beans with yogurt that I found on Harmless Color is delicious! I think the combination of roasted cumin and coriander, garlic, cilantro stems, and yogurt truly makes it outstanding. The roasted spices give it an earthiness, the garlic, well, garlic is such great in general, and the cilantro stems and yogurt add a brightness. The flavors just pop! The original recipe uses a spice mix called dhana jiru which is coriander seeded and 1/2 the amount of cumin seeds roasted, cooled and then ground. I only have fresh ground coriander (from India, it is so good!) and cumin powder so instead of roasting the whole seeds, I just gentile pan fried the powdered spices until browned. I’m not sure if it totally did the trick, but the dal was amazing so hopefully it added great flavor.

1 cup whole mung beans
5 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Pinch asafoetida (hing)
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed with the flat side of a big knife and then chopped
2 green chilis chopped
2/3 teaspoon cumin powder and 1 1/3 teaspoon coriander powder (you can also take whole cumin and coriander, toast, cool, and grind)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 can crushed tomatoes (or 2 tomatoes chopped and 1 tablespoon tomato paste)
2 tablespoons cilantro stems finely chopped
1/3 cup yogurt
More water (depending on how you like your dal)
Cilantro chopped

  1. Add mung beans to a pressure cooker with water. Cook on medium for about 20-22 minutes after the first whistle.
  2. In a deep saute pan or sauce pan, heat the olive oil. Throw in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the hing and then add the onions. Cook over medium high heat until the onions are browned and softened, adding the garlic and green chilis part way through cooking.
  3. In a dry skillet, toast the cumin and coriander powder until toasty, being carefully not to burn them (you can also toast whole cumin and coriander, let cook, and grind). Add to the onions along with the turmeric and chili powder. Cook for a minute or so.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cilantro roots, and if using raw tomatoes, cook until they are soft.
  5. Add dal, yogurt and more water if you like. Salt to taste and stir. Top with cilantro.

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