Vegetarian recipe for Coconut Mung Dahl, with a dash of spice

Ingredients
1 cup mung beans, soaked for 2–4 hours and then drained
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 heaped tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, mustard seeds
2–3 tsp medium strength curry powder
3–4 green cardamom pods, bruised to open and release the seeds
½–1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 curry leaves (if available)
2 Tbsp ground almonds
1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
Pinch of salt

How to
Soak the beans first.

Add the butter and olive oil to a medium-sized heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the onion and cook for 8–10 minutes, until softened but not crisp or golden.

Add the garlic, ginger, spices, chilli flakes and curry leaves and cook for another 2–3 minutes.

Drain and rinse the mung beans and add them to the saucepan along with the ground almonds, coconut milk and salt. Stir, bring to a bubble and then leave to simmer with the lid on for 20–30 minutes until creamy and the mung beans have cooked through. Add water if necessary as you go along.

Remove from the heat and leave to stand while you prepare the garnish, then serve in warmed bowls. Tastes even better the next day when all the flavours have really had a chance to mellow and marry.

Notes: This can also be made with lentils and, of course, you could add a little meat in the form of shredded roast chicken. Or you could fry off a little lamb meat before you add the onion and then continue with the cooking process as explained, returning the lamb to the saucepan when you add the almonds and coconut milk.

 

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Recipe provided by Sarah Graham, recipe creator and cookbook author. Visit the Sarah Graham food blog to see more. Photo Credit @Curtis Gallon