Quick and Easy Split Mung Dahl
As a vegetarian I am often asked how I get my protein. The simple answer to this is that I get protein from a variety of sources including beans, tofu, soy products, dairy products and delicious dahl. This is my go-to dahl when I want a quick, healthy and protein filled dinner.
1 cup split mung, washed thoroughly
4 1/2 cups water
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 teaspoons salt [or to taste]
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup milk or cream
Ingredients for chaunk/vaghar/tadka
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger root
3/4 teaspoon hing (asafetida)
1. Place the washed split mung dahl and the water into a mid-sized saucepan, and bring to a boil on medium heat. When the water begins to boil, some white foam will come to the top and this you can skim off the top with a spoon and discard. This is just excess starches.
2. Once boiling, add the turmeric and the tomatoes and let boil for a while until the dahl begins break up and combine with the water. Reduce heat to medium/low and add salt.
3. To make chaunk, place a separate small pan on medium heat. Put the ghee or oil into the small pan and let it get hot. You can tell if the ghee is hot enough by adding one cumin seed and it should crack or pop straight away. Add the rest of the cumin seeds; they should crack immediately. Once cumin seeds are popped, add mustard seeds and let them pop too. When the seeds stop popping, add the ginger and cook a little. Add hing and turn off heat.
4. Very carefully stir the chaunk into the cooked dahl (the dahl will probably sputter a little when the oil is added so be careful not to burn yourself), and let cook 5 minutes longer. Add the milk or cream and turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro.
Note: Once the dahl is cooked, before the chaunk is added, you can adjust the consistency to your liking by adding more water if it is too thick.
Variation: As I mentioned before, you may add vegetables to your dahl to make it more of a soup. Leafy greens go great in dahl when they are in season. If you cut veggies like carrots, celery and potatoes small and add them near the end, they will cook through without dissolving into the dahl. Greens work best sliced into ribbons and added at the last minute so they soften but retain their shape and flavor.