This is a super simple recipe passed down from my mum. Get used to those words you’ll hear them a lot (OK mum you can stop patting yourself on the back – you’re fabulous and you know it).
Anyway I digress. This is a simple yellow split lentil curry (aka mung bean or moong dhal). It is easy to make, super tasty and has many health benefits. Lentils are a great source of protein, folic acid and fibre. A great low fat and low cholesterol alternative. Mung Dal comes from the green mung bean that has been split and husked, leaving a small yellow lentil that is a great ingredient for soups and curries.
There are optional parts to this recipe. Read through and then do what suits you. Not all steps are necessary and I always feel you can adapt to suit you needs and tastes.
- 1 Cup of Yellow Split Mung Lentils (Yellow Mung Bean/Dhal)
- 4 Cups of water
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp Ground Turmeric (Haldi)
- 3 x Small Tomatoes
- 4-5 Crushed Garlic cloves
- 1-2 Chillies (optional)
- Juice of ½ Lemon
- Tempering of Spices
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Dry Chilli
- 4-5 Curry Leaves
- Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing) (Optional)
- Wash 1 cup of yellow split mung lentils. Make sure the water runs clear.
- Add the washed lentils to a pan together with 4 cups of water.
- Bring the lentils to boil and turn down the heat. Simmer lentils for 10 mins. (Keep an eye on the water, if you need more add more) should be slightly thicker than soup.
- If there is white foam on the top please don’t be alarmed, this is not harmful and is just denatured protein from the lentils – just scoop it out.
- Whilst lentils are cooking blitz your tomatoes, garlic and chillies and have these ready to throw in. (to make life easy you can throw all these ingredients into a mixer and blitz – it saves you grating and crushing your ingredients). Likewise if you don’t have blitzing equipment just finely chop the tomatoes, grate the ginger and crush the garlic.
- Once lentils are partially cooked add your blitzed (or chopped) tomatoes and fresh spices together with the salt and turmeric.
- Add more water if required and simmer for another 10 mins.
- Mix through so that the tomatoes and lentils are soft and mushed together. Take off the heat and add your lemon juice. If I’m being honest this alone will taste amazing and if you feel like you really don’t want to go to the trouble of doing the Tadka (tempering of spices) then just eat it as is. I personally prefer it with the next step as it finishes off the flavour but it is not the be all and end all and shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this recipe.
- In a small non-stick pan add your oil and heat.
- Once heated add your cumin seeds – these will sizzle and turn a darker brown within seconds (don’t overdo this otherwise it will taste bitter) add your dry chilli and curry leaves, wait for 10 seconds until you can smell the spices and take off the heat.
- Add the Curry Leaves and Asafoetida and once these have sizzled for 5 secs and the leaves have crisped up add the whole lot to your lentils. Cover the pan once you’ve added the tadka as to retain the flavours from the spices.
- When you are ready to serve your lentils mix through the tempered spices and lentils and top with fresh chopped coriander and serve with fresh lemon on the side.
- Serve with Plain rice,Chapatis or Naan. Sometimes when I'm feeling lazy I eat mine just like I would soup. Yummy.