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I have to be honest that initially, I didn’t like this Mung bean curry – Mung dal as the Pakistanis/ Indians call it. When I first tried it, I found it weird. Because in Indonesia, Mung beans are used to make sweets and desserts.
Now that I had to eat it with rice or roti (Pakistani bread aka chapati) as a savoury, I just couldn’t enjoy it. I always tried to avoid this dish every time my husband cooked it. Also, the sound of ‘dal’ sounds like the word dull in my ears ?.
So when my sister in law made me having this dish (again) at her house, I was so reluctant to eat it. But I had to eat it out of courtesy, didn’t I? After all, she had gone to the trouble to cook for us that day.
You might’ve guessed by now….yes, I liked the Mung bean curry and rice that my sister in law put on the table for us. In fact, I couldn’t stop having it.
Well, you know the moral story by now. The same ingredients will make a different taste of food according to the cook ?.
Whole mung bean dal
Naturally, I told my sister in law how I was not keen with Mung bean dal before.
But now I tried her daal and found myself liking it, I asked her to teach me how she cooks her dal. Because not only I became converted liking this curry dish, my husband is a big fan of dal as well. So, if I can cook the curry dish in the way that both hubby and I like it, then it would make my cooking affairs easier, wouldn’t it?
Before I carry on, note that ‘dal’ in Urdu means ‘pulses’ in English. The variety of pulses are chickpeas, lentils, dry peas, and beans. So mung bean belongs to the beans family of the Pulses.
Anyway, there three types of dry mung beans that you can find in the shop, i.e. whole mung bean dal, split mung bean dal with husks, and washed mung beans (its skins have been removed).
In this recipe, I used whole mung bean dal with the husks.
There are two ways of prep you can do before you’re cooking whole mung bean dal. The first choice, you soak the beans overnight before cooking in a regular pot. The second choice is you soak the beans an hour or a few before you cook it in a pressure cooker.
As you might’ve guessed, each option is to do with cooking the pulses quickly. Because if you don’t soak it before cooking, you’ll have to spend ages to get those green coloured pulses softened and cooked.
Mung bean curry recipe
As I mentioned above, I learned the original recipe from my sister-in-law. However, over time I had to tweak her recipe according to my circumstances, which is the fact that my husband and my two kids cannot eat spicy food.
What I mean with spicy is hot chilli spice.
My husband and the kids have no problem with other spices such as cumin, coriander, etc. but not chilli.
If I ever put chilli in my cooking, I have to be extra careful that the food will only taste ‘warm’ and not ‘hot’.
Also note that you can use this same recipe for other different types of ‘dal’ like red lentils, brown lentils, green lentils, and dry chickpeas. There is another way of cooking dal as well. I will share it next time.
The one I’m sharing with you here uses the method of boiling the Mung beans and the spices first and then pouring the Tarka in the curry. Tarka is basically heated oil with garlic and spices. Some tarka uses onions too.
I hope you find the recipe makes you want to try Mung bean dal. You can enjoy the dish with plain basmati rice, naan bread, chapati, or pitta bread. Also, you can put a teaspoon or two of plain yoghurt on your Mung beans and rice. I find it more delicious.
Before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may equally love.
- Indonesian Mung bean fritters – Perkedel Kacang Hijau.
- Simple pasta with curly Kale and Broccoli stir-fry.
- The hassle-free microwave sweet potato gratin.
- Indonesian sweetcorn fritters – Perkedel Jagung.
- Indonesian vegetable curry with hard-boiled rice cake – Lontong Sayur Jakarta.
- Pakistani Dahi Baray – lentil dumplings in yoghurt sauce.
Thank you and all the best.