Moongh Dhar Curry is absolutely delicious eaten as a main course, especially on a blustery cold winter day. Therefore, recently I have been making it pretty often . This lentil curry can be eaten with rice or with warm rotis accompanied by a green chilli pickle called Raito. This will probably the fastest curry you will ever make, perfect for a weeknight! As long as you’ve made your rotis for the week you are set, I promise. Out of roti’s for the week? No problem, spread whole wheat toast (or toast of your choice) with ghee or butter, preferably ghee, then pile on the Moongh Daar and devour! It’s purely addictive. Try it out and taste it for yourself, you will not be disappointed 🙂
I guess I should explain a little about the bean itself. First of all theres are countless ways of spelling so I chose to spell it ‘moongh’, although it’s mostly spelt ‘mung’. It is a little dried green bean if used whole. In this recipe I have used split mung beans with the skins removed. If you prefer, by all means use them whole. You may have to add a little more water during the cooking process.
1 cup split skinless mung beans
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
10 fenugreek seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add as much or as little as you can tolerate)
1 cup crushed tomatoes
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
To Make the Curry
Wash the Moongh beans in a couple of changes of water, until the water runs clear. Leave to soak in extra water.
Heat the oil in the pan and throw in the fenugreek seeds, if using, and sizzle for a few seconds.
Add the turmeric, paprika and cayenne pepper and stir, being careful not to let it burn. It helps to take the pan off the heat at this stage.
Pour in the crushed tomatoes and salt. Give it a good stir to incorporate the spices.
Reduce the heat and simmer the curry till the oil separates a little from the tomato mixture.
Remove the water from the soaking Moongh beans and add the beans to the tomato curry. Stir and add one and a half cups of water to the pan.
Increase the heat. Bring the curry to a boil then reduce to a medium heat to simmer.
The Moongh Daar is ready when most of the water has been absorbed and the beans break easily if pushed between the thumb and forefinger.
Fold in the chopped cilantro and you’re on your way to a superb meal.
Best eaten hot, with a carb of your choice or a salad.
My grandmother, Naanimaa, made these roti rolls for lunch when we visited during our school holidays. They were the perfect to-go lunch that we ate in the back storeroom of their store. She stuffed the warm, ghee smeared rotis with moongh daar curry and wrapped them into these perfect little swissrolls and packed them in foil paper. My sister, my cousins and I, ate these perfect moongh dhaar roti rolls alongside ice-cold lemonade from the store next-door. The first bite of a Moongh Daar Curry and roti sure does bring back memories of carefree days vacationing with our grandparents. Oh what bliss!
My Mum made this curry for breakfast on the weekends and served it with rotis rolled out extra thick. My fondest memory, was waking up to the smell of freshly made rotis and the delicate fragrance of Moongh Daar on a Sunday morning. My dad would arrive at the table freshly showered smelling of cologne, ready to read his sunday paper while my mum spooned out his breakfast and stirred sugar in his tea. This curry was one of many things my Mum made during the weekends. We had eggs poached in a tomato curry thick with onions, fresh tomatoes and chopped cilantro. Another favorite was an omellette expertly spiced and chock full of onions and green peppers. My mums french toast is ‘to die for’. My kids still think she makes the best french toast. I promise to post these recipes sometime in the near future. If you can’t wait – send me an email – that should speed things up.
I generally buy my split mung beans without the skin from an Indian store or a natural food store. I dare you to try your local grocer before venturing out. You’ll be surprised by what you find in the Indian aisle. These mung beans are a staple in most Indian pantries so I’m almost certain you will find it there. Depending on the crop, the cooking time for the beans may vary. If they feel slightly el-dente after the water has been absorbed add a little more hot water about a 1/4 cup at a time. You may add onions instead of the fenugreek seeds if you prefer too.