M can pretty much eat anything that's presented in a snack form. When I learned this, I started stuffing his hate foods into invisible pockets of puff pastry, in sandwiches and meatballs. Like you might know by now, I have an obsession about such things. When I have my obsession under control, I also serve his love food such as lentils as snacks.
For us, dry Indian vegetables and lentil recipes often finds its way into sandwiches, or form part of a dip or get stuffed in a roll. This mung dal recipe, is one that we love to serve up as an open faced sandwich on crisped up Arabic bread with generous topping of spring onions and sliced radishes. M always always uses ketchup on it. I find that really sad by the way.
The most special part about this recipe is the fenugreek leaves called methi in hindi. You might have often read on this blog about kasuri methi which is the dried form of fresh fenugreek leaves used as a herb, added towards the end of the dish. Fresh fenugreek on the other hand is used as a vegetable and has a strong flavor and smell with a slightly bitter taste. Rich in minerals like calcium, potassium and iron, the leaves are also abundant in Vitamin C and K. Serve it on a whole wheat flat bread of choice and no one is going to complain about snacking!
Mung Dal with Fenugreek leaves
1 cup split and husked mung dal*
1 cup fenugreek leaves**
1 large red onion (about 1/4 cup sliced)
1 tomato, cubed
1 tbsp ginger chili paste***
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
* You can certainly play around with other dals and whole beans in this recipe. Urad dal (split black gram) is exceptionally good with it too. Just make sure the cooking time will vary for different lentils.
** If you can't find methi in your part of the world, or if its not in season, I love to use spinach instead. You could also use other green leafy vegetables.
*** To make ginger chili paste, grind together an inch of fresh ginger with 1-2 green chilies into a smooth paste.
Thoroughly wash the dal and fenugreek leaves separately. Make sure to only use the leaves and tender stems of the fenugreek.
Boil the mung dal in plenty of water with pinch of turmeric until al dente. Mung dal cooks pretty fast and its important to not cook it all the way through so keep an eye while it boils. Once boiled, drain the water and keep aside.
Sizzle oil in wok and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds change color add the ginger chili paste. Then add the onions.
Once the onions turn light golden brown, add turmeric, red chilly powder and coriander powder respectively. Add the tomatoes when the spices loose its rawness. Meanwhile, finely chop the fenugreek leaves.
Let the tomatoes cook till it becomes pulpy and forms masala. Then add the chopped leaves and let is cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add dal and salt.Cover and cook for 10 minutes. If the mixture feels too dry add a few tbsp of water to keep it from sticking to the wok.
Garnish with spring onions and sliced radishes. Serve it on Arabic bread or any flat bread of choice. You can also serve it as it is with roti or naan.