Thursday, 21 March 2013

Bean bags, mung beans and a 'shamed' curry!

I had to make 40 bean bags for an upcoming pirate party (canons!) and wanting to keep the cost down I used an old pair of pyjama trousers and one of Dan's old work shirts. For the filling I searched the supermarket for the most cost effective and found the perfect solution - Mung beans! They were expensive in the whole foods section but available in big bags from the world foods section for actually less than the smaller bags.

As I hauled two massive bags into my trolly and strolled off, an Indian lady gave me a lovely smile and very impressed look and spoke to me "Oh - you like those do you?". I mumbled an "oh yes - cook with them a lot" sort of half response and quickly scurried away! 
After bean bags were made a couple of days later I was still feeling a bit red faced about the whole affair and so felt shamed into finding a good mung beans recipe!!! So here is my result!

Recipes to follow with original links but a really nice meal and vegan too! Will repeat this one!

Indian Style Spicy Mung Beans (Moong Dal) Recipe found here

1 cup whole dry mung beans
2 teaspoons ghee, butter or oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1-inch piece (1 tablespoon) fresh ginger, grated or minced
3 - 4 jalapeños or green chilies, finely chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Rinse the mung beans under cold running water and place in a bowl. Cover with several inches of cold water and soak for 6 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Heat the ghee or butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and stir and fry for a minute or two. Next add the ground spices, stir for about 15 seconds, and then add the onion, ginger and jalapeños or green chillies to the pan. Fry until the onion wilts and begins to brown.
Add the mung beans and and 1 1/2 cups of water to the pan. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered until the beans are just tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add more water if necessary just to keep the beans covered.
Now add the tomato, salt and pepper. Simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the beans are soft and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Taste for seasoning, then stir in the parsley (I used spinach and coriander) near the end of the cooking time.

I also found a suggestion in the comments that it would go very nicely with a cauliflower and green pea curry so I googled for a recipe and found this from here:-

Cauliflower and green pea curry

1/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric1 large onion, finely chopped3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
1/4 cup water
2 cups green peas (I used half peas and half beans)1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh parsley, for garnish

In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and turmeric and saute until they begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 7 minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger, and saute until fragrant.
Add the cauliflower and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the water, peas, salt, pepper and red pepper. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is fork tender, but not mushy. Serve in a bowl or platter, garnished with parsley.