Mung dal is favorite in our household and I try to use it atleast every other day. It is a great source of protein and has good fiber content too. When you buy this dal from the Indian store, you roast it a little bit and then store it to extend it's shelf life.
I am trying to use leafy greens as much as possible in my cooking. Spinach is the most common leafy green I get and I try different kinds of recipes with that. Here's our all time favorite soup recipe using spinach and mung dal from The art of Indian Vegeterian Cooking. This recipe is slightly modified from what you see in the book.
Servings: 5 or 6
1 cup split yellow mung beans(dal) - can be substituted with split green peas
1 cup fresh spinsch,washed,trimmed and coarsely chopped or 1/2 pkt of frozen spinach
5 cups water
3 green chillis
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Cumin(jeera) powder
1 tbs minced fresh ginger root
1 tbs ghee or canola oil
1 ts cumin(jeera) seeds
1/4 ts asofetida
1/2 tbs lemon juice
salt to taste
1. Wash and drain the mung dal. If using frozen spinach, defrost it at room temperature,place it in strainer and press out all excess water.
2. Place the mung dal, water,turmeric,jeera powder,ginger root,green chillis and a dab of ghee or oil in a heavy non-stick suacepan.Strring occasionally, bring to a full boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low,cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently boil for 1 hour or until the dal is soft.
Alternatively, you can pressure cook the dal to save time. Combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart/liter pressure cooker, cover and cook for about 25 minutes under pressure. Remove from the heat and let the pressure drop by itself.
3.Off the heat, uncover and add the salt.Beat with a whire whisk or rotary beater until the dal soup is creamy smooth.Add the fresh spinach,cover and boil gently for 5-8 minutes more or cook frozen spinach for 2-3 minutes.
4. Heat the ghee or oil in a small sauce pan.When it is hot, pur in the cumin seeds and fry until they are brown.Add the asofetida and fry 1-2 seconds more. Then quickly pour the fried seasonings into the soup. Cover immediately. Let the seasonings soak into the hot dalfor 1-2 minutes. Add the lemon juice,stir and serve.