Moong dal is one of the most popular lentils from Asia and available widely in the West. Moong has soulful qualities. It begins in a small dehydrated state and after being nourished with water, expands, doubles, thus providing for more people than when it began and turns into a live nourishing food. Thus, it is superfood with magical, divine qualities which are life giving. January 2021.
We begin our veg recipes with the Moong dal, one of the most popular lentils from India. They are available outside India in most Indian shops as well as supermarkets which keep an aisle or two for the Asian shoppers.
You get all the three varieties in all these places-whole, green in colour, split, half green and white and the yellow version, which is without its green skin and is processed. Moong is considered a superfood. Benefits include:
- Vitamins: It is rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E and also in many minerals including iron, calcium, and potassium. Not to forget it is a powerful source of vegetarian protein.
- Good for losing weight: It is considered a low-fat food rich in proteins and fibre. It curbs cravings and keeps us full for a long time. It detoxifies the body and benefits the metabolism as well as the immune system.
- Heart friendly: It helps to lower the high cholesterol level in the blood system. Regular intake of Green Moong reduces bad cholesterol and improves the flexibility of arteries and veins. It also regulates blood pressure.
- Controls blood sugar level: Green Moong is full of complex carbohydrates in form of high fibre, which aids digestion. Complex carbs also stabilize blood sugar and control its sudden rise after a meal, while keeping the body’s energy at a balanced level. Green Moong can be highly beneficial for people having a high blood sugar level.
- Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial and Anti-cancer: Green Moong contains Vitamin B-1, Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). Regular consumption of diets rich in Vitamin-B6 helps you develop resistance against contagious agents that cause diseases. As per Ancient Chinese medicine, it also contains anti-cancer properties.
For a salad of sprouts (cooked), soak the whole green moong variety (pic 1), a cup of it should make a meal, in warm water, cover it and keep in a warm dark place. It will soak overnight and become rehydrated, puffed up, alive and moist. The next day, drain the remaining water (it should have soaked much of the water so if it has not, then keep it longer) and put it in a cloth which can be wrapped up and put back in the same vessel. Leave it again for another 8-10 hours or more. One can forget about it and return to it after two days, if you like. It will just be more sprouted. However, don’t wait till it gets fungus.
Take the sprouts out of the cloth and put them in water, if you have left them in the cloth for too long so that they look fresh again.
- Cumin seeds, teaspoon
- Half a finely sliced onion (optional)
- Turmeric, pinch
- Oil , teaspoon
- Water, half cup
In a thick bottomed pan, put the oil, and after a few minutes, when warm, put the cumin seeds.
They will crisp a little and let out their fragrance.
Then put the onion (optional) and let them crisp a bit.
Put the sprouts and the turmeric, a little water (possible half a cup), cover the pan, lower the heat and let it steam for a while.
The dish is ready.
You can add salad leaves, pitta bread and your own take to expand the dish. In its simple form, just pop it in a plate and eat with spoon.
Tips for a good cook who always has plenty going on in the kitchen: Buy moong, chickpea and other whole lentils which can be sprouted. Then each week, soak and sprout at least two varieties. Keep thin muslin or cotton tea towels for wrapping moist lentils in order to sprout them. This type of planning ahead, on a Sunday perhaps, allows you to have a lentil by Wednesday, for example. This way, you keep a variety of dishes on the go.
The soul of it: Any food item which can become ‘more’ than when it began is considered to be ‘Annapurna‘. Annapurna is the name of an avatar of the goddess who provides and nourishes. Moong begins in a small dehydrated state and after being nourished with water, expands, doubles, thus providing for more people than when it began and turns into a live nourishing food. Thus it has magical, divine qualities and is life giving.