This more subtly seasoned stew has all the flavor of a good Indian dal but without the heat of the previous recipe Spicy Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans and Lentil Stew. The combination of potato and cauliflower is a classic and makes a great main for a midweek meal when served with bread or rice, or as a side dish for a more ambitious Indian dinner.
The seasoning and heat come from the tadka added at the end. I halved the amount of ghee (clarified butter) used in the original recipe, which can be added back for a richer stew. Add more or less green chili to suite your taste. I purchased the moong dal from I Shop Indian.
Based on the recipe in Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni.
1 cup moong dal (yellow split mung beans)
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T grated fresh ginger root (a micro plane works well)
¼ heaping t turmeric
3 medium potatoes (3/4 lb) peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
1/3 of a small cauliflower cut into 1 ½ inch flowerets (2 ½ to 3 cups)
For tadka added at the end of cooking
6 T ghee (clarified butter)
1 t cumin seeds
1 green chili, seeded and finely minced
2 t lemon juice
2-3 T chopped fresh cilantro
Salt to taste
Cull and wash the mung beans and place in a 3 quart sauce pan along with the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered until the mung beans are cooked but still firm. This took 30 – 40 minutes for me, but the recipe says only about 15 minutes.
Add the potatoes, cauliflower and 2 cups of water. Cook until the vegetables are cooked to the desired doneness, about 15-20 minutes. Add more water if the stew is too thick.
In the meantime prepare the tadka. Heat a skillet over high heat and add the ghee. Add the cumin seeds and fry until dark brown, about 15 seconds. Add the green chili, stir and pour into stew.
Add the lemon juice and cilantro. Stir, correct the seasoning and serve.