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Green Moong Sundal
A Navaratri special
Next week marks the start of Navaratri (nine nights), a Hindu festival that is a unique celebration of feminine power. In South India, festivities include Golu, an arrangement of miniature dolls on steps that can take wildly creative and elaborate forms. My favorite part is unsurprisingly, the food: Sundal is a dry stir-fry of (typically) legumes - chickpeas, peanuts, etc. prepared every day for the offering to the gods and also offered to visiting family and friends. This version uses whole green moong and makes a protein and fiber-rich snack.
Green Moong Sundal
1 heaped cup whole green moong[150g] , see cooking note
2 Tbsp. avocado oil (or any other neutral oil)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. urad dal (black gram, split and skinned)
¼ tsp. asafoetida (hing)
10-15 curry leaves, chopped
2 green chili(s) (sub jalapeno or thai chili) chopped
1 scant cup finely diced onion[125g]
¼ tsp. ground turmeric
1 ½ tsp. salt, to taste
3 Tbsp. fresh or frozen shredded coconut (sub dry unsweetened shredded coconut)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, to taste
Step 1. Pressure cook green moong until just done (12 minutes on high pressure in an Instant Pot, quick release after 8 minutes, or see cooking note). The beans should be cooked al dente. Drain and set aside.
Step 2. In a pan on medium heat, add oil and mustard seeds. When they pop, add urad dal, chilis, asafoetida and curry leaves. Cook for a minute or until urad dal turns light golden brown.
Step 3. Add onions, turmeric and cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring.
Step 4. Add cooked moong, salt and mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated throughout. Do not overcook.
Step 5. Turn off the stove, add coconut, lemon juice and mix well.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can also cook the green moong on the stovetop. Ideally, soak the beans overnight or at least for a few hours. Bring 5 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan, add moong, and cook covered, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed, until just done.