If you’ve ever been to a temple in India, you may remember being offered ‘blessed food’ or prasadam. Prasadam or prasad is often laddu or another sweet but can also be savory. Some temples are so well known for their prasad that I suspect some ‘devotees’ are really after the food. They’ve checked their offline version of Yelp and who can blame them? Those temple cooks can be really good!
One of my favorite foods to receive was curried mung beans. This is also a dish that is often served as a side at homes. While the spices add flavor, the mung beans and shredded coconut provide texture making this a great side dish to eat with rice and Daal.
All you need are a few spices and pantry items. You could also make this with black-eyed peas or chickpeas, both available canned. See notes.
- 1 cup mung beans, soaked in 3 cups of water overnight, drained and rinsed
- 1 small onion, diced (roughly 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 green chili, diced (optional, de-seeding helps reduce the heat)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 5-10 curry leaves
- Pinch asafoetida
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Roughly 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons lime juice (fresh is best)
- Place the soaked mung beans in a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes or till the mung beans are cooked and slightly mushy.
- In the meantime, prep the remaining ingredients and have all the spices ready to use.
- If you are using frozen coconut, thaw to room temperature. If using desiccated coconut, re-hydrate in 1/2 cup warm water for 5 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a pan or skillet over medium high heat. The oil is hot enough if you throw in a mustard seed and it sizzles.
- Carefully add the mustard seeds to the hot oil and wait a few seconds or till the seeds start spluttering. Add the curry leaves and asafoetida.
- After 10 seconds, add the green chili and diced onion. Cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally till the onion is translucent.
- Add the cooked mung beans, cilantro, shredded coconut, salt and lime juice. Mix well and taste. Add more salt / lime juice if you like.
- Serve as a salad or with rotis, chapatis, toasted tortillas. My favorite way to eat this is with rice, yogurt and mango pickle.
Soaking, rinsing and draining any dried legumes removes some of the water-soluble carbohydrates that are typically hard to digest. You can substitute 2 cans of either black-eyed peas or chickpeas (or one each). Rinse and drain before adding in step 7.