Many dals rely on deep flavors, but here’s an example of how fresh, bright ingredients can set off the natural earthiness of the beans. The result is a hearty dish that is also refreshing, even in summer.
Other beans you can use: dried pigeon peas, black-eyed peas, or chickpeas (cook for up to an hour longer)
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- Total Time: 30 Minutes
- 1½ cups dried mung beans, rinsed and picked over
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 2 medium green apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- Pinch ground turmeric (optional)
- 2 cups coconut milk (to make your own, see page 304, or use a 14-
- ounce can plus a little water)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
- Juice of 1 lime
- Put the beans, coconut, apples, ginger, garlic, turmeric if you’re using it, the coconut milk, and brown sugar in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low so the liquid bubbles steadily but not violently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are quite soft, 45 to 60 minutes, adding water or coconut milk as needed to keep everything moist. Add salt when the beans begin to soften.
- When the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened, sprinkle with pepper and stir in the mint, scallions, and lime juice. Cook for a minute or 2 more. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.
- MUNG BEAN DAL WITH CARROTS, CASHEWS, AND THAI BASIL A nice twist: Use whole cashews instead of the coconut. Instead of the apples, use 3 or 4 medium carrots. Add a couple of dried Thai chiles if you like and replace the mint with Thai (or other) basil.