Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings – cut quantities in half for a smaller portion!)
- 3/4 cup split mung beans, soaked (look in the bulk section of a health food store.You can use whole mung beans or red dal/lentils if you cannot find split mung. Whole mung is dark green, while split mung is yellow since the green hull has been removed.)
- 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
- 6-8 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons ghee (see recipe, or find an organic brand in a health food store)
- Optional: 1-2 cups chopped vegetables (try sweet potatoes, carrots, greens and/or zucchini)
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger root (remove skin)
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt (look for mineral-rich variety, like pink Himalayan)
- optional: 3-4 pinches hing (AKA asafetida) – helps reduce gas-producing quality of beans
- optional: 1 square inch of kombu (seaweed) – also helps reduce gas and adds minerals
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh lime wedges
1. Rinse mung beans and soak in pure water for 24 hours, or at least overnight, to reduce gas-producing quality of the beans. Drain soaking water off and rinse again, then set aside.
2. In a saucepan warm the ghee over medium-low heat. Add the mustard seeds and sauté for one to two minutes until the seeds start to pop. Add the minced ginger, cumin and fennel seeds and sauté for another one to two minutes. Then add the hing (if using), salt, and turmeric. (Take care not to burn the powdered spices, which can happen quickly!)
3. Add the rinsed rice and soaked mung beans and stir for another minute. Then add 6 cups of water and about 1 square inch of kombu (if using). Raise the heat to bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook until beans and rice are soft (about 45 minutes -1 hour). Check partway through and add more water as needed to prevent sticking and to get desired consistency. The beans and rice should lose their shape a bit and take on a creamy consistency. The beans should not be crunchy at all.
5. Garnish each serving with fresh cilantro, a few squeezes of fresh lime, and salt to taste.
Optional: You can add vegetables during the cooking process by adding denser, longer-cooking vegetables (such as carrots or sweet potatoes) halfway through the cooking time. Add vegetables that cook faster (such as zucchini or leafy greens) near the end.