MOTH BEANS CURRY
A dear friend of mine spoke of her challenges in stocking up her pantry as she works full time during this COVID lockdown. She is a Nurse.
She found a packet of moth beans lying at the back of her cupboard and unsurprisingly she didn't know how to cook them.
Hence this post is for her and many more like her.
Moth Beans or Moat beans are known as Matki in India are protein-packed and with high dietary fibre just like mung beans, but they are not the same.
Moth Beans are brown husked and are much smaller in their appearance, unlike their mung bean cousin.
Moth beans make a versatile protein-high lentil curry.
I am not sure if I can call it as lentil or as curry as they retain their shape even after substantially cooking for a more extended period. Hence referring them as Moth bean lentil curry. Safe.
Moth beans require a pre-soaking of at least 4 hrs, and you will be surprised at the amount of water these little fellows can use when they swell up.
I use a heavy-bottomed pan to pre-cook them separately as I have loads of hands downtime, but if you are in a rush pressure cooking with 2-3 whistles works the best.
It is ready in 20 mins if you have pre-cooked them and can be easily adapted to vegan.
Here is the recipe.
MOTH BEANS CURRY
Passive Time: OVERNIGHT/4 HOURS soaking
Cooking Time: 30 min
Total Time: 4.45HRS
Yields: 4 servings
1 cup moth beans picked for stones, well rinsed
3 cups hot water, and more as needed
1 medium onion, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1" fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 green chilli pepper, chopped
2 tbsp ghee, use any plant-based oil for vegan
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 tbsp fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
1 dry red chilli broken into 2 pieces
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt as desired
2 lemons, juiced
2 sprigs of fresh coriander for serving
1) Preparing the moth beans- In a large pot, wash the moth beans and let the water run clear. Soak the moth beans overnight with plenty of water. Discard the water.
In a heavy-bottomed pan or in a pressure cooker, cook the beans with 2 cups of hot water until soft.
2) In a skillet, heat the ghee/oil over high heat. Reduce the heat and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, followed by the broken chilli. Allow the seeds to sizzle. Then add the mint leaves and cook for a minute.
3) Next, put the onion and saute until translucent followed by the garlic and cook for 3-4 mins until the garlic becomes fragrant.
4) Now transfer the pre-cooked moth beans into the skillet and add all dry ingredients stirring the mixture until well combined. Add another 1 cup of hot water and bring the moth beans to a boil stirring the curry mixture once or twice.
5) Once the moth beans come to a boil, turn off the heat and stir in half of the lemon juice. Taste and decide if another half of the lemon juice needs going into the curry.
Notes and Variations:
1) Some prefer to cook this as a one-pot from scratch directly without pre-cooking the moth beans. But cooking this way means you are overcooking the other potent ingredients for very long along with the beans. Beans take longer to cook in comparison to Onion, Ginger, Garlic.
2) Cooking the moth beans before adding them to the tempering ensures a short cooking time of the other ingredients and the potency of the other components will keep well.
3) You can add fresh tomatoes or tinned tomatoes to this recipe instead of a heavy dose of lemon.
4) You can stir in coconut milk instead of another cup of hot water. But mix in the coconut milk after turning the heat off.
- Lure it hot
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve with naan bread or steamed rice. Try it!
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