Today the little sun dried lentil nuggets are cooked in a spiced garlic tomato sauce. It is a relatively easy recipe once you get hold of the wadis/or the lentil drops.
Remember the Mung Wadis I made in summer? This is the curry I made with some of them. As I have mentioned in my earlier post, that the wadis may be cooked in many different ways. The recipe today serves as a side dish, served with rice or flat bread. These are popular mostly in the northern regions of India. While they are cooked in a spicy sauce most of the times, they are also cooked with vegetables and spinach in the eastern regions. I will post that kind some time later.
the Mung Wadis, lightly roasted…
We have a tiny little break – fall break. These four days are filled with only glee and giggles with the girls at home. I have not been doing much other than spending time with them and being silly and absolutely loving the no rush mornings and the late nights. We also found some time to visit the small pumpkin patch close to our home, a ritual to be followed before every Halloween. While it has cooled down here, but it still does not feel anywhere near to the orange and yellow of the autumn. It might sound funny, but the pumpkin patch and the run down the hay stacks and the maze might be the only way to make ourselves accustomed to the season at this point.
I will make this post short and head off straight to the recipe.
Masala Mung Wadi- Lentil Drops in Garlic Tomato Sauce
Ingredients: (serves 4 as a side)
- 1 & 3/4 cup dried mungwadi/mungaudi/dried lentil drops - (homemade or store bought)
- 1 cup chopped red onion (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoon oil + 1.5 teaspoon oil
- 1 inch stick cinnamon
- 1 small green cardamom
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 4 tablespoon tomato paste + 3/4 cup water
- 2.5 tablespoon garlic paste or chili garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon red kashmiri chili powder (found in Indian grocery stores) /or paprika/or red chili powder (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- fresh coriander/cilantro for garnish
In a skillet, add 1.5 teaspoon oil and roast the mung wadis/lentil drops, while constantly moving them around, for about 3-5 minutes. They should have golden to light brown spots on them. Remove them from heat, transfer them to a bowl or plate and set aside. Let cool.
Pound the cinnamon, clove and the cardamom a couple of times, to coarsely break them, or use a rolling pin. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom. When they sizzle, add the cumin seeds and in a few seconds add the finely chopped onions. Fry onions in medium heat until they soften and starts to turn golden; about 7-10 minutes.
Combine tomato paste, water, garlic paste/chili garlic paste, coriander powder, salt, turmeric, chili powder in a bowl. Add this mix to the pan. Cook while stirring frequently until the water reduces, and the whole mix leaves the side of the pan. You will see the oil separating and floating on the top and also leave the sides of the pan.
Add the lightly roasted mung wadis to the pan and toss everything so that the spice mix coats the wadis/lentil drops. Cook them for a minute. Add about 2-3 cups of warm water to the pan. ( I have not given an approximate amount of water here as the amount will depend on the kind of wadis/lentil drops. Sometimes they cook faster and you will less water. So please adjust as per needed). Simmer at low to medium heat, uncovered or partially covered until the wadis/drops are almost done. Switch off the heat and remove the pan from the heat. It should take about 10-15 minutes depending on the kind of wadis.
(Few things to note here:
Remove the wadis from the heat when they are almost cooked through. I said almost because they will soak up the sauce even after the cooking and will get tender. So it is best that they are stopped cooking before they are all done, or else you will end up in a mush of broken wadis.
The sauce will reduce considerably in amount as it sits; the wadis soak up a lot of it. So if you think you need more sauce, add more water while cooking and remove from heat when there it still has quite a lot of sauce left. Again the amount of sauce needed is as per preference. If you need it soupy, you will definitely need to add extra water.
If you are not ready to serve yet, simmer the wadis in the sauce only until half done. Then when ready to serve, you can reheat and cook until done. Or if you have time before serve, hold off add the wadis to the pan and cooking them. Prepare the sauce and then add the wadis/drops when ready to simmer and serve.)
The curry should have enough sauce to dip a flat bread to soak it up. Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander if you want.. as a side dish.