Normally I try out Spinach and split yellow moong together in the form of a simple dal. I wanted to change the routine a bit this time. So instead of going with split moong, I used whole moong. Also instead of a onion-garlic-tomato style of dal, I used a coconut-tamarind spice mixture that is commonly used in South Indian cooking. I ended up with this absolutely delicious side dish!
There is a slight crunch from the whole moong, the tanginess from the tamarind and spiciness form chillies! The coconut adds a great texture to the gravy. I generally don’t use a whole lot of coconut in my gravies because I find that it makes the curry very heavy. So I use just a tablespoon or two of grated coconut and blend it with a spoonful of the veggies I am cooking with. It’s a great trick to get good consistency without overloading on the coconut 😉
As the weather turns colder, I generally look for some hot comforting dinner in the evening. This dish hits the right spot – I served it with some chapathi. I had the leftovers with some rice and I even used some of it just as soup. This recipe is so simple and comes together in 20 minutes – you have got to try it for yourself 🙂
Whole Moong and Spinach Gojju (Coconut-tamarind gravy)
- 1 cup whole moong (dry)
- 3 cups of chopped spinach
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
- 2 tbsp coconut
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste (or to taste)
- 3-4 dried red chillies (or to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Wash the moong dal and spinach thoroughly.
- In a cooker, heat 1 tsp of oil.Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let it crackle. Add the hing as well. (In case you don’t have a pressure cooker please refer to the notes section below to see how to cook in a pan)
- Then add the moong dal and spinach also to the cooker (save about 2-3 tbsp of spinach for grinding)
- Add salt and 2 cups of water and cook for 2-3 whistles. Let the pressure release completely after that.
- Meanwhile, grind the coconut, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, red chillies and tamarind along with the spinach you had set aside. Add water as required to get a smooth paste.
- Once the cooker is released, add this ground paste and let the whole mixture boil for 5 minutes. Add water as required to adjust the consistency. Also adjust salt and spice as per your taste. Serve this hot with some chapathi or rice. Or enjoy it like a soup 🙂
- If you don’t have a cooker, follow the same steps using a thick bottomed pan. Cook for 20-30 minutes with the lid closed till the moong dal softens. You can even soak the moong dal for a few hours to help speed up the cooking process.