Since I have been trying to reduce the amount of carbs I eat at night on this silly weight loss thing I am supposed to be doing, I often make a dry lentil dish to eat in a bowl, all by itself (no rice!). We have all adapted to this rather odd way of eating lentils, and now quite enjoy it. Mostly it is chickpeas or beans of some sort and sometimes mung dhal cooked in a couple of different ways. I will post a recipe of my favourite way of cooking them soon. This version does not qualify as a ‘recipe’ as it was a totally easy, lazy way of cooking…that resulted in a pretty fine meal.
I really did not feel like cooking that evening. Even the thought of selecting spices to use, let alone peeling a clove of garlic or taking a few steps into the garden to pick curry leaves, was way too much to contemplate. Since I have been doing this pantry clean out I have ‘discovered’ a few packets of spice mixes. I am sometimes buy different pre mixed spice packets with the idea of trying them out, but usually the spice snob in me wins out and I just mix my own. Hence the small collection of packets languishing in the pantry. I also found a packet of split mung beans which I decided to use. No soaking. Too much effort. Here is what I did:
Slice up one red onion, mix through some salt and lime juice. Marvel at how the lime juice brings out the lovely pink-ness of the onions. Smile. The taste of lime and red onions transports me back to India – it is such a common condiment served with so many meals.
Throw the split mung beans in a pot and rinse them out with some water. Add enough water until the mung beans are barely covered and cook on a moderate heat. Open a packet of spice mix (think the type does not matter at all here. For the record I used a Pav Bhaji mix). Throw in a teaspoonful at a time (tasting as you go so you know how spicy you want it) and stir half heartedly. Add a bit of salt. When cooked through, serve up in a bowl and top with some of the (by now soft-ish) onion. The lime in the onion is the perfect bit of sourness you need for lentils.
Surprisingly good result. Considering how little effort was required compared to the more standard way of cooking lentils, I have to say that this was a bit of a winner for a quick meal. If you are a novice at cooking lentils, try this approach as it certainly tastes more impressive than it deserves to!