My neighbor, Billy, brought me the first greens of the season from his garden this morning. These fresh greens inspired me to make a version of my dad’s favorite Dal. The traditional version of this dish is made with spinach or mustard greens.
Ingredients: Serves 6
- 1 cup of dried split mung beans
- 8 large Tuscan kale leave
- 8 large curly kale leaves
- 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup in volume)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 small chilies, minced
- 3 inches of ginger, minced
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 4 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
Prep the kale by cutting out the stems with a paring knife. Then roll up the leaves and julienne them. This is called a “Brazil” cut.
Cooking the mung beans:
- While you prep the vegetables soak the mung beans in enough water to cover
- When you are done prepping the vegetables pour off the water the mung beans are soaking in
- Add the mung beans to a crock pot with 4 cups of fresh water, a bay leaf and a dash of salt
- Turn the crock pot on high and and cook the mung beans until a white foam forms on top
- Use a spoon to scoop off the foam. Discard the foam.
- Continue cooking the mung beans until they become tender but not mushy. When this stage is reached, the beans will have expanded and will look like the photo below.
Cooking the vegetable mixture:
- Coat a medium saucepan with 3 tablespoons of grape seed oil. Add the onion, ginger, chili, black mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
- Turn the stove to medium and saute until brown (about 8 minutes)
- Add the powdered spices (garam masala, turmeric and smoked paprika) along with the tomato paste.
- Turn the stove to low and continue to cook until the powdered spices have bloomed. This should take about 4 minutes.
- Then deglaze the pan with the lime juice and add the greens along with a dash of salt.
- Cook the greens until they wilt. This will only take 2-3 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf from the cooked mung beans and stir in the cooked vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.