Friday, July 22, 2011

Dal With Celery (Mung Beans With Celery)

Celery is not a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. Since I love the flavor of celery in soups, I thought why not add some to the dal --- I did and was very happy with the results. The fresh cilantro (including most of the stems) is the perfect final touch.

Dal with celery is so heavenly tasting, you would want to make it again and again once you taste it :D. Celery and panch phoron combine to transform creamy Mung dal into something amazingly delicious. Serve the dal as soup, over plain rice/grains or with breads. So simple, yet so delectable!

Panch Phoron is a spice mix consisting equal amounts of the following seeds: mustard, fenugreek, Cumin, kalonji, and fennel. This recipe as given makes a mildly spicy dal; if you like it more spicy, leave the seeds in the chile or use more than one.

4 - 6 Servings


1 cup yellow Mung Dal
1/2 tsp Turmeric
Sea Salt to taste
2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Panch Phoron
1 pinch Asafoetida
2 cups Celery, including leaves, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeño or Serrano Chile, deseeded and minced
1/4 - 1/2 cup Cilantro, finely chopped


Sort and wash the dal well. Cook in water to cover until very soft; add turmeric and salt and mix well. Set aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan (about 2 or 3 quart/liter size) and add the fennel and panch phoron; when they are fragrant and begin to pop, add the asafoetida.

Immediately add the onions, celery, and chile with a pinch of salt; cook covered stirring occasionally until the veggies soften; sprinkle a tiny bit of water if necessary to keep veggies from sticking and burning.

Stir in the dal and simmer covered over low heat until the dal is creamy; add a little boiling water to thin the dal if necessary. The dal may be prepared thick or thin according to your preference.

Turn off the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.

Stir in the cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy!!

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