Hope all of you had a lovely 4th of July. We took a little vacation to LA and Malibu.It was our first road trip ever & could not have been more fun.We spent a lot of time on beaches, sun bathing, chatting and eating fresh seafood. A visit to botanical gardens and theme park rounded off Â the trip. All in all,Â LA was definitely a respite from the over the top hot weather in Vegas right now. Its 113 F/45 C as I type this 🙁
Breaking loose from almost a perfect vacation, our car refused to behave a couple of times in the middle of Mojave desert while driving back. Being 4th of July and with everything closed, we almost reached a point when we decided to stay over in nearby town for the night. However, thanks to few God sent personnel at gas stations,we managed way back home.
I normally don't binge during vacations,still all the outside food makes me want to eat simple, clean meals for the days that follow. I came home wanting just that. This salad is my go to recipe for those days.
Yellow Mung lentils (dal) are de skinned whole mung bean and have a very mild taste. I have grown eating them in this dryish preparation either as a side with flat breads or mixed with ghee & rice as well as salad.Â Since yellow mung lentils are quick to cook, this salad can be fixed in no time.Once you cook the lentils, it's just a matter of chopping the veggies and tossing everything together with lots of lemon juice. I added a handful of ready to eat edamame beans & there it was - a hearty, protein packed salad which is so light & summery. And yup..so healthy!
Did I tell you..this is my 150th post...kinda feels good 🙂
Lentils form a big part of indian cuisine - meals are far from complete without them - soups, fritters, flat breads, stews, patties...you will find them used in all ways imaginable. India being a vegetarian country, we get our daily protein dose from them. I cook lentils daily in some way or the other. P is more of a lentil soup person, I enjoy them either way.
I was introduced to edamame after I came to USA. I did not care for them much initially but knowing how good they are, now I try to include them in our diet as much as possible.I am still away from eating them all on their own but have found a perfect way to eat them this way - overshadowed by earthy taste of lentils & crunch of fresh vegetables - hardly making their presence felt.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
- ½ cup yellowÂ mung dal, split
- 2 cups water (for soaking)
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil (substitute with any oil of choice)
- 1 tspÂ jeeraÂ (cumin)
- ¼ tspÂ hingÂ (asafoetida)
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 3- 4 tablespoon water (for cooking)
For the salad
- ¼ cup each chopped red onion,cucumber, tomatoes (use any veggies of choice in any quantity you like)
- ¼ cup edamame (I used ready to eat, if using raw, see note in method)
- 4-5 fresh mint/cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 green chillies, finely chopped
- Red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1.5 tablespoon fresh lime/lemon juice (or to taste)
- Olive Oil (to drizzle)
- salt to adjust
Cooking LentilsÂ - Thoroughly wash the mung lentils 2-3 times under stream of water. Soak the lentils in 2 cups of water for atleast 2.5 -3 hours.Â Once soaked, drain out the soaking liquid. Set aside.
In a medium pot with lid, heat the oil on medium. Once you see ripples on the surface of the oil, reduce the heat to low. Temper the oil withÂ jeeraÂ &Â hing. Wait for 10-15 seconds till theÂ jeeraÂ crackles & you smell the aroma ofÂ hing. Add the minced ginger & turmeric powder next & saute for another 10 seconds.
Next, add the soaked lentils and salt to taste. Stir well to coat the lentils in the tempering. Add 3 tablespoon of water to the pot and cover. Let cook on low heat for 8-12 minutes till the lentils are thoroughly cooked but retain their shape.Â You need to check 1-2 times in between to see that the lentils are not sticking to the pot bottom, if so, add a tablespoon of water. Dont peek too much while the lentils cook, the idea is so steam them slowly on low heat.
Note :- If using fresh edamame beans, add them to the pot towards the last 3-4 minutes of cooking, so that they steam with the lentils.This will ensure that they remain green & crunchy.Â
Once cooked, put the stove off and let the lentils & edamame sit covered for another 5-8 minutes till they cool down a bit. Fluff gently using a fork and let them cool off completely.Â At this point, if you want to make the salad later, you can refrigerate the lentils in air tight containers for 1-2 days.Â
Assembling the SaladÂ - In a medium bowl, toss the cooled lentils & edamame with the chopped vegetables, mint, cilantro & green chillies. Squirt lemon juice, add red pepper flakes, olive oil (if using) and salt to taste. Combine well and serve at room temperature.