Mugg ni daar | Mung Lentils
This split and dehusked mung bean is tiny and yellow. They are easy to digest, cook within an hour, and will absorb all the flavours you may add to them.
Generally served as an accompanying dish to fried fish, mugg ni daar was a staple to add to the menu on a rushed day. If it is to be a meal by itself, it pairs rather well with keri ni chutney and buffenu from The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders. Limbu khajoor ni chutney on page xxx and methia nu achar on page xxx also pair well. Warm, fresh rotli, or crispy bread, is served with this lentil.
1 lb mung lentils
1 kg, fried onions – a packed cupful of pre-fried onions
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tomatoes cut in quarters
2 tbsp salted butter
Juice from two oranges
A teaspoon of freshly chopped mint
Wash the lentils until the water runs clear. Heat a tablespoon of oil and add the onions to fry until they are golden brown. Add the salt, turmeric and chili powders. Saute` for a minute and add the washed lentils. Add 2 cups of water and the tomato. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and cook for 30 minutes. Check if the water has evaporated; continue to cook until it is al dente`. Remove the cover and add the butter and juice of the oranges. Stir and allow it to finish cooking on a low flame. Sprinkle with the mint and serve.
Squeeze of lime and lemon is generally preferred. But in my opinion the orange juice lifts the flavour in this recipe. Variations like fresh corriander to mint and adding garlic, ginger and cumin is common. 2 whole green chillies that have been split are a favourite to add.
Freshly sliced raw onions and cucumbers tossed in vinegar with a dash of salt make a delicious side.
The lentils should be soft but hold their shape and be whole. It should not be dry-chora jayvee. The water has to be dry, but the dish has to be visually moist. If necessary, add more water.
Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Vegetarian Parsi, inspired by tradition is an award winning cookbook. It was published by Spenta Multimedia India and is available on Amazon India and through email order at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.