India, a land rich in dry beans, peas and lentils,
supplies to its general; populous a diet high in protein, minerals,
vitamins and fiber. These beans, peas and lentils are classified as
legumes, i.e., plants having pods with edible seeds used fresh or dried.
Dried legumes can be stored whole or split, and when split they are called
dals. The word dal has a common connotation for all Indians, meaning a
soup-like preparation made from any leguminous plant. Dal is generally
served with Indian bread or rice, and sometimes it is eaten straight from
the bowl as soup.
Legumes are enjoyed by everyone because of its
nutty taste and soft texture and occupy a very prominent place in Indian
cuisine because of its low cost and high nutritive value. If the meals
are properly supplemented with complementary proteins, one could get a
well-balanced diet inexpensively. Realizing this, people starts including
them in their daily meals. Their flavorful,. Delicious and versatile
quality led to the creation of countless recipes thus enriching the
vegetarian cooking with its wonderful varieties. Dried beans,. Peas and
lentils are cooked as a vegetable or with vegetables and sometimes
combined with protein foods to make a main dish,. Or a side dish like a
dip. Legumes are cooked in many different ways by different cuisine�s,
i.e., by mashing,. Mixing, pureeing, stuffing or baking. When one becomes
familiar with the cooking methods,. Once can create innumerable recipes
according to one�s choice and liking.
Though legumes are high in protein value, they are
considered incomplete as they lack one or more of the eight essentials;
amino acids which are necessary for our growth. As such, proteins consist
of 22 amino acids, out of which 14 are made, in the body and eight are to
be derived from the plant protein. Plants like nuts, cereals, beans,
peans and lentils are high in protein. To make complete proteins they
must be judicially combined with each other so that they can supply all of
the eight amino acids necessary for a healthy and strong body. But the
question is how to combine foods to make a complete protein? So, for the
benefit of the readers a chart is given to help plan a complete protein
meal; for yourself and your family.
Note: All the dried bean, peas and lentils must be
picked over carefully before cooking because it has foreign particles and
sometimes tiny stones. They must also be washed thoroughly before
cooking. If you do not have the beans, peas or lentils, the recipe calls
for try to substitute with the ones available in the market. But make
sure that split lentils are substituted with split peas. I am sure your
recipes will taste delicious and you will add new recipes to your
mung ni dal)
1 cup mung dal 2 Tblsp
ghee, butter, or oil
2 cups water 1 medium
tomato, chop fine
� tsp cumin seeds 1 small
capsicum, chop fine
1 Tbisp coriander-cumin powder Salt to taste
� tsp turmeric Juice of �
� tsp hing 1 tsp
chopped coriander leaves
Pick over and wash the
dal. Cover with water just above above the level of the dal and soak for
approximately half and hour.
Add 2 cups of water to
the dal. Bring to a boil on high heat. Turn down the heat and simmer on
low for about 20 minutes.
In a separate pan heat
the ghee and add the cumin seeds. As the seeds start to brown, add all
the dry spices. Saute the spice mixture for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes
and capsicum. Saute for 3 minutes. Add this mixture top the dal.
Add salf and lemon juice
to the dal and cook for another 10 minutes.
Garnish with coriander