Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sprouted Mung Bean Curry with Cashew Nuts - Goan Style (Mung Gaathi with Biyo)

Sprouted Mung Gaathi with warm Phulkas


I am just back from India vacation and its taking a lot of effort on my part to get back to the daily routine. Ma pampered me a lot and now I have to force and drag my homesick self to the kitchen. Given a chance she will gladly cook for me day and night (I kid you not!) but this time I put my foot down and said NO. Many times we had home style lunches and dinners and we also went out often and met most of my family members and relatives. I am glad that Ma got some break due to the outings. Sometimes I get very annoyed seeing her in the kitchen all the time. I also realize that my parents have grown old and do not have the same energy levels as before. I was delighted to spend my time with my parents and together we had a gala time. We enjoyed out time together and chatted till our jaws ached. Now, back home its not an ideal situation but I am learning to move along though I'm feeling homesick yet again.

While in India, I got to know about Sandy and the mayhem she caused everywhere on East Coast of USA. I spent long hours watching CNN and the destruction left me teary eyed. My area has been badly affected as a result of Sandy. I see rebuilding and reconstruction effort everywhere and it makes me sad to see nature's fury which sometimes lies beyond the human realm of control. Things are getting better and slowly, bit by bit every effort is being made to ensure things are back to normal. For now, I don't have access to Indian groceries and I am managing with what I can procure from my local stores.

One of my favorite ingredients to cook with is sprouted Mung Beans. There is a different sort of deja vu when you soak the seeds, see them germinate and then the beautiful sprouts peeking out of the seeds - such a tiny experiential joy yet, so nurturing and nourishing. Ma often reminds me to eat them because of the cooling properties of Mung Beans especially the sprouted ones. 

Back home, Ma makes two varieties of sprouted Mung Beans - Muga Ghashi - Konkani style and Mung Gaathi - Goan style. Goan cuisine is close to my heart and part of my heritage as much as GSB Konkani food which is also a domineering part of my ethnic origin.

Mung Gaathi is often prepared on days when vegetarian diet is followed in Hindu homes which is on Monday and Thursday. My Maushi in Goa strictly follows the routine even to this day and by any chance if you reach home for lunch, you are sure to have a hearty thali served with one green vegetable, one bean/lentil/sprouts based dish, a small piece of stuffed Mango pickle (Bharlele Tor) and a shallow fried item. I had earlier posted a short-cut version here which I resort to when I don't have time. This recipe which I have posted today is a bit long drawn but made during festivals with cashew nuts. Typically, its paired with Puri/ Vade (made with Wheat flour and tad bit Rice flour). I have a small community of friends and family in Goa and everytime I visit them, they fondly remember my favorite dishes and make them for me without fail. Aren't they sweet? 

Today, years later when I tell my Aunts about my interpretation of their recipes, they gush and feel happy and nice. Gaathi as its called popularly in Goa has a thick, non-runny consistency and is often made with added Cashew Nuts/ Biyo or the tender version of these nuts available mostly during Yugadi/ Gudi Padva time in the market. They are also known as as Bibbo/ Bibbe/ Biyo

~ Mung Gaathi with Biyo ~
Prep Time - 8-12 hours of soak time
Cook Time - 30 minutes

Mung Beans/ Green Grams (sprouted) - 3-4 cups
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 2 pinches

For Gaathi Masala -
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Black Pepper corns (whole) - 4-6
Grated coconut (fresh or frozen) - 1/2 cup
Green Chillies - 2
Red Chilli (Byadgi variety) - 1

For Seasoning -
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 4-5
Coconut Oil

Sprouting the beans - Soak the Mung Beans  in water overnight. Rinse the beans on day 2 and cover with a wet cheese cloth. On Day 3, tiny sprouts will spurt from the beans.

Par-cook the beans in hot water with turmeric powder, jaggery and salt. In a small frying pan, heat coconut oil and sear the green chillies. Make sure you slit the chillies else the seeds burst owing to high pressure built inside. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool. In the same pan, roast coriander seeds, red chilli and whole black pepper corns. No need to add extra oil. Roast for 2 minutes and allow to cool. Grind all of the above to a smooth and thick paste. Add this paste to the cooked sprouts and bring to boil. Simmer with lid on 5-10 minutes.

For seasoning, in a small frying pan, heat oil and season with mustard seeds once hot. Once they splutter, add curry leaves and turn off flame. Pour this seasoning on the curry and mix well. Serve hot with Puris/ Phulkas/ Vade.

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