What: A high protein dal legume seed cooked tender, mixed with ginger, garlic, onions, cumin seed, parsley, and served on a bed of greens with a lime juice dressing. Additional accoutrements included plain yogurt, seasoned bulgur wheat, and fresh lemon.
Why: New cookbook + I love mung beans
Complications: I was really excited about this cookbook (recipes derived from ancient trade routes rather than modern day political borders + good Amazon reviews ~= awesome), but this recipe wasn’t exactly a slam dunk. I changed quite a few things this time around, with some ideas about more changes for next time. What did she mean by “one small onion”? I marinated a cooking onion in the dressing, but for next time I’ll probably use a red onion.
Result: Don’t let my negativity fool you- it was still pretty good. S gave it “high marks” using words such as “brilliant” and “spot on.” He could have been patronizing me, though, it’s tough to tell.
Next time: No sugar in the dressing, only a tb of cumin, more ginger, use red onion. Layer mung beans, greens, bulgur (or cous cous), and top with yogurt (instead of serving separately). My adaptations follow.
Samarkand Mung Bean Salad
Adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij’s Silk Road Cooking
Bring to boil 1 c of beans in 4 c of water and 1 ts salt. Cover and simmer gently for about 25 minutes. Strain in a colander and let cool to roomish temp.
Whisk together 2 tb lime juice, 1/4 c veggie oil, salt, black pepper, 1/2 ts curry powder (next time: more), 1 ts sugar (NT: nix), pinch red pepper flakes. Mix in a thinly sliced small cooking onion and let marinate for at least an hour (not necessary for mild onions like red or sweet).
Add 1 minced clove of garlic, a finely chopped 1/2 inch piece of ginger (NT: more, lots more), a handful of parsely (NT: cilantro/basil/any leafy green herb) finely chopped, 2 tb toasted cumin seed (NT: 1 tb). [To toast cumin: add to dry skillet over medium heat and toss until fragrant- don’t burn.] Add mung beans, and mix well. Sprinkle in some more s&p and lime juice to taste.
Prepare bulgur wheat (couscous/rice/other grain):
Bring to boil 2/3 c bulgur wheat with 4/3 c water (or, twice as much water as bulgur; I was using a 1/3 measuring cup). Keep covered and simmer about 15 minutes. When cooked, mix in some olive oil and a lot of s&p (NT: no need for this if it’s getting mixed in with the salad).
Plate the salad:
Mound bulgur on a handful of baby greens. Mound mung bean mixture on top of that, and then top with a big dollop of yogurt. S&p.