Friday, February 7, 2014

Matki chi Usal (Stir fried moth beans)

Pulses are low in fat and cholesterol, high in dietary fiber and rich in protein. This makes them a fantastic heart healthy food choice.

Indian cooking incorporates a lot of pulses in it's cuisines. Especially regional cuisines. You might not find all pulses at most of the restaurants but you will surely find them in most homes.

I enjoy making pulses for our regular lunch and dinners, mostly because there is minimal or no chopping required. Just soak the pulses in water and a few hours later, you are ready to use them.

The recipe I am sharing today is a simple one I cook almost once a week at our home mostly because of it's simplicity. This recipe has No Onion and No Garlic, which makes it ideal for days when you choose to offer it as 'Naivedya'  to God on auspicious days. I personally follow this recipe as it involves no chopping! Couldn't ask for more on a busy day.

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 - 5 people

3/4 cup matki (moth beans), soak in a lot of water overnight or for 6 - 7 hrs.
1 tblsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 pinch asafoetida
6 - 7 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder, or to taste
1.5 tsp goda masala, or to taste
2 - 3 kokum/ Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp jaggery (optional)
Water as required
Salt to taste
Coriander to decorate

Step 1 - Heat oil in a pot. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle and turn a little brown. Add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Stir for a couple of seconds.

Step 2 - Add the turmeric powder. Stir for a second and immediately add the drained, soaked matki. Saute for 2 mins. Add the red chilly powder and saute for 2 - 3 mins. If you notice that the mixture is too dry and the spices might burn, sprinkle some water over the mixture and keep mixing. Then add enough water, such that the matki are almost all under water. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let the matki cook well. Keep mixing occasionally.

Step 3 - Once you notice the water has substantially reduced and your matki is almost cooked, add in the goda masala, jaggery, kokum and salt. Mix well. Cook till the matki is well done. This can be checked by lightly pressing a few matkis. They should easily give way, but should not be all mashed up.

Decorate with coriander, squeeze some lemon if you are not using kokum and serve with some hot rotis.

Do not add the kokum or jaggery before the matki are almost cooked, this could prevent the pulse from cooking properly.

If you do not have goda masala, you could add some garam masala (3/4 tsp) instead. This will alter the taste of the preparation, but it will still taste great.

Some homes decorate this preparation with some fresh grated coconut. This makes for a great topping.

Using sprouted matki, would make this dish even more healthy. So if you have time, go for it.