Poor, unfashionable mung beans… While a number of ingredients have crossed the aisle from “health food” to mainstream (hummus, tofu), or even become trendy (quinoa, chia seeds), mung beans are not among them.
There is still something 1970s, socks-and-sandals, “knit your own yogurt” about mung beans (at least in their un-sprouted form). Or maybe it’s a name thing… if you were brainstorming names to market a new legume, I doubt “mung” would make the long list.
Having been a friend of the mung bean for years, I’d like to introduce them to a wider social circle. This mung bean coconut curry is a good place to start. Quick to make (mung beans don’t need pre-soaking), delicious, healthy and cheap, this curry is a winner.
Indian beans on toast is the happy result of one of those “what can I possibly make for dinner?” evenings. The kind where you’re that close to admitting defeat and ordering pizza.
But then you notice a couple of tins of cannellini beans you’d bought to have with the chicken breasts you forgot you’d already eaten, and decide that the onion with the shoots emerging from the top is still usable, and remember there are a few slices of sourdough bread in the freezer.
And with the last tin of tomatoes from the garage, you produce something that – while far from dinner party fare – is pretty tasty, if you do say so yourself.
This oven-baked chicken tikka is dead easy to make. The most time consuming bit is threading the pieces of chicken onto the skewers. It also works really well with chunks of paneer.
The recipe is an adaptation of Meera Sodha’s version in her Made in India cookbook.
Mattar paneer is one of my favourite curries to make at home. It’s just never as fresh when you order it in a restaurant. The peas will have gone a bit grey and sad looking, and the paneer will be rubbery.
More often than not, they will have added cream as well, which seems unnecessary in a curry that contains cheese.
Kachumber is a simple, delicious Indian chopped salad that takes just minutes to make. It provides a welcome freshness to any Indian meal, and works particularly well with kebabs and grilled meat.
Kachumber is so straightforward to make that a recipe isn’t really necessary. But for the record, here’s the way I make it. Continue reading
Pondering how to use up the remains of a jar of mint sauce that had been hanging about the fridge for too long, I hit upon the idea of making a batch of lamb and pea samosas.
Although I’ve made them for years, I still haven’t settled on a method for making samosas. Sometimes I buy frozen samosa wrappers from the Indian grocers. I’ve also had a go at making my own pastry (not a notable success).
I’ve made this curry a few times now, as it proved popular with both girls. I like the way the flavours and textures remain distinct – the soft sweetness of cauliflower, fresh pop of peas and crunch of cashews make for a very satisfying dish. Continue reading