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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dill and Split Mung Stir Fry/ Shepu Chi Bhaaji

This is a nutritious and delicious recipe. It is also one of the only recipes I know which uses dill as the main ingredients and not as a spice. Dill has a strong licorice like flavor and also a strong spicy fragrance. This is a Maharashtrian delicacy. For many  people it is an an acquired taste and there are some who find that dill tastes too sharp and spicy. I hadn't ever eaten it while in India, but when my husband asked me to make "shepu chi bhaaji (dill curry)", I called up my Mom and sure enough, got the recipe from her. I tasted it and to my surprise I liked it. I make it frequently now and it's a great addition to my green vegetable list.


Ingredients
1 tbsp oil
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1-2 dried red chillies (to taste)
a pinch of asafoetida powder/hing
1 medium red onion, diced (about half cup)
1 cup split mung/moong (yellow mung dal)
1 bunch of dill leaves (about 2 cups)
water
salt to taste


Method 
Soak the mung in water. The water should cover the mung completely. If the mung is peeled, soak for at least 15 minutes, if you are using mung with the peel, soak for about an hour. Drain the water before you begin the cooking process.


Heat the oil, add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the hing powder, red chillies and garlic. Add onions and fry them for a few mins. Add the soaked mung seeds in with about  one tablespoon of water. Stir and cover till the dal is cooked through. Stir every couple of minutes, so that the dal doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Next, add the dill leaves. Stir and let it cook for a couple of minutes till the dill wilts and is cooked through. Add salt to taste. Serve hot with chapati or as a side.


Tips
You can use the thin stalks of dill, and you do not have to separate the leaves which are very thin and pin like. Just cut off the thicker, fibrous stalks. The dill leaves will shrink in volume as they cook down, so be prepared for the overall volume to be around the same as the mung that you use.

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