Rajgira (Amaranthus/ Chaurai) and Moong Dal
This dish is privileged to be the impetus behind two very interesting poems -one funny, cute and lighthearted and the other very sombre and thought provoking - by my blogger and Facebook friend Suranga Date on her blo
And in two languages! The Akshaypatra truly brimmeth over!
(This time not by the endless supply of sarees- LOL! that was another Akshaypatra! LOL! what is this with the endless supply of sarees, food, hubbies...some people are indeed blessed!)
This is a simple bhaji or saag - almost a stir fry in a style that is very typically Marathi. My mother made a whole lot of combinations with moong dal, so I know the Rajgira leaves can be substituted with any greens, or even mooli and all gourds –I especially love it with snake gourd with some coconut and cumin ground together!
The stir frying / quick cooking retains the nutritional values of the greens and dal and the dish can go well with rice, chapattis, phulkas or jowar/bajra rotis. Tastes great as an accompaniment to dahi chawal, kadhi chawal or rasam-rice and also is a nutritional complement to these combinations of meals.
2 cups rajgira leaves and tender stalks, picked, washed and chopped
¾ cup chopped onion
½ cup split yellow moong dal soaked for at least an hour (will yield a larger volume after soaking)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic (or more)
2 dry red chillies (or more)
½ teaspoon rai seeds
½ teaspoon jeera
¼ teaspoon haldi
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon oil
Heat oil in a kadhai and add the rai to splutter and jeera a few seconds later. Add the red chillies and fry for a few seconds. Add the onions, garlic and haldi and sauté just a bit. Add the chopped rajgira and stir for a few seconds. Drain the moong dal and sprinkle it evenly on top of the rajgira. The moisture from the chopped leaves will allow the dal to cook without burning or sticking to the bottom. Sprinkle some of the water in which the dal was soaked if required. Cover and cook on low heat for a few minutes until you see white steam escaping from under the lid. Remove the lid and stir the bhaji till most of the moisture is absorbed. Add salt to taste and the pinch of sugar (optional). Stir for a minute and remove from fire.
Serve hot or cold. You could even use sprouted moong beans- it’ll make the dish even more nutritious!