Washed split mung beans, but you can use different dahls, such as lentils, split peas, toor dahl, masoor dahl, or canned kidney beans.
Cooking Oil: canola or olive oil is fine
Rice: Basmati rice from India is best
Spices: tumeric, sambar powder, and salt
Vegetables: onions, green beans, potatoes, cilantro leaves and tomatoes ("Tomatoes will never hurt, and they are a must for this recipe").
"You could use different vegetables, such as cauliflower, spinach, turnips, okra, zucchini, and egg plant, or try blends of frozen vegetables, which are reputed to be more nutritious than "fresh" vegetables which have gone through shipping and storage.
1. In the beginning put some water in a pot and start boiling it. Use enough water to cover the split mung beans, but don't use too much water.
2. Search the beans and rice for stones. If you bite down on a stone, you could crack a tooth. The best way to wash the beans or rice is in the sink in a large sieve over a larger pot of water. Dunk the sieve of beans or rice in the pot several times while running water through it.
3. If you are cooking for yourself, use about 1/2 cup of beans. (Indian cooks do not measure things out precisely.) Use about 2 Tbs. rice.
4. Put the beans in the hot water and add about 1/2 tsp. of tumeric and a little cooking oil to keep the dahl from boiling over. Do not put in salt at this time because it will impede the cooking of the beans. Cook the beans for about 10-15 minutes.
5. While the beans are cooking, wash all the vegetables and chop them up into "a 10-minute size." That is, so they will cook in about 10 minutes. How large is this? About the size of dice! How much vegetables to use? Oh, about as much as you need.
6. After about 10 minutes or so put in the rice and all the vegetables and cilantro leaves, and also put in a teaspoon or so of salt and sambar powder. Add more water. Cook the soup for 10 minutes or so.
7. To test to see if the soup is ready, try cutting a potato or a grain of rice. If it is tender, then the soup is ready.
Recipe courtesy of Michael Smith, Meditation Center in Minneapolis.
Copyright 2004 West-Art, Prometheus 91/2004
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, Politics and Science, Nr. 91, Spring 2004