This is a traditional konkani recipe regular in Karwari / Goan (and Goa-konkan borders) cuisine. This recipe tastes great with steaming hot rice. To give the recipe the perfect traditional look I have removed the skin of the moong beans, but in day to day cooking I cook it with its skin on as it has nutrients as well as maximum fiber content. It is only on festive occassions or when it is a part of naivedyam thali that I prepare it without its skin. I do not dispose the skin, but use it to prepare moong dhirdi along with moong sprouts. Posting the simple traditional recipe of my favourite mooga gathi, the way it is prepared at my place. There may be variations to the same.
- 1 cup sprouted and deskinned moong beans
- 7 to 8 thinly sliced fresh coconut slices
- Salt to taste
For the ground masala
- 5 tbsp freshly grated coconut
- A piece of tamarind OR as per tang required
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 6 black pepper
- 6 to 7 bedgi chillies or Kashmiri chillies(adjust to spice required)
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp rice flour
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp oil to saute the ingredients to be ground
For the tempering
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/8 tsp asafoetida
- 2 green chillies slit lengthwise
- A sprig curry leaves
- In a deep pan add the sprouted moong beans, coconut slices and water just enough to cook the beans(approximately the water level should be in level with the mix). Cook it on low heat till done.
- In the mean time, in a seasoning pan heat oil add coriander seeds roast till fragrant, transfer to a plate then in the same seasoning pan add broken red chillies and black pepper and just roast it a bit. Grind the coriander seeds, black pepper, red chillies along with coconut, rice flour, turmeric and tamarind to a smooth paste adding little water. Add this paste and salt to the cooked moong beans and a little water to get an even consistency. This gravy is a little thick basically.
- In a seasoning pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, when they splutter add asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves. Pour this seasoning onto the gravy and mix well and cover it for a minute and bring to a boil so that the flavours sink into the gravy.
- Serve hot with steaming hot rice.
Traditional method of seasoning :
- As per the traditional method, the tempering is done in an iron ladle and the ladle is dunked into the boiling gravy BUT here you need to be very very careful while doing so as the curry splutters immediately and you have to be able to cover it simultaneously as soon as you dip the ladle into the curry. This procedure lends the perfect blend of flavours. Please be very careful if you want to try this.
- In the traditional recipe coconut oil is used. I used refined sunflower oil.
- Adjust spice levels by decreasing number of red chillies. Bedgi and Kashmiri chillies are not very spicy. They give the colour to the gravy.
- Instead of tamarind, you can add bimbul or kokum for sourness which should’nt be ground with the masala, but add pieces to the gravy and boil.
- Traditionally rice flour is not added but I add just to be on the safer side, so that the curry does’nt split when heated.
Procedure to soak, sprout and deskin whole green gram beans:
- Rinse and soak 1/4th cup whole green gram for about 8 hours in water. Drain the water, wash the gram again and transfer them into a cotton/ muslin cloth. Hold all the edges together, twist them and tie a knot.
- Keep them in a warm place for another 12 hours. Once sprouted loosen the knot, transfer to a container. 1/4th cup of green gram gives approximately 3/4th +1/8th cup of soaked gram and 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sprouted gram depending on the size of the beans.
- Rinse the green gram again before use.
- Once the moong beans have sprouted you can either prepare the gravy with its skin on or if you want to deskin it you need to soak the sprouted beans in water for another 4 to 5 hours approximately. The skin rises to the top which you can easily separate and a few beans that have their skin intact can be gently removed by hand.