We all know the goodness of whole food, it has become a new hot trend today. Everyone wants to eat the whole natural food, preservatives and additives are becoming big NO. But with all this awareness and knowledge there is also a fear attach about cooking them. Being born and raised in Southern Asia I was lucky enough to grow eating the authentic all natural, organic and whole food that too home cooked, but somehow food always meant delicious and these big term were never used to define food. After moving to US, I was exposed to different cultures and their cuisine, same goodness of homecooked meals which were delicious to eat, but along this also came an option to choose between natural food and artificially preserved foods. The later being easy and quick is an option for anyone to choose, but its not a healthy option. There is nothing wrong in indulgence once in a while but making healthy choices is not only good for us but can also be fun. With just little planning we can make delicious meals.
For lunch today I made Mung Bean Pilaf, it is a very delicious and easy recipe. Mung Beans should to be soaked in water preferably overnight or for 4-6 hours before cooking for easy cooking, this is where the most time is consumed when cooking with beans. If the beans are not soaked overnight or for 4-6 hours before cooking we can soak them in hot water for 1 hour before cooking them and they will be good to use. Soaking the beans is common procedure with any kind of raw beans to help them in cooking.In the end I would say Natural and Whole food is the way to go.
Mung beans 1 cup
Rice( i used Basmati but any long grain rice can be used) 1 1/2 cup
Green Cardamom 2
Cinnamon stick 1 inch piece
Onion thinly sliced 1/4 cup
Garlic finely chopped 1 tsp
Salt to taste 1/2 tsp( when adding salt to rice dish add little extra then what used otherwise)
Water 4 cups
Oil 2 + 1 TBSP
Cilantro chopped 1 TBSP
Soak Mung beans in water for 4-6 hours preferably overnight, this is crucial as it will help the beans with cooking. Before starting to cook the pilaf drain the water off the beans and boil beans in fresh water for 5-7 minutes till the beans just start to get tender. Drain the beans again and keep aside.
Heat oil in a sauce pot and add green cardamom and cinnamon stick to it, after 30 seconds add garlic and stir it for another minute. Now add rice and the partially boiled beans and fry them in oil for 2-3 minutes. Once the rice start to get little translucent add salt and water. Bring to boil on high heat and cover pot, lower the heat immediately. Let it cook covered on low simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile heat 1TBSP of oil( in India clarified butter Ghee is used to brown the onion) in small fry pan and fry the sliced onion in it till they turn dark brown but they should not burn. Drain the oil from onion if u don't want to add extra oil, although this oil is full of flavor. Take the pilaf out in serving dish and sprinkle the brown onion and cilantro. Serve hot and Enjoy......