(Mung Beans with Spinach and Tomatoes)
1 cup whole mung beans
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly mashed
2 medium-sized onions, peeled and chopped
¾ pound red-ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
½ pound tender spinach leaves, well washed and separated
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 lime, cut into wedges
¼ cup fruity olive oil (optional)
Clean and pick over the beans. Wash in several changes of water. Drain. Put the beans and 5 cups water into a 2-quart pot and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit, covered, for 1 hour. Bring the beans to a boil again. Turn heat to low and simmer gently for 1½ hours or until the beans are tender and slightly mushy. Stir gently during the last half hour of cooking to prevent sticking.
Heat 5 tablespoons vegetable oil in an 8-inch-wide sauté pan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the garlic. Stir and fry until the garlic turns a pale brown color. Add the onions. Stir and sauté them until they turn translucent. Add the tomatoes. Stir and fry for 5 to 6 minutes or until tomatoes just start to catch. Add the cooked mung beans and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring now and then, for 5 minutes. Now put in the spinach leaves, salt, and the 1 tablespoon lime juice. Stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until spinach is cooked.
Pass the lime wedges and olive oil on the side and serve with rice.
[This is my favorite recipe from my college days. This is from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, which is oh so very Berkeley, but hey. I've never successfully cooked this dish, but Annalee Newitz, my then-roommate, did so on a regular basis, which was wonderful. I think I might try this in a few weeks... although looking over the recipe, I wonder if I have the patience to do so. I also find myself wondering what catching tomatoes are. Hm. Oh, and I'd probably serve with some plain yoghurt as well, á la Annalee.]