Cooking With Seasonal Produce : Moongra, radish pods
I try and use as much seasonal produce as I can in my everyday cooking. It's not a surprise to anyone that using seasonal produce is good for health. But more often than not living in Bangalore, I don't find the stuff I have grown up with, the stuff that I enjoyed eating come seasons, I do try and use the local ingredients in my cooking but one thing I have learnt is that most of the ingredients are available may be in a different form, a different name but they are. Such is the story of Moongra which are basically radish flowers or radish pods. It looks a bit like beans and tastes like a cross between beans and radish, it has the pungency of the radish but a texture of beans.
I love moongra, growing up I remember eating aloo moongra sabzi with just a few spices like hing, jeera and chilli and the flavours of the moongra is what will make the sabji. Last week a friend of mine posted in one of the food groups on FB saying she found moongra in bangalore and I knew it had to be bought and cooked with again. I promptly went to buy it off, bought it in kgs and eat so many things made of it and surprise is that the househelp said they make it regularly too, see I told you things are available mostly we just don't know it.
So as I had bought many packets of it, I ended up making many things too. The first thing I made out of it was Moongre ki kadhi.
Its no secret for the readers of this blog that I love kadhi and let me assure you the kadhi made with moongre is even better than the kadhi pakora. I use the same recipe for the basic stuff, just that I add one sliced onion and about 3/4 cup of moongre to the whole spices, roast it for a while and then add the besan and curd mix. Here is the recipe of my mum's basic punjabi kadhi.
Just as a reminder.
one recipe Punjabi Kadhi, to which you add one sliced onion, 3/4 cup moongre (not chopped, just the end stalks removed). Roasted with the whole spices and yes no pakoras needed.
When I posted this picture on the web, another friend shared how his mom used to make Moongre ka raita with steaming them and I knew this is something I had to try out, as it turns out all of us at home loved it. We had it with baigan ki sabji and rotis and finished the whole bowl between me and N,O was at school that day. So simple yet such beautiful flavours.
Adapted from - A friend's mom's recipe :)
- Whisk the curd with a little water and salt to get a smooth texture.
- Add steamed moongre and keep aside.
- In a small pan, heat oil.
- Add a pinch of hing, followed by mustard and jeera. When they crackle, add the dals, curry leaves and chilly and roast till slightly brown.
- Add to the curd and moongra mixture, Serve chilled.
I also made Moongre sambhar suggested by my maid and it tasted fab, a bit similar to mooli sambhar but with the crunch that was so welcome. We made it on the pongal day and eat it with pongal, such a winner it was. Use your own sambhar recipe for this, I used the one here, one of my favorite sambhars with recipe passed down from my mother in law, this one uses freshly ground spices for sambhar instead of ready sambhar powder.
There is so much you can do with this tasty humble vegetable, I am gonna make a south indian style thoran with it, aloo-moongra sabzi, uses it in salad for the crunch and also in stir fries. Go get a packet and use this seasonal veggie before it goes away.
PS: all pictures clicked using cell phone so forgive the not so good quality.