I love cooking with legumes. I love making them a part of my family’s meals, regularly. I am forever looking for new ways to work with legumes like kabuli chana, rajma, double beans, whole green moong, moth beans and the like. Not only are these legumes significant sources of protein, but they are also rich in carbohydrates, dietary fibre and minerals. So, I was, naturally, thrilled to recently discover this new (to me) dish called Cherupayar Curry, which uses green gram aka whole green moong or moong beans.
The Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group that I am part of is cooking recipes from Kerala, this month. I was paired with the sweet Rafeeda, who writes at The Big Sweet Tooth, for the month. She assigned me two secret ingredients – green gram and coconut – and I decided to make a Kerala-style Cherupayar Curry with them.
I loved how the Cherupayar Curry turned out – finger-lickingly delicious, hearty, and nutritious too. It paired beautifully with the rotis I served it with. Traditionally, this curry is made with fresh grated coconut, ground, but I made do with store-bought coconut milk. With that taken care of, the Cherupayar Curry was a breeze to make, a job that took me barely 15 minutes.
The little reading that I did on the Internet told me that there are various ways to make this curry, though the basic ingredients remain, more or less, the same. Different families in Kerala have different versions of the Cherupayar Curry, some made with black pepper powder, some with garam masala, some with just the basic salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. I followed this recipe from At The Corner Of Happy & Harried, substituting coconut milk for the cow’s milk the author has used.
Here is how I made this Cherupayar Curry.
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- 3/4 cup green gram aka whole green moong
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 1 large tomato
- 2 green chillies
- 1 large onion
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- About 1 tablespoon garam masala, or to taste
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- A few stalks of fresh coriander
- Soak the whole green moong in just enough water to cover it, for at least 8-10 hours or overnight. When done, drain out all the water. Add in just enough water to cover the soaked green moong. Pressure cook for 2 whistles, and allow the pressure to come down naturally.
- Peel the ginger and chop finely. Peel the garlic cloves. Grind the ginger and garlic together, coarsely, using a small mixer jar. Keep aside.
- Chop the onion, tomato and coriander finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add the cumin, asafoetida, curry leaves and slit green chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
- Now, add the chopped onions to the pan. On medium flame, saute till they begin to turn brown.
- Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, along with the ginger-garlic paste. On medium flame, saute till the tomatoes turn mushy. Add a little water at this stage, if needed.
- Add in the cooked whole green moong to the pan, along with the water it was cooked in.
- Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, garam masala and red chilli powder to taste. Mix well.
- Let the curry simmer on medium flame till it begins to thicken, 2-3 minutes.
- Keeping the flame on medium, mix in the thick coconut milk. Allow the Cherupayar Curry to simmer for a minute more, and then switch off gas.
- Mix in finely chopped coriander. Serve hot with dosa, rotis, parathas or puttu.
- Coconut oil works best in the making of this Cherupayar Curry. However, you may use any other type of oil as well.
- You may omit the slit green chillies, if you plan to make this curry for kids.
- If you want to keep it really simple, you can omit the garam masala as well. Just add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder as the seasonings.
- I have used a 200 ml carton of store-bought Dabur Coconut Milk. If you so wish, you can make the coconut milk at home as well.
- After soaking, cook the whole green moong for just 2 whistles or so. It should be just cooked, still firm, not overly mushy. Cooking times and number of whistles might vary depending upon the make of the pressure cooker.
- Coriander powder can be used instead of garam masala, in this Cherupayar Curry. Here, I have used store-bought Shan Garam Masala.
This recipe is for the Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.