For this week’s final thali, we are traveling to the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has a rich culinary history based in the traditions of the Mughlai’s, The Mughal Empire ruled India for about 300 years from the 1500’s-1800’s and is responsible for many assets of Indian culture, including the building of the world famous Taj Majal. Although Uttar Pradesh is known for its rich meat based curries of the Mughlai’s, there is also a long history of Hindu Vegetarian dishes, as the city of Varanasi is the most holiest of cities and a place of pilgrimage to Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. Today’s Matar Ki Nimona aur Mungodi is one of these Vegetarian dishes.
Uttar Pradesh is one state that I have not done too many dishes from, but the few that I have made in the past, were thoroughly enjoyed. It was a lot of fun researching this state and learning so many new dishes. Nimona is a type of vegetable based thin curry. It is very thin, almost like a soup. The base can be made with different green vegetables like spinach or amaranth, as well. The soup can include vegetables like potatoes and cauliflower or mung bean dumplings, which is the version I made here.
I loved these mung bean dumplings. They reminded me so much of something we make in the Caribbean called phulourie. Phulourie are very popular in places like Trinidad and Guyana, with large Indian descended populations. They are a popular street food often eaten with just tamarind chutney and green mango pickle.
After making the dumplings, the rest of the curry is so easy and simple. A puree of green peas is fried with spices. Water is then added and the dumplings are simmered to absorb the flavor of the broth.
This Matar Ka Nimona aur Mungodi was part of my Uttar Pradesh thali. Don’t forget to check back as I post the rest of the recipes!
Uttar Pradesh Thali
- Taheri – Uttar Pradesh style Vegetable Pulao
- Soohi Tadka Dal – Skinned black lentil dal infused with pan roasted garlic and red chile
- Lucknowi Style Chicken Curry – chicken curry cooked in a poppy and sesame seed masala paste
- Makhani Paratha – flatbread enriched with whole butter and black pepper
- Nimish – saffron infused cream dessert
- Matar Ka Nimona aur Mungodi – Mung Bean Dumplings in Curried Green Pea Broth
Matar Ka Nimona aur Mungodi - Mung Bean Dumplings in Curried Green Pea Broth
- Dumpling Ingredients:
- 1 cup split yellow mung beans moong dal
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 large green chile
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- mustard oil for frying
- Nimona Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas defrosted
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 large green chiles
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- pinch of asoefetida
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- Soak mung beans in water for 2 hours. Drain.
- Combine mung beans with all of the other dumpling ingredients in a food processor and grind to a smooth paste.
- In a saucepan or a wok, heat enough oil for deep frying. Drop the paste by the spoonful in the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
- To make the nimona, combine green peas, ginger and chile in a food processor. Grind to make a thick paste.
- In a deep skillet or saucepan, heat ghee.
- Add asoefetida. After it stops sizzling, add cumin seeds. Fry until it starts to change color. Add curry powder and a teaspoon of water. Fry for 1 minute.
- Add green pea paste and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garam masala and fry for 1 minute.
- Add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
- Add mung bean dumplings and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add cilantro and stir to combine.