Zelda Pande's Mung Badi Pulao is an adaptation of a traditional north Indian recipe provided by the irrepressibly cheerful and resourceful Shiven Khanna, who wrote the preparation down from his mom and got the badis too.
The making of it is pretty effortless and this pulao is a tiffin box fave.
Photograph: Zelda Pande
Mung Badi Pulao
- 2 cups top quality basmati rice, like Classic India Gate, washed and drained
- 15-20 small mung badis or mungoda (please see note below)
- Little oil to pan-fry the badis
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 2-3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
- 7-10 curry leaves
- 1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
- ½ tsp hing or asafoetida
- ½ tsp haldi or turmeric powder
- 2 tej patta or bay leaves
- 3-4 long or cloves
- ½-inch stick dal cheeni or cinnamon
- 1-2 green elaichi or cardamom
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 5-7 black peppercorns
- Salt to taste
- 2½-3 cups water
- 3-4 sprigs green dhania or coriander or cilantro for garnish
- Sabudana or tapioca papad, to serve
- Dahi or yogurt, to serve
- In frying pan over medium-low heat, fry the mung badis in a little oil till they turn pink, tossing every few minutes.
Be careful, they can burn very quickly.
Drain onto a tissue or paper towel-lined plate.
Crumble into smaller bite-sized pieces, if you have used the larger variety of badis.
- In a heavy-bottomed kadhai or wok heat the ghee over medium heat for less than a minute.
Add the jeera, whole spices, curry patta, haldi and fry for ½ a minute.
Add the sliced onions and green chillies and fry for a few minutes more.
Add the basmati rice.
Fry for 5-10 minutes more over low heat.
- Add the water and the badis.
Cover and cook over low heat till the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Garnish wih green coriander.
Serve with yogurt and the papad.
Note: Mung badis or dried mung dal dumpling are of two varieties -- the dark large golf ball-size badis or the yellow small marble-sized ones. If opting for the bigger ones, use 4 in this recipe.
For a vegan pulao, use oil instead of ghee.
For a healthier pulao, opt for brown rice.