Split green mung daal with green garlic and how not to be predictably irrational

To a foodie like me spring in California means two things: lots of strawberries and a lot of green garlic! Okay, I may be the only weirdo you will see who writes about strawberries and green garlic in the same sentence but I do really love the onionish-garlicish flavor of the green garlic. I don't know about where you live but over at my place I hardly see any green garlic in supermarkets or large grocery stores. Infact I never knew green garlic is available here until I started visiting our local farmer's market where they are in season early spring.

Green garlics is just a young garlic. It looks like a slightly big spring onion and has a delicate garlic taste (more a mix of garlic and spring onion). You buy it fresh, then clean it, chop off a bit of top and some tough green ends and slice the rest of the tender whites and greens and use them wherever you would use garlic or spring onions.

Today I am sharing a simple split mung daal recipe with green garlic. The spices are kept at a bare minimum just to let the green garlic shine through. I do feel it pairs really well with split mung. The recipe, as always, is much left to your tuning. You can add more spices if you want a spicy version or add less garlic if you don't like the daal to be very garlicky. 
Although I call it a 'daal' the end dish was not watery at-all. Surprisingly enough a cup of split mung took almost 4C of water for this! I started with 2C water and added more as needed. Overall I ended up using 4C water, which was a bit more than what I expected. The daal came out wonderfully.. had a nice delicate garlicky flavor to it. I served it sprinkled with some aleppo crushed red pepper and olive oil with some hot chapatis!

1C split green mung daal
4C water
4 strands of green garlic (or less if you don't want the daal to be very garlicky)
1/2 large onion
2 small green chilis
pinch of asafetida (optional)
1Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4tsp mustard seeds
pinch of turmeric powder

extra virgin olive oil
mild red chili flakes

** 4C water was a lot more than what I expected to add for 1C split mung to get the thick consistency. I started with 2C and added more as I needed. I suggest you start with 2C water as well and add more as needed. I had to add 4C overall for 1C split mung.
** With 4 strands of green garlic, garlic was a distinct flavor in the final daal. If you want the daal to be less garlicky, reduce the amount. Also, look for young tender green garlic as they have a more tender flavor.
  1. Finely chop the onions and green garlic (most of the green part and a little bit of white part)
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot.
  3. When hot, add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop.
  4. Then add onions and green garlic and saute for 5mins or so until the onions are tender.
  5. Add asafetida and turmeric powder.
  6. Then add the mung daal, water and enough salt.
  7. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for half an hour or so until the daal is fork tender.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Serve with a dollop of EVOO and some chili flakes with fresh chapati!
I recently read a very good non-fiction 'Predictably Irrational - The hidden forces that shape our decisions' by Dan Ariely based on a friend's recommendation. Dan is a Professor of behavioral economist at MIT. In this book he takes a look at how people make decisions in an apparently random and irrational way -- which is predictable if only you know what to look for. For example, if you were to be offered three choices for Economist magazine subscription: $54 for internet only; $100 for paper only; $110 for internet and paper version, which one would you choose? Most people chose the third option (I have a paper and internal subscription of Economist too) when ideally option1 is a much better deal for someone like me who spends most of the time on internet as is. Now, if you were instead offered choices of: $54 for internet only; $110 for paper and internet; then most people would choose option1. Confused? Ariely will explain why and how the decoy choice of second option affects most people's decisions.

The book is full of such anecdotal examples of how irrationally we make our decisions. There are huge lessons to be learnt for people in marketing, sales and definitely for everyday consumers like you and I who will hopefully not fall for such irrational gimmicks. Some of the book is common sense; some eye opening -- overall an interesting read.