Monday, December 2, 2013

Ethiopian Spiced Mung Beans and Mustard Greens


This is not a traditional Ethiopian dish, but rather a recipe that is influenced with Ethiopian flavors in mind. Mung beans are popular throughout Asia and Africa.  This dish combines mung beans with mustard greens slowly simmered in chicken broth flavored with onions, garlic and the popular Ethiopian spice mix Berbere.

If you have tried Ethiopian food in the past, then you are likely to have tasted the Berbere spice mix since it is used in several Ethiopian dishes. This dish received an Editor's pick - in other words my wife loved it.

Note: for a purely vegetarian version of this dish, eliminate the cured salted pork from the ingredients and use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.  Some salt and pepper to season will be required.

Servings: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Special Ingredient: Berbere Spice - can be found in African Specialty stores or purchased on the web (available on Amazon.com). To make this spice combination, I recommend Marcus Samuelsson's Berbere Spice Recipe.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion chopped
2 Garlic Cloves chopped
1 oz Cured Salted Pork (optional)
1/2 Bunch Mustard Greens stems removed and leaves torn
1 Tablespoon Berbere Spice
2 Cups Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Mung Beans

In a 2-3 Qt. sauce pan heat the olive oil on high until it shimmers.  Add the onions to the pan and stir fry until the onions are soft and translucent (about 4 minutes).  Add the garlic and cured salted pork (optional) to the pan and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Toss in the mustard greens and stir fry once more until the leaves are wilted (about 4 minutes).  Add the mung beans and the Berbere spice to the pan and stir the ingredients until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Pour in the broth, give the ingredients a good stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and let cook for 25 minutes or until the mung beans are soft.  Remove the cured salted pork and discard.

Serve this dish hot with crusted bread or over short grain rice. It goes well with grilled pork or fried fish. Enjoy.

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