Do you have those days when there is nothing readily available to make a 'regular' meal and you really can't be bothered getting out of the house to shop? I tend to have more of those nearer the winter-I blame the cold dark evenings. I had one of those days last week and decided to improvise with whatever was available in the kitchen. I found pasta sheets, lentils, moong beans, rice paper, rice, flour, onions and the usual multitude of herbs and spices. It had been a while since I'd made lasagna and so decided to make some with moong. Definitely not 'regular' but Ed was willing to be party to the experiment. Here is what I did.
8 pasta sheets
250g moong beans
1 large onion
1 tbsp garlic puree or 3 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tbsp ginger paste
1tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbps tomato puree
Basil leaves or curry leaves depending on how Italian/Indianesque you want it to be
Salt to taste.
For the white sauce:
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
Soak the moong for 24 hours or at the minimum, overnight. Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves/basil. Add the salt, spices, garlic and ginger and fry for about 10 mins, until the onion is nicely browned. Add the tomato puree and moong, cover with water and cook for about 40 mins. The moong masala is ready when the moong beans have softened and 'melt in the mouth'.
Heat the butter in a saucepan and slowly add milk and flour, stirring constantly. Add pepper and continue the process until you achieve a thick sauce like consistency.
Blanch the pasta sheets in boiling water with a pinch of salt. Only cook for about 10 mins, drain and set aside. Heat the oven to 180C. Grease the baking dish with butter, add a thin layer of moong masala and cover with pasta sheets. Add moong on top of this layer and continue until you are left with a pasta sheet covered top. Add white sauce and grate cheese on top. Let this cook in the oven for about 20-30 mins until top has browned. Serve with random accompaniments!
Are you ready to experiment? Have you any random recipes to share? Ann x
Note: The moong masala recipe is a traditional South Indian recipe. The only difference is you would use curry leaves rather than basil.