Coriander-Cumin - the Ying and Yang of Spices!
Growing up I didn't spend much time in the kitchen so naturally I had no idea about how different spices played a role in each dish my mom would make. After a certain age I became more interested in cooking and started asking my mom about all her recipes. Recipes that she learned from her mom ( my amazing Grandma!) My mom was born and raised in Mumbai so her recipes have bit of a Gujarati as well as a Maharashtran touch. For those of you not familiar with India, Gujarat and Maharashtra are states in western part of India.
As I started cooking more and following her recipes, I noticed a trend in some of the spices. For example, Turmeric ( haldi) was without a doubt a part of every recipe and before you ask, yes I now know why :)
Another spice which I noticed being used regularly was "Dhana-Jeeru" ( don't be alarmed, its a Gujarati word ) which literally translates into Coriander-Cumin powder mix! This stuff is magical and whoever invented it is a GENIUS! I mean all my fellow Gujaratis out there can for sure back me up on this, right!? This blend of two spices gives an amazing flavor to almost any Gujarati dish I make! The earthy and floral notes of coriander and cumin work wonders and leave my non-Gujarati and non-Indian friends asking "what did you put in here?"
So, if you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for? Dive right in and add a teaspoon of it in whatever you feel like experimenting with :) Hey, ya never know until you try it!
An absolute fav in our house is this healthy bowl of mung beans sprouted and sautéed with mustard seeds, garlic, turmeric, kashmiri whole chilies and coriander-cumin mix! Cooks in minutes and makes a great side to have with rice or on its own!
- Soak mung beans overnight. Wash the next day and allow them to sprout for about 24 hours on a colander inside an oven (turned off). This is mostly to maintain a constant temperature.
Once these have sprouted to the desired tail length, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week!
- In heated oil, add mustard seeds, and once they pop, add kashmiri whole chillies ( 2-3 depending on the heat level desired)
- Add garlic to it and saute well
- Add curry leaves and onion (1/2 - cut into pieces). Once sautéed for few minutes, add a pinch of turmeric.
- Add the sprouted mung and add just enough water so they are barely all under water. Add salt to taste.
- Add dhana jeeru or coriander cumin mix.
- Cook covered ( leaving the lid slightly open) until all the water is absorbed and the mung beans are the consistency you want.
Good luck and hope you love it as much as i do! :)