Mung Dal with Carrots and Summer Squash, slow-cooker style (gluten free, vegan)

You know, you just can't go wrong whenver big, tender chunks of carrot and summer squash swim in a base of velvety smooth, wonderfully spiced mung beans.  

Yes, I love mung beans, I love carrots and summer squash, I love Indian spices.  I love this dal.  So I'm sharing it with you.  I love it even more because it was made in the slow cooker and required very little effort.  Hooray!  This is another delightful, Ayurvedic dish adapted from The Ayurvedic Cookbook.  I made some adjustments, which are recorded below, along with the original recipe additions.  I also adapted it for a slow cooker.  

are great way to get protein in your diet, and are easy to digest and easy to make.  They are delicious served over rice or other cooked grains, or with flatbreads.  I also like to eat them plain, like soup.  This dal has the benefit of being tridoshic, meaning it is appropriate for all Ayurvedic constitutions, with the properly selected condiments.  According to the cookbook, the addition of something sour/acidic (like lemon juice) in the early phase of cooking dals helps to stimulate digestive fire.  Since I can't eat citrus, I fell back on vitamin C crystals dissolved in water.  Another option is amchoor, a dried mango powder.  In some areas of India, tamarind is also used.  Use whatever option works best for you!  
If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda, and want to check out a great blog, visit Fran's House of Ayurveda.  She has lots of great information and recipes!
This is very tasty served with a side of Kohlrabi Mung Bean Sprout Salad, just as a suggestion...


adapted from The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar and U. Desai
yield: serves 8

2 c split mung beans
1 3" piece kombu seaweed (optional)
2 c carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch slices
4 c summer squash, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
2-4 T sunflower oil
2 1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp hing (I did not include - hing is not gluten-free)
1 T brown mustard seeds
2 T cumin seeds
1/2 tsp vitamin C crystals dissolved in 2 T water (or 2 T lemon or lime juice or 1 T amchoor dried mango powder)
8 c water
2 tsp salt
2 T cumin seeds
1 T mustard seeds
in original recipe (I did not include): 1/2 T fresh ginger root, minced and 1 small hot green pepper, chopped finely
optional garnishes: cilantro, chopped unsweetened coconut, sliced scallion, diced chili

Soak mung beans 4-6 hours.  Drain and rinse.
Prepare carrots and summer squash, and set aside. Dissolve vitamin C crystals in water or squeeze lemons/limes. 
In a large fry pan, heat oil, and add turmeric, hing, and vitamin C water/lemon/lime/amchoor, and saute for 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the turmeric. Add beans, stir, and saute for a few minutes. Add carrots and squash, stir, and saute for a few more minutes.  Remove from heat.
Place kombu in the bottom of the crock pot, and add bean mixture and 8 cups water, as well as ginger and hot pepper (if using). Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until beans are completely soft.  
In a fry pan, heat oil, then add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Stir to coat with oil, and heat until mustard seeds pop.  Add to soup with salt, and stir to mix evenly.  Soup is now ready to serve!  Serve with optional garnishes if desired.