Mung Dal & Celeriac Stew

Invariably, when stumped about what to make for supper, I turn to stew. It’s a single pot of something satisfying that usually also doubles well as the next day’s lunch for work. This particular combination of ingredients was a hands-down winner with all members of the household: hence the share. May you enjoy it as much as we all did!

Yield: 3-4 servings as a main, 6-8 servings as a side

What you need:

  • 3 onions, peeled, halved and sliced into thin wedges lengthwise
  • 1 smallish celery (celeriac) root, peeled if conventionally grown, or if organic just scrubbed; halved and sliced into thin wedges lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 cups small diced parsnip (same note as for the celeriac concerning the whole peeling thing
  • 3 small slices of fresh ginger, no need to peel them
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or a few sprigs of fresh thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional, you can use water or unsalted vegetable stock instead)
  • 3/4 cup mung dal, soaked a couple of hours and drained
  • 2 cups water or unsalted vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups loosely packed chopped parsley leaf (I used curly, but flat-leaf works too)

What you do:

  1. Heat a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. When hot, add the oil and sliced onions and turn the heat to medium low. Cook the onions, stirring now and again, until soft and translucent. Lower the heat as necessary to prevent browning.
  2. When the onions are soft, add the celeriac wedges. Stir to coat in oil and cook 3-4 minutes more.
  3. Add the diced parsnip. Stir to coat all that in oil and keep cooking until the root vegetables lose their raw look. Now add the thyme and ginger slices and cook until fragrant, a couple minutes more at most.
  4. Pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pot to mix any tasty bits into the liquid. Follow it up with the water.
  5. While the water is coming to a boil (feel free to bring the heat back up to medium now), add the drained mung dal. Make sure the dal is in the water and not stuck to the sides of the pot or hiding atop veggies that are sticking out.
  6. When the liquid comes to a boil, cover the pot, lower the heat and let simmer 15-25 minutes, until the dal is as cooked as you want it.
  7. Uncover the pot, add the mustard and mix. Taste (careful not to get burnt tongue!) and then salt to desired level based on what your intial taste test tells you. Cover and simmer 10 minutes more.
  8. Uncover the pot again. Taste again and add the parsley as well as tweaking any tastes based on personal preference (like adding some black pepper for example). Stir the parsley into the stew, cover again. Turn off the heat and let the stew sit another 5 to 10 minutes before uncovering a final time.
  9. Serve. Alongside rice. Over mashed potatoes or millet. Or all on its own, eaten straight out of the pot.

Variations:

  • Get your mush on by swapping the mung dal for masoor dal (red lentils). They’ll melt into a thick sauce upon cooking that’s a nice alternative on days you want an extra serving of comfort.
  • Cook some thick diced potatoes right into the stew for a complete one-pot meal. Yukon Gold are my preferred for that.

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