Moogache Molay Gathi, a Konkani Recipe

My dad hails from Karwar, a beautiful town along India’s Konkan coast. Although his family moved to Bombay when he was little more than a child, they kept in touch, as all immigrant Indians do, with the culture and cuisine of their native land.

Moogache Molay GathiKonkani cuisine is quite rich and varied, but the common denominator in most recipes is fresh, milky coconut, which is not surprising given the lush abundance of coconut trees in the Konkan region. In our home, the ritual of preparing morning meals would usually begin with the women sitting down on an adoli, or a small wooden seat with a curved metal blade attached to it, and skillfully scraping the fresh coconut into heaping mounds of sweet, moist shreds. The coconut would be added– either by itself or ground into a pulp or its milk extracted– to all sorts of mouthwatering preparations, from ghasis (thick curries) to upakaris (vegetable dishes) and hummans (gravies).

One of the vegetarian tastes from my childhood that has always stayed with me is that of a moong bean preparation called Moogache Molay Gathi. The moong is usually soaked and sprouted before use, and I remember that in my house each bean would always be peeled before it was added to the curry to ensure a pristine presentation. As you can imagine, it was a long, laborious process.

In my kitchen, I just use the whole moong bean whose skin cooks up quite tender. Plus, I figure it is more nutritious to eat the whole bean, skin and all.

I love sprouting beans which always multiplies their nutritive value, but because I was short on time I used them straight from the pantry. Do take the extra step of soaking and sprouting if you have the time. It is completely worth it.

As I always do, I played around with the recipe to suit my own (spicier!) taste. I added garlic which gave it a kick and complexity I loved, and at the very end I used some tomato to add a subtly tangy note. It all worked perfectly together and the curry stood up nicely to the brown rice I served it with.

So here it is, my Moogache Molay, a simple treat that is as nutritious as it is delicious. Hope you enjoy it!

Moogache Molay


1 cup whole moong beans, soaked and sprouted overnight (you can skip this step if you’re short on time) and cooked until tender

3/4 cup coconut milk (I used canned)

3 sprigs curry leaves

1 tbsp ginger, grated

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp red chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp coriander, powdered

1 tsp cumin, powdered

1 medium red onion, sliced

1 tbsp canola oil

1 large tomato, diced

About 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

Grind the ginger, garlic and curry leaves from 1 sprig into a paste.

Heat the oil in a saucepan.

Add the onions and remaining curry leaves and saute until the onions start browning at the edges.

Add the ginger-garlic paste, cumin, coriander, and chili powders, and turmeric, and cook for a couple of minutes, until the paste no longer smells raw.

Add the cooked moong beans and salt and stir thoroughly.

Let it cook about 10 minutes, adding more water if necessary, until the flavors merge.

Add the coconut milk and mix, then turn off the heat before the mixture returns to a boil.

Garnish with the chopped tomatoes and coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    Hey, my dad is from Karwar too and we have lots of connection in North Kanara. I can so relate to the adoli that you mention. Moogache ghashi is familiar to me but this is totally new!

  2. says

    Have had this dish at my best friend’s place (While in college and later I literally lived there and became an honorary Amchi!)and remember this very well, though they are from Mangalore and not Karwar. Looks delicious!

  3. says

    gosh vaishali, this recipe reminded me of my aunt’s moongache molay and its been ages since i had them. she had promised me to cook whatever i fancy next time i visit her in m’lore :) lovely lovely recipe.. i see u have twisted it a little bit;)

  4. says

    I love misal and from the sounds of it this recipe seems like a variation on it, minus the coconut and plus the coconut milk. Thanks for a nice recipe!

  5. says

    Divya, Thanks!

    Uma, Thanks. The bowl was a yard-sale find. I love it too!

    Seema, Thanks, and you’re right- it goes great with rotis.

    Red Chillies, It’s wonderful we share that! Yeah, the adoli is quite ubiquitous in our homes, isn’t it? To make a confession, I never quite acquired that skill although I did try my hand at it. The blade always scared me!

    Seena, Thanks. And that’s a good question- but unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. As I wrote this post, I was thinking it sounds so much like the “moilee” that they make in Kerala, with the coconut and all. This will be a question for my dad when I call him next!

    SMN, good to find another konkani blogger. Welcome!

    Cham, thanks!

    Miri, Thanks, and glad it brought back memories for you too. The honorary amchi part made me smile :)

    Jayashree, Thanks. I love that bowl too!

    Lavi, thanks, and hope you will try it.

    Saswati, you’re right. The coconut milk does make it beautifully creamy which is my favorite part.

    Sia, Thanks. Wonderful to know it’s one of your favorites too. I did twist it because I was cooking mainly out of “taste” memory, and I can’t help but add garlic to everything :)

    MS, that’s a very interesting and astute observation. I love misal, but never thought of this.

    Suganya, thanks. Sprouted moong is truly versatile. I don’t make salads as often as I should, but I can imagine they’d be a really great addition.

    Pavotrouge, Welcome!

    Chocolatecoveredvegan, Thanks!

  6. says

    Are moong beans the same as mung beans (and I have been spelling them wrong)? I’ve never had them but the only thing I know about them is what I learned from the show “The Office”. The intern declars that Creed smells like an old person. Creed responds by telling the audience that it’s because he keeps mung beans in his drawer and that they’re very tasty and nutritious but smell like death.

    Looks like a great dish, lots of spices!

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  7. says

    Priya and Shriya- Thanks very much!

    Madhuram- That is such a lovely gesture on your part, and I truly appreciate it.

    Nick, Mung beans and moong beans are the same. We Indians pronounce the “oo” vowels as in “soon” while here “mung” is pronounced to rhyme with “sung,” hence the difference in spelling.

  8. Dinesh Balgi says

    Thanks for the wonderful dish !! I had not even thought of adding coconut juice . But my first reaction was ,… What !!! No Hing ???!! …..I suppose there is life without Hing for konkanies( LOL !!!), I also suppose the tomatoes do add a different flavour, so I’ll try it without them the next time. Fantastic !!! BTW, my Mom was from Karwar (Haldipur) and Dad from Kumta before they eventually landed up in Bandra, Bombay!!!! regards,

    • says

      Hi Dinesh, so nice to meet another mmumbaikar with parents transplanted from the Konkan. I made this dish from memory and I am pretty sure the original didn’t include tomatoes but I thought they added a nice tang to the coconut milk. So happy you enjoyed it.

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