Masyura is sun-dried lentil balls commonly made from of black lentils (maas) and taro (Pindalu) or young taro steam-leaves (Karkalo–Gaavaa). Although there is no known history on when we invented or started making Masyura, but it is likely that it is one of the old traditional preserved food items. Black lentils and taro are cultivated and easily available in the mid-hills and southern plains of Nepal, and grow well even in less fertile soils. As fresh vegetables were hard to find all year round in the earlier days, masyura made an alternative nutritious food item when fresh vegetables weren’t available. It can be stored for several months to a year, and is full of proteins, mineral and vitamins.
The recipe of making masyura is very simple. It is only made up of two ingredients- lentils/beans and green vegetables. Black lentils and taro leaves are the traditional and commonly used ingredients to make masyura, but people also use other alternative ingredients such as gram flour, and spring onion, garlic chives, spinach, potato etc. My mother recently made masyura from black lentils and garlic leaves/chives. The process remains the same for other ingredients too. It’s better to prepare a night or a day before.
4 cups Black Lentils flour
2 cups Garlic leaves/chives (finely sliced)
In a large mixing bowl, add black lentils flour and add some water to make a thick paste. Then add finely sliced garlic chives and mix them together. Cover the bowl and leave it overnight. This allows paste to absorb the moisture completely, and allows time for slight fermentation. Fermentation gives a nice flavor to a dish.
(If you are using whole black lentils, soak them in the water for several hours, remove the outer layer using massaging technique, drain water, and then grind them forming a thick paste.)
In the morning, make small balls or nuggets like using your hand and keep them in the tray or Supo/Mandro (made from bamboo, and traditionally used for drying lentils, foods etc.). Wet your hand often with water while making balls, which helps you with the problems of sticking paste into your hand. These balls or nuggets shouldn’t be clogged together in the tray.
Keep them in the direct sun for drying. It will take around three days to completely sun-dried, and might take even longer in less sunny or cloudy days. Keep it indoor during the night to speed-up the drying process.
Once they are completely dried, keep them in airtight container and can be stored for several months.
Try making this recipe of Masyura: Masyura ra Pindalu ko Jhol-Tarkari (Dried Lentil Balls and Taro Soup-Curry)