Green moong / mung beans are nature's best offering for vegetarians. High in protein and yet easily digestible with the bonus of extra fiber makes this a super food. Some people find the soaking routine a deterrent. Where is time to plan ahead of time, most of the time! As much as I love these wonder beans, I invariably forget to soak them or sprout them. But with a recipe like this on hand, I can have mung as many times in a week as I like. Besides, Ayurveda considers Mung beans as one of the very few foods which balances all three doshas. More on Mung beans and Ayurveda here.
This is a very versatile dish that pairs superbly with rotis / puris / bread or rice. A bowl of yogurt comes handy to cool of the spicy overtones.
Instant Green Moong / Mung Beans
Time taken - Under 30 minutes
Category - Side, Rice / Roti accompaniment, Vegetarian protein, Ayurvedic food
Recipe source - Own
Makes 2 large portions, use 1 cup dry beans to make 4 generous portions
A pressure cooker is an absolute must for this recipe
1/2 cup dry green mung /moong beans
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida (optional)
1-2 green chillies, chopped fine
1/2 inch piece ginger, pounded or chopped fine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large juicy tomato, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp subzi powder (I use Everest brand, use any curry powder or cumin-coriander powder)
1 tsp salt or to taste
Slices of lime and chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Place the mung beans in a pressure cooker, smaller the cooker, the better. Wash them thoroughly after checking for stones. Add two cups water to mung, close cooker, fit the whistle and keep the flame on medium-high.
After one whistle, reduce flame to minimum until 3-4 more whistles are let out. Remove cooker from flame and let cool.
While the beans are cooking, you can prepare the masala. In a kadai / wok, heat the oil. Splutter the cumin and mustard seeds, add a pinch of asafoetida with the flame on medium. Add the ginger, chillies, onions with a pinch of salt, saute for 5 minutes or so, until the onions are soft.
At this point, add the tomatoes with the spices (turmeric, garam masala, subzi masala) with the remaining salt. Stir it well for 3-4 minutes until the masala comes together as a rough paste.
Once the cooker has cooled off, release the pressure and open the lid. The mung beans must have cooked to a soft consistency and not entirely mushy. (If they are not cooked enough, then keep them back with some water for one more whistle on a medium flame) Empty the cooked mung beans into the masala. If very thick, add 1/2 cup water and boil the mung for 2 minutes along with the masalas.
Adjust salt as per taste and remove from flame. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice, rotis or bread, along with slices of lime and a bowl of yogurt.
Most ingredients for this recipe can be found in your pantry, so this recipe is good for a day when there are no veggies at hand.
Since mung is such a healthy food ingredient, would love to hear from you about your favourite recipe using moong. I could do with more ideas for this green wonder!
Other fun reads
Inside the Indian household - Coriander at Daily Tiffin
The Food Times of India | Volume 1:April 2007 at Dining Hall