The Unsung Mung

Miranda from Maitland, New South Wales writes:

“I have come across recipes with mung beans. I am also familiar with sprouted mung lentils. Will a recipe state whether to use mung sprouts or are they referring to the unsprouted mung beans?

mung beans:

“I am sure I have eaten them in the unsprouted form at the Hare Krishna restaurants, as the green outer casing of the seed seemed evident in the dish. Can you please clarify this for me. And if you could throw in a recipe so I’m sure I have the correct one, that would be marvellous too!”

My reply:

A recipe almost certainly will be referring to the mung bean itself with it’s little green jacket. If they are referring to sprouts, they will specify. Yes you would have eaten the whole green mung beans in dishes served at Hare Krishna restaurants.

Here is a nice mung bean recipe:

Hearty Mung Dal with Seasonal Vegetables

Used extensively in soups, stews, and sauces in Indian vegetarian cuisine, mung beans are rich in vegetable protein, iron, and B vitamins. When you combine dal with a food that has a complimentary protein (grains, seeds, nuts, or milk products), the usable protein in the dal increases dramatically. Serve this simple, chunky soup as an entree to a western-style meal or serve it as part of traditional Indian meal. Serves four.

1 cup whle green mung beans
6 cups water
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon hot green chili, minced
4 cups chopped assorted vegetables
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Wash and drain the beans.

Place the mung beans, water, turmeric, ground coriander, minced fresh ginger and chili in a heavy saucepan, and stirring occasionally, bring to a full boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, partially cover with a lid, and boil for ½ – 3/4 hour, or until the beans become soft. DO NOT ADD SALT until the beans are soft and broken down. Add your choice of seasonal vegetables now. Cook further until the vegetables are softened to your liking.

Heat the ghee or oil over moderate heat in a small pan. Saute the cumin seeds in the hot oil until they turn a few shades darker. Then add the asafetida powder, saute momentarily, and pour the fried seasonings into the dal. Add the salt and remove the soup from the heat, allowing the spices to soak for a few minutes. Add the fresh coriander and stir to mix. Serve hot.
Posted by Kurma on 12/11/05; 10:41:13 AM

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