Mung Beans are prized throughout Asia for their nutritional and medicinal benefits. It’s worth having some of these small green beans on hand because, unlike other beans, they don’t need any soaking making them particularly handy when you need to whip up a healthy meal, quickly, from the contents of your store cupboard.
In Ayurveda, Mung beans are popular because they are tridoshic – meaning they can be eaten to balance all three dosha’s, Vata, Pita and Kapha. In Chinese medicine they are called lu dou (literally green bean) and are prized for their ability to cool an overheated system making them a great summer meal.
From a nutritional point of view they are high in dietary fiber and protein as well as being a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, folate, copper, manganese, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Tiny green nutritional powerhouses!
Mung Bean Dahl
2 tbsps olive oil
1 Onion diced fine
2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
3 Cloves Garlic chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsps finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp Cumin Seed
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
1 cup mung beans
5 cups veggie stock
1 teaspoon salt
Pour 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil into a 4qt pot and saute the onions over a low flame until transparent. Add the carrots. celery and garlic and put a lid on the pot to sweat the vegetables over a low heat for 5 minutes. Take the lid of the pan and add the jalapeno and the ginger and sauté uncovered for 5 minutes.
In other small skillet pour 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and heat. Add cumin seeds and toast for 1 minute, then add the turmeric, curry powder and pepper and stir for another 30 seconds. Add these spices to the vegetables and then add the chopped tomato and stir. Cook until mushy.
Wash the mung beans and add them along with the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Turn to a low boil and cook until the beans are soft and broken up (this depends on how old the beans are, mine took 40 minutes). Add salt and cook for a further 5 minutes and serve with brown rice and cilantro sprinkled on the top.
I cooked some of this yesterday and served it over barley, which in Chinese medicine clears damp, making it a great grain for a humid day. A bit of yogurt mixed with mint was a refreshing finishing touch.