Mung beans are considered a very lucky lentil for the Gujaratis. It’s probably because they are green which is considered a lucky colour for the Gujaratis. They are used in their uncooked form at religious ceremonies like poojas, at weddings, when setting up a new business or even when moving into a new house. These uncooked mung beans are later either cooked for the family or fed to the birds. I like them as they are full of protein. They can be cooked in several ways. They can be soaked and sprouted to be used in a curry or a salad. You can split them to use in a curry or khichedi or even kachoris. The mung bean curry I made is simple and nice to be served with rice, chappatis or porathas.
Ingredients (for 3-4 servings):
- Half a cup of whole mug beans
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 small pieces of cinnamon sticks
- 2 or 3 cloves
- 1 or 2 small dry red chillies (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chilly powder
- 2 green chillies sliced through the middle ( if you like hot food!)
- 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped into small chunks or crushed if you don’t like chunks of garlic
- 1 tablespoon sugar or jaggery
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice ( can use more if you like sweet and sour taste)
- tomatoes – preferably half a can of crushed tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes can be used but would need to be softened a bit before adding.
- 1 tablespoon tomato puri
- a few curry leaves and a small bunch of coriandar
1. Wash and mug and if possible allow them to soak for a couple of hours.
2. Add a litre of water to the mug and boil them until they soften and split – I used a pressure cooker and cooked them for 40 minutes on a medium heat. Some people like their mug runny and can add more water. I prefer mine to be thick so don’t add too much water to them whilst cooking them. Also, it’s always easier to add water to the mug as it is cooking so start off with just a litre of water.
Whilst the mug is cooking, prepare the spices etc:
3. Blend the tomatoes in a bowl.
4. Add the tomato puri, salt, turmeric, chilly powder, sugar, lemon juice, the green chillies, crushed ginger, crushed garlic and curry leaves to the tomatoes and mix well.
5. Once the Mung Bean Curry have cooked – prepare the seasoning.
6. Pour the oil in a saucepan and let it warm.
7. Add in the cinnamon, cloves, the dry red chillies and mustard seeds to the oil.
8. The mustard seeds and cloves will pop so keep the saucepan covered.
9. Add the tomato mixture with all the spices to the oil and stir well. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
10. Now add the cooked mung beans to the tomato mixture and allow it to cook for 10 minutes. At this stage, you can either cook it further to reduce the water – or add water to the mung – depending on how you like your mung.