People of the Himalayas are known for their enduring health, and have a tradition of preparing food that is nourishing, hardy and conducive to long, productive lives. Native to the high slopes of the Himalayas, mung beans have been cultivated for ages and consumed as a Dahl; a general term for an Indian soup or stew using beans, peas, or lentils. The mild mung bean easily absorbs the essence of traditional Indian spices giving our Mung Bean Dahl a depth of flavor that is extremely satisfying.
Mung is one of the best plant-based sources of protein containing abundant amounts of 8 out of the 9 essential amino acids (the building blocks of life), plus rich dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals, but it is proportionally a little low in one essential amino acid, methionine. To insure this one dish meal provides a complete protein of proper proportions, we can pair any number of grains, seeds, and dairy that contain higher amounts of methionine. The end result is all that more delicious.
Mung beans are thought to be the easiest to digest of all beans. While soaking isn’t required, we place dried beans in a container, cover with water and soak before cooking which reduces gas production and shortens cooking time. We’ve suggested rinsing the beans after soaking which is not necessary, though people with highly sensitive stomachs might choose to soak and rinse before cooking for the most satisfying outcome. Indian spices such as ginger, cumin, coriander, and turmeric, renders the beans even more digestible.
- 1 cup whole organic untreated green mung beans
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt
- Tortillas or Corn Bread
- Wash mung beans thoroughly.
- Using a pressure cooker or Instant pot, place beans in pot and cover with 2-3 inches of room temperature water. See NOTE below for stove top method without a pressure cooker
- Set aside to soak 8-12 hours.
- Rinse beans and add sufficient water, 2 inches above beans.
- Turn the heat on the pot and bring to pressure. Carefully read your pot instructions if you are unsure of this method of cooking.
- Cook 10-15 minutes once pot is at pressure.
- Turn heat off and let the pot cool according to directions until it is ready to open.
- While the mung bean pot cools, heat a pan and fry ghee and spices until they have browned. Ghee is best here as it tolerates higher temperatures than butter and we don’t want the spices to burn. If you prefer richer spice flavors, you can add additional equal proportions of spices, up to twice the amount given.
- Ladle out a portion of beans into the fry pan and incorporate that into the ghee and spices. Add this back to the pot and stir well.
- Taste for any additional salt needed, and add a bit more ghee.
- Cook uncovered 5 minutes. The Dahl should be fairly soupy.
- Spoon Mung Bean Dahl into individual bowls.
- Add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and serve a side of flour tortillas or corn bread. These foods are complimentary sources of protein to the mung bean, higher in methionine, so you can be assured you are eating a whole food. Serve with fresh vegetables for a complete meal
NOTE: Mung Dahl is not dependent on using a pressure cooker or Instant pot. The beans can be brought to temperature after soaking in a stove top pot, covered well. Bring to boiling, reduce to a high simmer and cook about 45-60 minutes, checking now and then for any scorching or need to adjust heat. After cooking, the use of an immersion blender to break up some of the soft beans will produce a smooth soup. Proceed with adding spices and ghee as above.
Recipe makes about a quart depending on how much water you use. One cup (7 ounces or 202 grams) of cooked mung beans contains 212 calories, 0.8 grams fat, 14.2 grams protein, 38.7 grams of carbs, 54.4 mg calcium, and 15.4 grams of fiber.