You may remember I discovered sprouted mung beans last month, and hinted at an update if I could persuade my boyfriend to eat them. But he just shrugged and said sure, why not? Now I’m not sure how I could have doubted his willingness to eat a bean, just because it’s sprouted a tail and is strangely named. He is far more of an adventurous eater than I. Anyone who can eat steak tartar and escargot, could never be afraid of a tiny little bean.
My sister was nice enough to share her recipe for Indian style mung beans. I didn’t have every ingredient on hand, so it required a quick trip down the Indian grocery store for a bag of dried mung beans and asafoetida powder.
The dried beans need to be soaked overnight, or all day. They really increase in size, so use a bigger bowl and more water than you think you need!
1 c dried mung beans (soaked overnight)
1 small onion
1 large tomato
3-5 cloves garlic
fresh ginger (thumb size)
hot thai peppers (to taste)
3-4 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp asafoetida
1 ½ tsp salt (varies by taste)
cooked rice (for serving)
Finely chop a small onion and a large tomato. In a blender or cuisinart, chop together the garlic, ginger and some hot thai peppers.
A note on peppers… these are pretty hot, so if you want something more mild, either decrease the amount of peppers or leave them out altogether. You could also substitute some jalapeno powder or hot pepper flakes.
In a large pot or pan, add some oil and heat it up to sizzle temperature. Toss in the black mustard seeds, turmeric and asafoetida. Let the oil heat all that up until the seeds start to pop. (move the pan off the heat or cover it when they do)
Add in the garlic, ginger and peppers, and then stir in the onion. If it splatters too much, add a little water. Cook about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook a few more minutes until they are a little mushy.
Then add the soaked mung beans, salt, and enough water to cover everything in the pan. Simmer for 35-40 minutes.
Stir occasionally and add water if it gets low or the beans get too sticky. I had to add water a few times so the beans remained covered to cook. Be careful not to add too much water or you’ll dilute your flavors. When the beans are soft, and the consistency has thickened, it is ready.
My sister serves the mung beans over basmati rice. I was in a noodle mood, so I used bean threads.
This is probably the most authentic Indian dish I have ever made. Actually, I think it’s also the only Indian dish. However, it was really yummy! In fact, it was so good that it didn’t seem like it should be so healthy. I’ll make it again when the weather is really nice and I can open a window to let some of the aromas escape.