Among beans, Mung beans are perhaps the most prized. This is due not only for their flavor and easy digestibility but also for the humungus amount of protein they provide.
Alwys keep in mind that the nutritional value of Mung beans (and other beans for that matter) can be considerably enhanced by letting them sprout first before cooking.
A classic way of enjoying Mung beans is in the traditional Indian multi-veggie stew called Khichdi (strangely, pronounced: Kich-Ree) in which rice, mung beans, various vegetables, roots, seeds and sundry aromatics are all appetizingly amalgamated.
What follows is a basic Khichdi recipe upon which you should feel free to improvise.
- 1 cup of dry whole green mung beans (if sprouted, use an extra 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup high quality Indian Basmati Rice
- 6 cups water
- 6 cups of chopped veggies such as: carrots, peppers, onions, squash, yam, cabbage, kale, etc.
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 3 lobes of garlic minced
- 2-inch piece of ginger root, grated
- 1 inch piece turmeric root, grated
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 small piece of kombu
- a few curry leaves, if available
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Wash the mung beans and soak them in water overnight. Drain and rinse again.
In a large skillet or wok, melt the ghee until it’s in liquid form. Add all the different seeds to the ghee and saute until they begin to pop. Crush the seeds into the ghee with a wooden spoon. Add the minced ginger and turmeric, garlic, curry leaves, rice and beans to the mix. Add the uncooked rice and beans and coat them in the ghee and seeds without letting anything burn. Slowly add in the water.
Add the kombu and vegetables. Bring up to a boil and then return back to a simmer. Leave covered to simmer for about an hour. Add salt only in the last few minutes and garnish with the cilantro upon serving. Replacing salt with tamari is a nice touch, or perhaps stirring in a tablespoon of miso paste as you remove the skillet from the heat, and letting it sit covered on the stove-top for a minute or two before serving.