Among beans, Mung beans are perhaps the most prized, both for their easy digestibility and for the humungus amount of protein they have to offer.
Keep in mind that the nutritional value of Mung beans (and other beans for that matter) can be considerably enhanced by allowing them to sprout first before cooking.
A time-honored way of enjoying Mung beans is in the classic Indian veggie stew Khichdi (strangely, pronounced: KichRee) in which rice, mung beans, and various vegetables, roots, seeds and aromatics are combined.
Here’s a basic Kichdi recipe. Improvise to your heart’s content.
- 1 cup of dry whole green mung beans
- 1 cup high quality Indian Basmati Rice
- 6 cups water
- 6 cups of vegetables: 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 fresh grated ginger root, minced
- 1 inch piece of fresh grated turmeric root, minced
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- Himalayan pink sea salt (or sea salt) to taste
- 1 stick of kombu (or other dried seaweed)
- a few curry leaves, if available
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Wash the mung beans and soak them in water overnight for four to eight hours. Drain and rinse again.
In a large skillet or wok, melt the ghee (or coconut oil) 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 and stir up the pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for about an hour. Add the salt to taste only in the last few minutes and garnish with cilantro. Replacing salt with tamari is a nice touch, or adding a tablespoon of miso paste to the stew in the final couple of minutes.