I only started using mung beans in my cooking a couple of months ago when I first discovered them in a bulk shop. I always knew the ancient ayurvedic cleansing recipe of Kitchari, which is made with mung beans but I always made them with lentils instead as I couldn't get my hands on mung beans. Ever since I love to incorporate it in my diet and recently introduced it to my extended family as well and they love it!
I’ve been buying staples in bulk much more these days—I can avoid the big crowded supermarkets, and I save more money as usually the bulk costs just a bit more than the small sized packages in the grocery stores and I also bring home less plastic.
I found that mung beans, just like regular dry beans are best when soaked for a few hours or overnight. I usually soak my beans and legumes to speed up the cooking time, this helps to make the beans more easily digestible. Apart from that mung beans has plenty of nutritional benefits including manganese, essential B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, folate, zinc. They also pack quite a lot of protein and dietary fibre.
GF Vegan Mung Bean Stew With Kale & Spinach
- 400 g dry whole mung beans
- 2 tbs olive or coconut oil
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 potatoes, chopped into small cubes
- 1 ts turmeric powder
- 1/2 ts cayenne pepper
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 800 ml veggie stock
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1 bunch spinach, chopped
- to taste salt, pepper
- 1 ts ground coriander
1. Place the mung beans in a smaller pot and add water just enough to cover the beans, cook over medium heat and bring to boil. You’ll probably get some white foam on the top, just scoop that off with a spoon. Once boiling, let it simmer on low-medium heat for around 15 minutes until all the water has pretty much evaporated and the beans have become soft.
2. While the beans are cooking, add the oil, onion, garlic, and ginger until the onion is translucent in a large saucepan on low heat.
3. Add potatoes, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper, tomatoes, and tomato paste and cook for around 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.
4. Transfer the mung beans and cook for a further 5 minutes to incorporate everything.
5. Add in the vegetable stock, spinach and kale, stirring for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, coriander and cover to simmer for about 15–20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Also by Imola: Vegan Tuscan Cacio e Pepe
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Photo: Imola Toth