mung beans with Indian spices & lemon (revisited)

16th March 2014

The following post was first published in June 2009 in the very beginning stages of our blog. We both love this dish, so thought we would update it & repost it.


Usually, I never know what I am going to cook until I venture into the garden and start picking, smelling, and just being present and then the excitement, the inspiration starts to flow and always followed by a sense of elation.  There is always an abundance and a sense of energy, a desire for simplicity.  The idea of planting a seed, watching it grow, protecting it then eating the result which was nurtured, feed and watered gives an extraordinary sense of completeness and purpose.  A closer connection to a higher source.  A sense of joy.

This dish is a particular favourite.  Earthy and filling.  Usually, at this time of year, there is an abundance of spinach, kale or chard in the vegetable garden, which I steam lightly until emerald-green.  I try to keep the greens bursting with colour, flavour and nutrients by giving them very little cooking time.  Sometimes if the zucchini’s need to be picked I use those instead of the beans, sweet peas in Spring or broccoli in the colder months.

This is also one of those dishes which will keep you warm and nourished in Winter and because of the unique nature of the beans – cooling in Summer.  Mung beans are easy to digest and in Ayurveda are considered medicinal, cleansing and one of the keys to a long, vibrant and healthy life.  Mung beans are also valued for their anti-inflammatory benefits and highly nutritious blood purifier.  By neutralizing toxins throughout the body, they are able to calm the mind and promote the healing of all diseases.  They are high in protein, rich source of fibre and packed with vitamins and minerals.



Below is a dry version I made recently by adding ½ brown round rice to ¾ cup of whole mung beans/dal, adding less water until the water has evaporated and the dahl and rice are dry and cooked, sauteing the beans, peas or whatever green vegetables you are using separately and adding to the cooked rice & dal with the spices(above), lemon juice, fresh coconut and lemon zest.

mung beans with Indian spices & lemon

Serves 4

1 cup/200g whole moong dal

4 cups water

½ teaspoon turmeric powder


1 tsp ghee

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

5 fresh curry leaves

1 whole green  chilli

½ cup freshly grated coconut

handful green beans, finely chopped

350g fresh spinach/chard/kale

salt to taste

juice of a lemon

handful fresh coriander


1.  Wash the moong dal and place in a saucepan with the water, add the turmeric powder, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer, partially covered until they are tender – about 30 minutes.  Just keep in mind you may have to add more water when cooking.   If using a pressure cooker, allow for three whistles and wait for the pressure to release.

2.  Wash the spinach or chard and steam until just wilted – set aside to cool then squeeze out excess moisture and chop finely – set aside.  (If I am short of time I skip the steaming process half the amount (as the water content can dilute the flavour) and add at the end, stirring into the soup until it has wilted.)

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a small pan, heat the ghee, add cumin seeds, ginger, curry leaves, and whole chilli; when the cumin seeds darken slightly, add the green beans and saute until just tender.

4.  Pour the voggarane into the moong dal, add the chopped spinach, salt to taste, coconut, freshly chopped coriander and juice of a lemon (more or less to taste).

Drizzle with ghee when serving.  Enjoy with a bowl of quinoa and oven baked sweet potatoes or slices of pumpkin.


references –

Goodness shared from Stacey

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1 comment

  • Alison

    Looks divine! Thanks so much..can’t wait to get cooking. We just purchased a new stand alone gas stove with electric oven (ILVE) and are excited about cooking all these new creations of yours.
    Please keep the recipes coming girls!

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