mung beans

barley kichadi

22nd February 2017


Barley is cooling, sweet, and mildly astringent.  Ideal for decreasing pitta and kapha.  It can improve a sluggish digestion and has a slightly drying effect, helping to clear fluids from the body. Barley is considered one of the “good” carbohydrates.

If the water in which barley is boiled, is given to a person suffering from diarrhoea it gives him instant relief.

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~ evening reflections.

~ Pleopeltis polypodioides, also known as the resurrection fern. The resurrection fern gets its name because it can survive long periods of drought by curling up its fronds, appearing grey-brown and dead. However, when just a little water is present, the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to “resurrect” and restoring itself to a vivid green colour within about 24 hours.

~’Chasmanthe floribunda, African cornflag.

~ the outer edges of the wall at the end of the day.


barley kichadi

preparation 50 minutes

serves 3 – 4

I have been making this weekly, quick and easy with a scoop of thick yoghurt and a drizzling of ghee. It is a wonderful warming, soothing and cleansing meal.  When simmering the dal, simmer until they still hold their shape and before they turn to mush.  I use organic pearl barley in this recipe, if using unhusked barley it will need an overnight soaking and longer cooking time – recommended to boil separately ½ hour before adding the dal.

Our favourite barley recipe is this lovely soothing lemon barley water.


½ cup/100g  pearl barley

½ cup/100g whole moong dal (mung beans)

8 cups /2-litre water

1 cup/90g celery/fennel, chopped

1 cup/50gcabbage, chopped 

1 heaped teaspoon rock salt 

1 heaped Tbsp jaggery/brown sugar

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger

¼ cup/60g frozen green peas


1 Tbsp ghee

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

1 medium red chilli, chopped

10-15 fresh curry leaves, torn in half

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

juice of half a lemon or more to taste

½ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped 

2 cups kale/spinach/fenugreek leaves, roughly chopped

to serve 




1.  In a saucepan, wash the barley, until the water runs clear, then pour in 8 cups water, bring to boil, then lower the heat to maintain a rapid simmer for 10 minutes. Add the dal and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

2.  Add the celery and cabbage – simmer until barley has softened and the dal is cooked but still holding their shape – approximately 20 – 30 minutes. Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.

3.  Add the peas, salt, jaggery, dried coconut and chopped ginger – simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the heat, cover and set aside.

prepare the voggarane

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, turn down the heat and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida powder, and chilli – fry until sizzling and fragrant. 

5.  Add the curry leaves and turmeric powder – fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly, then pour the voggarane into the kichadi.

6.  Squeeze in the lemon juice, and stir in the coriander and kale. Cover allow to sit 5 minutes, then check for seasoning, adding more salt or lemon if needed.

When ready, drizzle with ghee, garnish with coriander and serve with a spoon of yoghurt.


Goodness shared by Stacey

carrot moong dal soup – a winter warming soup

6th December 2015

I thought I would re-visit this soup, as it is one I make most often in the colder months and a particular favourite of Donna’s.  It is also very quick and easy to prepare and has such simple flavours and warmth due to the pepper and ginger, keeping us nourished and grounded in these colder months.  Dry roasting and roughly grinding your own spices make all the difference to bring out the flavours, don’t be tempted to skip this process.

Out of all the pulses, moong dal (green gram) is one I use most often; as it has a calming, cooling and balancing effect on all dosha’s.  It is also very cleansing and medicinal.  The tomatoes can easily be omitted if desired; as the lemon juice adds the acidity that this soup requires.

A few memorable images from our recent retreat in India.

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– Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram

– Banyan Tree, Firefly Resort

– Illuminating cloudscape


carrot moong dal soup

The original recipe is from Yamuna Devi’s, The Vegetable Table.  It is a little worn and splotched on most pages from over-enthusiastic use.  A great book to start with when wanting to cook good, wholesome Indian meals without the addition of onion or garlic.  There is also a sense of devotional cooking in all the recipes which I really like.

This is my version of her soup with a few changes.  The original recipe uses split moong dal (yellow) which results in a lighter soup. I particularly prefer using the whole moong for a heartier Winter soup.

Serves 4

Preparation – 45 mins


1 cup whole moong dal

8 cups water

4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 whole cardamom pods (peeled and seeds crushed)

1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

1 small plum tomato, finely chopped

¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper


1 – 2 Tbsp ghee

 tsp asafoetida powder

1 dried chilli, torn in half

6 fresh curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder


1.  In a medium pot, wash the dal until it runs clear, drain, refill with water, add the carrots, ginger, and cardamom pods and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer, partly cover and cook until the dal is soft – 30 – 40 minutes.

2.  In a small pan over moderate heat, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds until golden and deeply fragrant, allow to cool, then place in a mortar and pestle, and grind into a rough powder.

3.  Add to the dal with the tomatoes, coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper – turn off the heat.

prepare the voggarane

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee, asafoetida powder and chilli – fry for a few seconds, then add the curry leaves and turmeric powder, fry for a few more seconds, remove from heat and pour into the soup.  

5. Taste, adding more salt or lemon if needed.  I find the lemon juice and freshly ground pepper bring this soup together, so you may want to add more.  Drizzle with a spoon of melted ghee when serving.

Serve with your favourite bread toasted and a bowl of guacamole, or if trying to avoid bread make a pot of red rice or quinoa and serve a spoon in each bowl of soup.

Goodness shared from Stacey

green mung dal with Indian spices (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 and 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 and inspiration start to flow, followed by a sense of elation.

The idea of planting a seed, watching it grow, protecting it, then eating the result which was nurtured, fed 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 dal is easy to digest and in Ayurveda are considered medicinal, cleansing and one of the keys to a long, vibrant and healthy life.  Mung dal 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 and ¾ cup mung beans/dal, adding less water until the water evaporates and the dal and rice are dry and cooked, adding the vegetable with the voggarane, lemon juice, fresh coconut and lemon zest.

mung dal with Indian spices

serves 3 – 4


½ cup/100g whole mung dal

4 cups water

½ tsp turmeric powder


1 tsp ghee

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped

8 fresh curry leaves

1 whole green chilli, split

½ cup coconut, freshly grated 

handful green beans, finely chopped

350g fresh spinach/chard/kale

1 tsp fine rock salt

juice of 1 lemon

½ cup coriander leaves, chopped


1.  Wash the dal and place in a saucepan with water, add turmeric, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer, partially covered until tender – about 30 minutes.  Just keep in mind you may need 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.

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 dal, add spinach, salt, coconut and coriander. Turn off the heat and let the flavours steep for 5 minutes. Before serving, pour in the lemon juice, adjust 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

mung beans with tofu & tomatoes

30th June 2009


This dish was first made by our dear Amin, who was with us for seven years before returning to her home country.  She was very inspiring to have in the kitchen as she would invent and whip up a dish in a matter of minutes.  It wasn’t easy to obtain recipes from her, as she always forgot an extremely vital ingredient to make or break the recipe.  Thank you, Amin, for all your beautiful recipes and for caring for us!

If I am organised in the mornings and already decided what to cook that evening,  I soak the dal or beans during the day to use that evening.  This makes the cooking time much less and makes them easier to digest.

mung beans with tofu & tomatoes

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 2


½ cup green whole mung beans

3 – 4 cups water (add more if needed)

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp ghee

½ cup tofu cubes (1 cm)

1 or 2 Tbsp ghee/oil

3 small Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tsp rasam powder

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

1 tsp jaggery

handful of fresh coriander


1.  Wash the mung beans in a saucepan until the water runs clear. Drain, add 3 cups water, turmeric and ghee – simmer for 30 minutes or until the beans break down and are soft.

prepare the voggarane

2.  In a deep skillet, add ghee; when hot, add the tofu and allow to brown on all sides.

3.  Add the cumin, ginger and rasam powder – fry for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and simmer on low for 10 minutes with the lid on.

4.  Pour the cooked mung beans into the tomatoes; add lemon juice, salt, a good helping of freshly ground pepper, jaggery, and a handful of fresh coriander.

Serve with a green garden salad and rice/quinoa.

Shared goodness from Stacey

easy sprouting & a recipe

16th June 2009


Lettuce goes to seed so quickly in the Summer heat here in Israel.  So during this season, I need to get creative as to what I can put into my salads.  This is where sprouting comes in. I usually sprout mung beans by themselves, but a few weeks ago, I experimented with this combination; equal amounts of mung beans and the small, dark brown Beluga lentil.

Sprouting increases the nutrient value, vitamin and enzyme content of grains, beans and seeds,                  making them more digestible.  They have a cooling, cleansing, and detoxifying effect on the body. After an overnight soak, the sprouts are ready in just two to three days.

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easy sprouting

It is always best to purchase organic lentils, beans and seeds, as the conventionally grown ones have often been irradiated prior to storage, making them unable to sprout.


½ cup mung beans

½ cup dark brown beluga lentils


1.  Rinse and soak the mung beans and lentils in a bowl overnight.


2.  The next morning, drain, rinse again and place back in the bowl, or alternatively you can leave in the strainer to drain over the bowl.

3.  Place the lentils in a dark area or cupboard. The sprouts should be rinsed 2 – 3 times a day and then drained well.  When they reach their required length, which takes 2 – 3 days, store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator; this helps to slow the growing process and preserve their freshness.  I like to keep the tails short and sprout them for 2 days. The shorter the sprouting time, the sweeter the sprout; the longer the tail grows, the more water it retains; the less flavour and tend to be watery.

In the warmer months, use them raw in salads, like this one or add them to a green smoothie.   They add a delicious crunch and freshness.  Because of their cooling quality in the colder months, it is better to lightly cook them for a softer and more digestible dish like in the recipe below or used in this lemon rice.


carrot & mung bean sprout palya

Serves 4, as a side dish

Can also be made with the addition of finely chopped cabbage and carrots and sprouts.


1 Tbsp ghee/oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

4 fresh curry leaves

3 medium carrots, grated

1 cup mung beans sprouts (see above)

1 Tbsp  fresh lemon juice

¼ cup dried shredded coconut

salt to taste

¼ cup coriander, chopped


1.  Heat a little ghee/oil in a deep skillet, add the mustard seeds, wait until they splutter and pop, then add the cumin seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves.

2.  Add the mung bean sprouts and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, continually stirring (not too long, as you want to keep some of the crunch to the sprouts.)

3. Add grated carrot and mix in with the sprouts.  Turn off the heat, add lemon juice, dried coconut, salt, and freshly chopped coriander.  Gently mix to combine.

Serve with your favourite grain dish and a simple dal or with an Indian dosa and slices of avocado.


If you would like to read more on sprouting, this is a great site –

Shared goodness by Stacey

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