Mungbeans with Indian Spices & Lemon

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

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie