This lentil is known by a few different names, Mung/moong or green gram. You may not be familiar with it, but, have you had bean sprouts before? If so, that is the sprouted version of this bean. This is very common in a Keralite household and everyone makes it differently. My mom would make this in a different way with less gravy. I personally like it with some creamy gravy.
This lentil is very nutritious and a very cheap way to bulk up a meal. If you are a vegetarian this is a great source of protein too. I usually find these in Indian stores but nowadays you can find them in some supermarket chains too. When prepping this lentil make sure to rinse this well or until the water runs clear.
Preparation Time – 20 Minutes
Cook Time – 45 Minutes
Serves – 8
Mung beans/Green Gram – 2 cups, rinsed and drained
Water – 5 cups
Tomatoes – 2, diced
Onions – 3, small, diced
Garlic – 5 cloves, minced
Ginger – 1 Tablespoon
Curry powder – 3 Teaspoons
Cumin powder – 1/4 Teaspoon
Chili powder – 1/4 Teaspoon
Garam Masala – 3 Teaspoons
Spinach – 2 cups, roughly chopped
Coconut milk – 1 cup
Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped
Salt – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
Ghee – 3 Tablespoons
In a pot, bring the mung beans and the water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until they start to split a bit. Do not overcook as it will get extremely mushy. Once done, take away from heat and keep aside.
In a saucepan, heat the ghee on medium, add onions, garlic, ginger and salt. Fry till golden brown.
Mom’s tip: Adding salt now helps draw water from the onions and helps them brown faster.
On low heat, add your powdered spices and fry for about 30 seconds or till you can smell the aroma. Do not burn them.
Add the tomatoes and cilantro and cook till they are cook down and the oil starts to seperate at the edges.
Add the chopped spinach and cook for a minute or till it wilts.
Add the cooked mung beans, taste for salt and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the coconut milk, let it heat through and turn off the heat.
This will thicken as it sits and the beans will absorb the liquid. I find that it tastes better after it sits for about 10 minutes or so.
I serve this with white rice and some raita but you can also serve this with naan or parathas. The beans will be soft and should barely have any bite to it, so it is creamy in texture. You can omit the chili in this if you would like it less spicy or you can replace it with fresh green chillies and add it along with the tomatoes. If you want to make it richer, you could replace the coconut milk with cream towards the end.
These are things you may need to make this dish: