Mung bean coconut curry

19 Oct

Mung bean coconut curry

Poor, unfashionable mung beans… While a number of ingredients have crossed the aisle from “health food” to mainstream (hummus, tofu), or even become trendy (quinoa, chia seeds), mung beans are not among them.

There is still something 1970s, socks-and-sandals, “knit your own yogurt” about mung beans (at least in their un-sprouted form). Or maybe it’s a name thing… if you were brainstorming names to market a new legume, I doubt “mung” would make the long list.

Having been a friend of the mung bean for years, I’d like to introduce them to a wider social circle. This mung bean coconut curry is a good place to start. Quick to make (mung beans don’t need pre-soaking), delicious, healthy and cheap, this curry is a winner.

The recipe is based on one from the Vij’s at Home cookbook.

Mung bean coconut curry
(serves 4)

  • 3 Tb sunflower oil
  • 1 Tb cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb of ginger, minced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tb ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dry mung beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups water
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over a medium flame. Add the cumin seeds, and cook until they start to colour.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook a few minutes more.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, then add the coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the mung beans and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are just tender.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk then increase the heat to bring the mixture just to the boil.
  6. Remove from the heat, and stir in the lime juice to taste, and the chopped coriander. Adjust the seasoning and serve with basmati rice.

28 Responses to “Mung bean coconut curry”

  1. newholisticsoul October 19, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    That looks so delicious!
    -Elizabeth L

    • Andrea October 19, 2016 at 11:02 am #

      Thank you, Elizabeth!

  2. Radiate Food Vibes October 19, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    This is awesome!

  3. Anuradha Mukherjee October 19, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

    Wow!! this looks so appetising.I love mung beans.They are so tasty and healthy too.

    • Andrea October 19, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

      Thank you, Anurahha โ€“ I love them too. Aside from tasting great, I enjoy their texture as well.

  4. Asli October 20, 2016 at 7:45 am #

    Mung beans are my new favourites (oh and they look so cute too!). Your photo also looks delicious!

    • Andrea October 20, 2016 at 8:07 am #

      Thanks, and glad to find another mung bean appreciator!

  5. foodbymama October 23, 2016 at 3:50 am #

    Loved the photo..looks amazing๐Ÿ˜Š

  6. honeylemonchai October 24, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    yummy :)) x

  7. Brina November 2, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    This looks amazing!

  8. cookiesnchem November 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    That photo is incredible! Love the yin-yang vibe. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Andrea November 2, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

      Thanks so much!

  9. Courtney Livingston November 19, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

    mmm that looks delicious! I will definitely have to try- I’ve been attempting to make curry more often haha check out my salmon recipe at

    • Andrea November 20, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

      Thanks Courtney โ€“ we’re trying to eat more fish, so that works nicely ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Tatjana December 22, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    As one of the biggest curry fans ever, I’m definitely going to try this!!!! Being gluten free, I have tried mung bean flour before. My precooked, cookie dough didn’t taste very good. Luckily the cookies turned out fine. Bean based flours are never leave the dough tasting good. Still, I imagine mung beans are amazing in a curry!

  11. chefkreso February 21, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

    Awesome photo, lovely recipe ! I love coconut curry ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Alisha April 13, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    It took much longer to cook than listed. Flavours were good.

    • Andrea April 13, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ve noticed that the cooking time for dried beans does vary, depending on age, freshness, and whether I’m cooking on a gas or electric hob. Glad it worked out in the end ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Jim Logan July 12, 2018 at 8:25 pm #

    I cook a lot of Indian food and this is textbook. I’ve not cooked with mungs, but I’ll definitely give this a try. Do you have Vij’s cookbook?

    • Andrea July 14, 2018 at 1:21 pm #

      Thank you. I don’t have any of his cookbooks as yet, but planning to visit the Cambie Street restaurant when I’m back home this summer. Is there a particular cookbook you’d recommend?

  14. Anonymous August 19, 2018 at 11:11 pm #

    We loved it! Definetely doing it again….

  15. Debbie September 17, 2018 at 8:17 am #

    I made this yesterday and it was absolutely delicious! Truly really delicious and economical! Whatsโ€™s not to like?!! Every one loved it and had seconds!!! Thanks Andrea for bringing back the mung bean and writing (as always) in such a fab personal way about the recipe!! Debbie xxx

    • Andrea September 17, 2018 at 7:39 pm #

      Thank you, Debbie! Youโ€™ve made my day, and Iโ€™m so pleased to have converted you guys to the delights of mung beans ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  16. Heather May 22, 2020 at 10:26 pm #

    Should I drain the tomatoes?

    • Andrea May 22, 2020 at 11:01 pm #

      No, add them with the juice as well ๐Ÿ˜Š

  17. Melody November 28, 2020 at 5:09 am #

    Hi, can’t wait to try this recipe. Just wondering if you use whole green mung beans or split and hulled mung beans?

    • Andrea November 30, 2020 at 4:30 pm #

      Thanks Melody! I use the whole unhulled ones, which retain their shape even after they are soft.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: