Filipino Mung Bean Curry (Mongo)

Mongo (Filipino Mung Bean Curry)

Who could resist a colorful and fragrant mung bean dish cooked with spinach and tomatoes and spiced with sautéed onion, garlic and lime? And who could especially resist making it if it's called "Mongo?"

This Filipino bean and vegetable medley was adapted by Madhur Jaffrey to accommodate ingredients that are easy to find, and I've made a few other changes to enhance the color and flavor. It is not only easy to prepare, it also cooks very quickly and makes a lovely and healthy supper when served with rice.

Mongo (Filipino Mung Bean Curry)Filipino Mung Bean Curry (Mongo)
Recipe by
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Filipino
Published on January 11, 2008

Simple, spicy and tangy Filipino mung bean curry with colorful green onion, red chili and spinach

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried whole mung beans
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 green onions, green and white parts, sliced
  • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) baby spinach leaves
  • juice of 2 limes (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish
  • Rinse the mung beans and soak for 6 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with 4 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans are tender. While the beans are cooking the rest of the ingredients can be chopped and prepared.

  • When the beans are finished, remove from heat and set aside. Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around the pan. Add the garlic, onion, and the white parts of the green onion, and stir for 3 minutes. Add the red chilies, and continue to stir for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. Stir in the tomatoes and stir for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft but not dissolving into the mixture.

  • Pour the onion and tomato mixture into the beans and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the spinach and lime juice and simmer for a few minutes until the spinach is dark green and wilted. Stir in the salt and remove from heat.

  • Ladle into bowls and serve hot with lime wedges and fresh cooked rice on the side.

Makes 4 servings
Mongo (Filipino Mung Bean Curry)


Susan said...

Lovely dish, Lisa. You are right about the name; it's irresistible. My mom bought me this volume of Jaffrey recipes but I haven't cooked anything from it yet. I have much to look forward to.

Thank you for this great entry!

Lisa Turner said...

This Jaffrey cookbook is a fairly recent acquisition for me, so I've only made a few of the recipes so far, but as usual with Jaffrey's recipes, they always work out perfectly. I too am looking forward to exploring this one in more detail.

Johanna GGG said...

wow - this dish looks so appetising and colourful and has a great name - my only problem would be the amount of chillis - but would love to try it with a bit less chillis!

Anonymous said...

I love Madhur Jaffrey's recipes. You're right Lisa, they do always seem to work out perfectly! I've also made Madhur's mongo many, many times. It's a lovely recipe - hearty and warming.

Padma said...

This looks so colorful and promising. Would love to have it with hot steamed rice.

sra said...

I think I'll make this just to be able to recreate the look, to be able to sprinkle the green bits over the dish!

Jim said...

Try it over the Garlic Rice recipe from that same book!