Mussoorie Mung Beans and Winter Vegetables

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Mussoorie Mung Beans and Winter Vegetables

A funny thing happened this year in southwestern Ontario a few weeks ago when winter disappeared suddenly into a blazing torrent of glorious summer weather that had everyone outside all of a sudden to clean up their yards and plant their flowers. Inside, it had me thinking of using up my winter vegetables to bid farewell to that miserable season, which led me to this unusual recipe from Yamuna Devi's Vegetarian Table which is probably the first instance of parsnips being used in an Indian dish that I can recall. As it turns out, the winter vegetables ended up being entirely appropriate anyways as the fake summer has just collapsed into unseasonably cold and wet weather again.

Named after the famous hill station at the feet of the Indian Himalayas, the deep earthy flavors and textures of mung beans combined with root vegetables in this dinner make it extraordinarily filling and nourishing for any cool time of year. This version improves on Yamuna Devi's, if I may be so bold, by incorporating the stems of red chard — the sweetest and crunchiest part of the vegetable — as well as the leaves, and by frying the potatoes slightly after boiling to give them a bit of extra sturdiness and crunch. The gingered tomato sauce that's used to season the beans can easily be made a day ahead to save yourself time, with the added bonus that you'll end up with plenty of leftover sauce to serve over pasta for a delicious and easy dinner the next day.

Mussoorie Mung Beans and Winter VegetablesMussoorie Mung Beans and Winter Vegetables
Recipe by
Adapted from Vegetarian Table: India
Cuisine: Indian
Published on May 1, 2008

Simple, colorful and nourishing, this hearty northern Indian style bean and vegetable dish has hardly any spice but is packed with the rich flavors of fall vegetables

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  • 1 1/3 cups dried whole mung beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • dab of butter or ghee
  • 1 lb (450 g) red chard, leaves and stalks separated and chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 parsnips, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 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 3 cups of fresh water. Add the turmeric and a dab of butter or ghee. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook gently for 30 minutes or until the beans are tender but not falling apart.

  • Meanwhile, steam or boil the potatoes until tender. Gently mash into coarse pieces and set aside.

  • Stir the green parts of the chopped chard and the tomato sauce into the beans, and cover again. Set aside the chopped stems of the chard for the vegetables, and simmer the beans gently for another 10 minutes or until the chard is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • While the chard is wilting, heat the ghee or olive oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and red chili flakes, stir for a few seconds, then toss in the carrots and parsnips. Sauté for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium, add the chopped stems of the chard, stir and cover. Cook until the vegetables are tender — about 5 minutes. Add the mashed potatoes and stir for a couple of minutes to brown the potatoes slightly.

  • Stir the vegetables into the beans and season everything with salt and pepper. Fold in the cilantro and serve hot.

Makes 8 servings
Mussoorie Mung Beans and Winter Vegetables


Chef Erik said...

I'm always looking for recipes like this. I will def make this at work. My cutomers love Indian food, I know they will love this one. Congrats!

test it comm said...

That looks nice and tasty and healthy.

Johanna GGG said...

looks delicious - funny how little we eat parsnips given how often we eat carrots and they are quite similar!

Astra Libris said...

mmmm, this looks so scrumptious, comforting, and beautifully healthful...

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

This looks really tasty Lisa and with the weather what it is just now here too, it is perfect for a grey dreich day!