Spicy Mung Bean Soup with Coconut Milk

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Spicy Mung Bean Soup with Coconut Milk

Spring tempts and tickles with rather frosty tendrils, but the tease is not enough to resist the lure of a warming bowl of nourishing soup. Craving mung beans, I came up with this creamy soup that includes a good little handful of hot peppers, but the coconut milk tempers the chilies and the spice resulting in a flavorful but somewhat subdued dish that goes well with some nutty brown basmati rice. An added bonus is that the soup tastes even better the next day. Next time I make this, I'm going to increase the spices a wee tad and add dried red chilies for a slightly fiery undertone.

Spicy Mung Bean Soup with Coconut MilkSpicy Mung Bean Soup with Coconut Milk
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on March 3, 2009

Sweet tender green mung beans in a creamy warming broth of coconut milk, tomato and spices

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, butter or oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 to 5 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • handful of fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 14 oz (400 mL) can of coconut milk
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • Rinse the mung beans and soak for 6 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse. Set aside.

  • Heat the ghee, butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and cook for 30 to 60 seconds or until they begin to sputter and pop. Immediately add the garlic, chilies and ginger, and stir for a minute or two. Toss in the asafetida, curry leaves, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cayenne, stir once, and then add the tomato. Cook for a minute or two and then add the water and the mung beans.

  • Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes and then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for another 15 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add the lemon juice, salt, sugar and garam masala. Simmer for another few minutes and serve hot.

Makes 6 servings

Spicy Mung Bean Soup with Coconut Milk

You might also want to try:
Mung Tamarind Dal
Indian Sour Mung Bean Soup
Mung Beans with Cottage Cheese


Trupti said...

soup looks very delicious & healthy too

Meeta K. Wolff said...

coconut milk and lentils - always a spectacular combination!

Fitness Foodie said...

Great soup - the spices are sure to warm one up!

Cynthia said...

I have some mung bean and will definitely try this. I like the idea of it being cooked with coconut milk. Have to try the mung tamarind dal too!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Spices and coconut milk go so well together. What a beautiful soup Lisa :)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

With or without the spice this would be excellent Lisa:D

Bits said...

This is definitely a good recipe for mung beans...

Ivy said...

The soup sounds delicious with all the spices and it must be so creamy with the coconut milk.

Netts Nook said...

This looks incredible I have all of the item I think I will make this for me vegan daughter. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Lisa, I think I know how tasty this soup is. We make a somewhat similar (with coconut and spices) but thicker dal called cherupayar (which is moong beans)kari. It goes with some of our breakfast and also pairs well rice or chappathis.

A_and_N said...

Lovely looking soup, Lisa! This is quite similar to a traditional south Indian preparation :)

test it comm said...

That soup looks good. I like the sound of using coconut milk in a soup.

SE said...

Mmm, I'm cooking this soup right now and it smells amazing. Thanks for the recipe!

Dawn said...

I stumbled across your blog via a google search for mung bean recipes, and boy am I glad I did! I've been looking around, and everything looks delicious!! :) Now I just need to find a place in Japan that sells some of these spices.