Spicy Mung Beans with Chilies and Fresh Lime Juice

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
This dish is creamy, tart, nourishing, warming and just plain delicious. Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries is certainly a gift for Indian cooks. All of the recipes are easy to adapt to suit your preferences and a joy to prepare. Informative, succulent, opulent, assertive and wholesome, this cookbook is a staple in my kitchen.

I adapted the recipe from his Tart Moth Beans with Lime Juice. I did not have any moth beans, so I used mung beans instead. Moth beans are readily available at your local Indian grocer and though my legume supply is practically bursting out of the cupboard shelf, I am eager to try this new-to-me legume. Mr. Iyer describes them as "light brown oval beans, firm and stonelike, similar in shape to green mung beans." A raw version was used to feed cattle in Texas, but us peeps prefer to simmer them until they are tender.

I am submitting this to Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops. Lyndsey has launched a new event featuring chilies and the theme this month for the Sweet Heat Challenge is soups that include chilies. How could I resist submitting a recipe?

mung beans

Spicy Mung Beans with Chilies and Fresh Lime JuiceSpicy Mung Beans with Chilies and Fresh Lime Juice
Recipe by
Adapted from 660 Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Published on November 3, 2011

A tart, creamy, nourishing and warming simple mung bean curry — just plain delicious

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 cup whole mung beans, soaked for a few hours, or overnight in enough water to cover
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • dash of asafoetida
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • generous handful of dried curry leaves
  • 3 - 4 fresh red cayenne or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • juice of 1 fresh lime
  • Rinse the mung beans under cold running water and soak for 6 hours or overnight covered in several inches of cold water. Drain and transfer to a medium-large heavy bottomed pot along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the beans are tender, roughly 40 minutes.

  • While the beans are cooking, heat the butter, ghee or oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and stir and fry until they turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Toss in the cumin seeds and stir and fry for a minute. Add the onion and stir and fry until they turn translucent and begin to brown. Stir in the ginger and cook for another minute or so. Reduce the heat slightly, and add the turmeric, cayenne, coriander, paprika and asafoetida. Stir and fry for another minute.

  • Add 3/4 - 1 cup of water to the skillet to deglaze the pan and pour the contents into the pot of beans. Stir in the parsley or coriander, along with the salt, curry leaves and chilies. Simmer for roughly 10 minutes to absorb the flavours. Just before serving, stir in the fresh lime juice.

Makes 4 - 6 servings
tangy mung beans

More mung bean dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian blog:
Mung Beans with Mixed Vegetables
Spicy Mung Beans
Mung Tamarind Dal
Mussoorie Mung Beans and Winter Vegetables

On the top of the reading stack: The Trial of Gilles de Rais by Georges Bataille

Audio Accompaniment: Underworld


MapMaster said...

I love the array of spices in this dish -- very flavourful

anthony stemke said...

I love this Dal.
Thank You.

Priya Suresh said...

Super comforting dal.

Lyndsey said...

Absolutely perfect! This looks so good and I would love to have a bowl of this right now! (even if it is only 9am!)

Thank you so much for taking part in this month's Sweet Heat Challenge.

Brett said...

I enjoyed cooking and eating this, even though I had to substitute lemon for lime when my local shop wanted $40/kg for limes(!).

A little proofreading point, though: I don't think your recipe says when to put in the cumin seeds. I therefore forgot about them (it still tasted good though). Do you mean them to go in after the mustard seeds?

Lisa Turner said...

Glad you enjoyed the recipe and I fixed my editing error. Thanks for pointing this out.