Mung Beans in a Creamy Tomato Coconut Milk Sauce

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Mung Beans with a Creamy Tomato Coconut Milk Sauce

Sweet and creamy green mung beans cook up quickly and pair well with so many different spices that they always make for an easy, nourishing and tasty midweek dinner. So long as your beans haven't been sitting around for months in your pantry, they really only require three to four hours soaking time, rather than an overnight soak. Despite the longish list of ingredients, this dish of earthy mung beans simmered in a tangy spiced tomato, coconut milk and tamarind sauce comes together in very little time and has an array of delicious flavors that would make it a star on any occasion. It is certainly a welcome change after many of the rich and filling meals enjoyed over the holiday season.

Mung Beans in a Creamy Tomato Coconut Milk SauceMung Beans in a Creamy Tomato Coconut Milk Sauce
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on January 3, 2019

Sweet creamy mung beans cooked in a fragrant spiced tomato and coconut milk sauce

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 cup dried whole mung beans
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion or large shallot, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 to 3 red or green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri or other chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Rinse the mung beans and soak for 6 hours or overnight covered in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium-large saucepan and cover with 3 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, stir in the turmeric, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until the beans are tender. If the mung beans become too dry, add a bit more water. Set the pan aside, without draining.

  • While the mung beans are cooking, soak the tamarind in 3/4 cup of hot water for 30 minutes. Place a strainer over a small bowl and pour in the tamarind and water. Press to get as much liquid out of the pulp as you can. Discard the pulp and set the tamarind water aside.

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the cumin and mustard seeds. Stir for a few minutes until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion or shallot to the pan. Sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Now add the garlic, ginger and chilies to the pan and fry, stirring often, for another few minutes. Toss in the asafetida if using, stir once, and then add the paprika, coriander, cumin, chili powder, cayenne and amchoor if using. Stir for another minute until the spices are fragrant and the contents of the pan are coated with the spices.

  • Now pour in the coconut milk and tamarind water and add the tomato. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 8 minutes.

  • Pour the sauce into the cooked mung beans, and add the lemon juice and salt. Simmer uncovered over medium heat until the dish thickens to your desired consistency — about 15 minutes. Add more water if desired. Stir in the parsley and serve hot. It goes well with rice and a vegetable side.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Mung Beans in a Creamy Coconut Milk Sauce

Other mung bean recipes to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Spicy Mung Beans with Chilies and Fresh Lime Juice
Mung Bean and Tamarind Dal
Mung Beans with Fresh Mustard Greens
Mussoorie Mung Beans and Winter Vegetables


Life Diet Health said...

Lisa this sounds such a delicious dish! I don't have all those ingredients but I'm going to try my best and see what I come up with! Thanks for sharing!

The VegHog said...

This is a lovely dish with warming spices, and I really like mung beans. Thank you for sharing the recipe with MLLA! :)