I love cooking. I really do. I love discovering new ingredients, new cuisines and most of all unusual combinations. However, there are many nights where the last possible thing I want to think about is whats for dinner. Whats for Dinner. Quite possibly the worst phrase ever. Sometimes its not the actual act of cooking that makes you dread the evening meal, its just the thought process of having to come up with something new and exciting, or healthy and filling day in day out. Other times its the lack of energy to get the groceries and decipher a new and complicated recipe. On those days, mung bean curry is probably my favorite choice.
More often than not, I have all the ingredients for this dinner at home. This is most important because the thought of walking to the supermarket on a drizzling cold day is far from my thoughts. Dried mung beans, a tin of tomatoes or a fresh tomato or even tomato paste (all will work just great), and a few spices are all you need for this super healthy protein packed dinner. And best of all, its done with little effort and even less time.
Mung Bean Curry
- 1 cup dried mung beans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 green chili, minced
- 1/4 cup canned cubed tomato, or 1 small fresh tomato, or about 1tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp coriander/cumin mix
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/4-1/2 cup of water
- handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Pick through the mung beans to make sure there are no stray stones and then rinse throughly. You can cook the mung beans in a pressure cooker which is my preferred method or if you don’t have one, a regular saucepan will do. Just put the beans in with about 2 cups of water and cook on medium heat for about 35-45 minutes until they are completely softened. You can also do this a day before and put in the fridge. Or make extra and freeze the rest for next time.
In a medium saucepan on high heat, add about 1 tbsp of oil. Once it is quite hot, add the mustard seeds into the oil. They should start sizzling and then begin to pop. You want to make sure most of them pop, but don’t let them burn. Then take off the heat and add the garlic and chili. Turn the heat down to medium and let the chili and garlic cook in the oil for a about a minute. Again, make sure it doesn’t burn. Then add in the tomato. If using paste, mix with a bit of water first. Let cook for a minute or so.
Add in the mung beans and all the spices and lemon juice. Also add in about 1/4 cup of water to start. Make sure everything is well mixed and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or so. Add a bit more water if things get dry and cook for another 5-10 minutes. You just want the spices to meld and cook so they don’t taste raw. Add a bit more water if it is too dry and taste for salt. Its your preference on how soupy you would like it, I like mine soupy!
Then add a handful of chopped coriander to garnish if you have it and thats it. Dinner ready.