Mung Bean Dahl

This dish has a lovely long list of fresh, wholesome ingredients which come together to create a traditionally Indian dish with my personal variations. Dahl is typically made with a combination of lentils and other pulses added together with a range of spices to enhance the flavour and the nutrition! When cooking a dahl, it’s advisable to leave it to do so for a long time to allow the consistency to become just right, so making this dish will take approximately one hour.

Mung beans are one of the most nutrient dense legumes and are also remarkably low in calories. Mung beans are high in dietary fibre and a relatively small serving can quickly leave you feeling full! They are a great choice to include in your diet if you are looking for a food that is high in protein without all that nasty cholesterol! The herbs and spices which are used also pack a healthy punch and bring a unique taste to this dish.

To make enough of my dahl to feed four to six people, find the following ingredients:

200g of mung beans
Coconut oil for frying
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp. tomato puree
1 tin x 400g chopped tomatoes
1 litre veggie stock
Coriander, to garnish
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

mung_bean_dahl_the_flexi_foodie2In a large pan, over a medium to high heat, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil. Once this has melted, add the onions, garlic, ginger and all of the spices and saute for approximately five minutes until the onion is soft. Next, add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, mung beans and veggie stock.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 45 minutes. After this amount of time the mung beans should be soft. With a potato masher, begin to mash the mung beans so that roughly half have been mashed. You can then serve into dishes, season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped coriander.

Love this recipe? Then check out more in my first cookboook! SUPERFOODS: The Flexible Approach to Eating More Superfoods.

Mung Bean & Sweet Potato Casserole

I haven’t really done a proper bean post before and one of my favourite beans are…. mung beans.  I actually think they’re really sweet and cute, and they do taste amazing too.  A wonderful trait about mung beans is that they are easier to digest compared to larger beans and you don’t need to soak them for hours.  You can just pop them in and let them cook for about 45 minutes.  Hurray!

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Some people have difficulty digesting beans and legumes. They may develop gas, intestinal problems, irritability, or unclear thinking. Here are a few techniques for preparing and eating legumes that will alleviate most problems.

  • Soak beans for several days, changing the water twice daily, until a small tail forms on the beans.
  • Chew beans thoroughly and know that even small amounts have high nutritional and healing value.

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  • Avoid giving legumes to children under 18 months because they have not developed the gastric enzymes to digest them properly.
  • Experiment with your ability to digest beans. Smaller beans like adzuki, lentils, mung beans and peas digest most easily. Pinto, kidney, navy, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lima and black beans are harder to digest. Soybeans and black soybeans are the most difficult beans to digest.
  • Experiment with combinations, ingredients and seasonings. Legumes combine best with green or non-starchy vegetables and seaweeds.
  • Season with unrefined sea salt, miso or soy sauce near the end of cooking. If salt is added at the beginning, the beans will not cook completely. Salt is a digestive aid when used correctly.

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So what’s the scoop on mung beans, you ask?  Well, for starters, ancient China used mung beans for detoxifying the body, so a high five to the Chinese on that one.  Mung beans are high in soluble dietary fibre.  What’s soluble dietary fibre  you say?  Read after the pic of the green chilies!

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Here’s Soluble Fibre 101: Dietary fibre refers to certain food particles that cannot be digested. Dietary fibre comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre aids in normalizing bowl movements, but it does not do much for lowering blood pressure. Soluble fibre when mixed with water in the digestive tract will form a gel-like material, which in turn aids in supporting essential bodily functions. And foods rich in soluble dietary fibres have been show to help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL).   So, another high five there.

Let’s get started on creating this delicious dish!

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Grab these goods and you are ready to go!  Serves 6 – great for a dinner party!

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. fenugreek seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. turmeric

3 garlic cloves

1 inch ginger, grated

4 green chilies, sliced

2 small onions, diced

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, 1 1 /2 chunks

350g mung beans

1 litre vegetable stock

400g spinach

3 large tomatoes, chunked

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Heat the coconut oil in a large pan.  Once the oil has melted, stir in the fenugreek seeds and cumin for about 2 minutes until you smell the lovely frangrance of the spices.  Add in the garlic, ginger, chillies, onion and red peppers, sauté until the onion is soft.

Toss in your chunked sweet potatoes and top with the turmeric for about 2 minutes.  Then you’re ready to stir in the mung beans and the vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil and then let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans are cooked.  Lastly, add in the spinach and the tomatoes until both are soft but not over cooked – again, about 7-10 minutes.  Season with your limes, sea salt and black pepper.  This dish is incredibly filling so you probably won’t need any grain to go with it!

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