Spicy Mung Beans with Chillies and Fresh Lime Juice

(serves 4 – 6)

This dish is creamy, nourishing, warming and very delicious

1 cup whole mung beans (available in health food shops, Asian supermarkets and large local supermarkets), soaked for a few hours or overnight in enough water to cover

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 small onion, finely chopped

1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2-3 tablespoons of fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped

1 1/2  teaspoons sea salt

some curry leaves

1 -2 (or more to taste and depending on size of chillies) red or green chillies, seeded and finely chopped.

Juice of 1 fresh lime.


1. Rinse the mung beans under cold running water and soak for 6 hours or overnight covered over with cold water.  Drain and put in a fairly large pot along with water to cover.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, covered, about 40 minutes. (Technically lentils do not need to be soaked and mung beans come under category of lentils, but they do cook more quickly and I feel it is good to soak them)

2. While the beans are cooking, take a frying pan and put in the oil and heat to medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and stir and fry until they start to pop. Put in the cumin seeds and fry another minute.

3. Add the onion and stir and fry until it starts to brown

4. Stir in the ginger and cook another minute or so.

5. Reduce the heat a bit and add the turmeric, cayenne, coriander, and paprika.  Stir and fry for another minute.

6. Add 1 cup of water into the frying pan and pour all the contents into the pot of beans.  Stir in the parsley or coriander, along with salt, curry leaves and chillies.  Simmer for about 10 minutes to absorb the flavours.

7. Just before serving, stir in the fresh lime juice.


If you would like to try Mung Beans, but do not like curries, then try making a Shepherd’s Pie by cooking the beans as you would mince steak and top with mashed potato.  Meat goes all right with mung beans if you wish to combine both.  They also make good alternative burgers.

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