A warm and spicy curry with mung beans, coconut, and lime. Enjoy as a soup or serve with brown rice or warm naan for a more substantial meal. Vegan, and gluten free.
It’s snowing. December seemed to have missed the winter weather memo, but January has more than made up for it so far. Of course I find this both lovely and annoying. Stockholm is so pretty in the snow, but as someone who likes to commute on a bike the snow is a bit of a pain. Last year I biked in all but the deepest snow, but I went down hard a couple of times so this year I’ve decided to hoove it instead. The walk to and from work a little more than doubles my commute, but I don’t mind as it gives me time to shake off the day and catch up on my favourite podcasts.
I’m a touch sick at the moment, another ruddy winter cold, and that in combination with the snow has me reaching for warm and spicy comforting things. I’ve been craving legumes like crazy lately, so I thought it was high time I shared one of my favourite dishes with you. It’s warm, spicy, and comforting. It’s jam-packed with immune boosting foods (have you counted how many cloves of garlic are in that picture? that’d be nine, and yes, they’re all going in!), and the mighty mung bean offers up a good dose of plant-based protein and gut-healthy fiber.
If mung beans aren’t an ingredient you’ve cooked with before, I encourage you to give them a try. Unlike some other beans, they don’t require soaking, so they’re great for quick and easy meals. And as beans go, mung is fairly easy to digest, so if you’re someone who tends towards tummy troubles with other beans, I encourage you to give mung beans a go. When coupled with a spicy masala, coconut milk, and a touch of lime, this mung based curry becomes a versatile meal. Sip it as a soup, or pair with brown rice or some warm naan bread for a more substantial meal.
Mung beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein-plus-fiber combination in beans is one of the things that makes them special. A one cup serving contains around 15g of fiber (over half of the daily recommended intake), and 15g of protein. Much of the fiber is indigestible, which supports digestive health, particularly in the lower part of our digestive tract. The protein-fiber combination is also key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. Beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health.
- 4 Tbsp neutral flavoured oil such as canola
- 1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
- 9 cloves of garlic, crushed (about 3 Tbsp crushed garlic)
- 1 400g can crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup mung beans, picked over for stones and well rinsed
- 1 can coconut milk
- juice of 1-2 limes
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large pot (I like to use my Dutch oven) heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute, until they just begin to darken. Add the garlic, and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it has browned, but watch it very carefully so that it doesn't burn.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine, then add ginger, coriander, turmeric, salt, and cayenne.
- Sauté this mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the water and mung beans. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring the mixture once or twice.
- Taste a few mung beans to make sure they are cooked. If they are, stir in the coconut milk, and increase the heat to medium-high.
- Once the curry comes to the boil turn off the heat. Stir in the cilantro and the juice of one lime. Taste and decide whether you'd like to add the second lime as well.
- Serve hot.
For a thinner soup, add an extra cup of water.
This recipe freezes and reheats well.
Recipe adapted from Vij’s At Home.