Monday 14 March 2011

Moong 3 copy

Moong 1 copy

This recipe is from my dad's mother, my Mamma, who is pushing 94, and looks 80, according to her :-) I was visiting my aunt in Toronto one year, and Mamma happened to be there visiting as well. She is quite a foodie, and has loads of recipes that she got from all over, including her own mother. This particular one, I got off her, as my aunt was cooking it. I love it, as sprouted moong dal (also known as mung beans or green gram) are beautifully healthy and so good for you.

I love all the different textures in this dish, its spicy, but with a beautiful hint of sweetness from the moong and the coconut, and its got a distinct tang from the lime juice. The pictures may not look like much, but trust me this is one book you don't want to be judging by its cover :-) The complexity of flavours is unbelievable, and what's even more cool is that my grandma told me that she'd come up with this recipe on her own, as she had run out of some spices. So she improvised, and the result was so well loved, she continued to make it like this. I, for one, am glad she did, as its a firm favourite in our home. Kay told me that it tasted like India, and I thought that was such an apt description for this simple, but stunning, side dish.

Moong 2 copy

With a pescitarian husband and a vegetarian daughter, I have to make sure that the food I cook has to be to both their tastes, plus nutritious, which is a challenge. But being from India, the home of the vegetarian, life's been a lot easier. I cut down significantly on the oil too, to make it healthier. I also kept the spice level quite mild, so feel free to play around with a bit more heat.

To sprout the moong, leave it in a bowl of warm water for about 24 - 36 hours, or until the moong sprouts. Like this

Moong 4

(Printable Recipe)

2 and half cups moong
Salt to taste
1/2 cup water + a little more, if required
1 sprig curry leaves
1 medium onion (chopped)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (fresh, frozen or dried)
1/2 lime or lemon
1 tbsp oil

To grind together:

3 – 6 dried mild long red chillies (
1 small onion (chopped and fried)
4 flakes garlic (pounded and fried)
1 tsp coriander seeds
10 peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds (
1/2 tsp turmeric
A small bit of tamarind or 2 tbsp tamarind paste


Soak the moong in warm water until sprouted (it takes about 24 - 36 hours, depending on how warm it is outside)

Toss together the chillies, coriander seeds, cumin and peppercorns in a heavy pan, until toasted. Blend the spices with the fried onion and garlic, with a little water, until finely ground.

Fry the chopped medium onion and the curry leaves together in a little oil.

Add the finely ground masala and fry gently till the initial rawness of the ground spice starts to disappear (about 8 to 12 minutes)

Add the water, salt and the sprouted moong and bring to the boil. Simmer gently till all the raw smell of spices disappears. Taste and adjust seasoning. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon on top.

Stir in the dessicated coconut, at the last minute.

Serve with boiled rice or chapatis.

This recipe is going to Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen for No Croutons Required. The theme for March is Mung or Adzuki Beans, and Lisa has relaxed the rules to allow for a casserole too, instead of just soup or salads.


  1. this looks so good and perfect for The Big V who is always looking for different veggie options... and I love mung beans, so this is genius... thanks Mamma!

  2. Just found your post at Cuisine Kathleen's. I'll be back for a visit. Happy St Patrick's day from someone who knows how you're feeling about the weather these days!

  3. I love mung bean. This recipe is great!

  4. This looks really interesting - I can't say I normally sprout things, but I might start now. By the way, I like the new look for the blog.

  5. Just wanted to say welcome to Edmonton! Beautiful blog. I look forward to reading more. Make sure to introduce yourself at Eat Alberta!

    Also, you were on Masterchef! That is so exciting! I don't think I would dare do anything like that.

  6. When I can get hold of some moong beans, I'm going to make this. I love pulses, but CT suffers a bit from them although he likes the taste. I think you've hit on the answer - sprouting them first should make them a lot more digestible - your Mamma is a genius.

  7. @Dom, that's my Mamma :-)

    @Sheila, thanks, and happy St Paddy's day... I just wish it would STOP snowing... its just miserable.

    @Phil, you can obviously make them unsprouted too, but sprouted does add that little extra bit of prettiness. Plus, you can just soak them and forget about them for a couple of days too.

    @Bruleeblog, thanks. I am looking forward to Eat Alberta, and meeting all the faces behind the blogs :-)

    @Choclette, yes, sprouting does make the beans much easier to digest, as a lot of the green shells just float up, and you can skim them off before cooking the beans. It also takes less amount of time to boil them, as they will be a lot more tender.

  8. @Ellie, thanks very much. Its a real compliment coming from you :-) I am a total fan of your blog.

  9. Hi Michelle, I just found your blog via Lisa's Vegetarian kitchen. We both took part to 'No Crouton Required' and submitted quite similar curries! It is so funny: I am an expatriate Italian, who does not know a thing about Indian food at all, apart from a few things friends have taught me.
    I love the little twists in this recipe - every dish with tamarind tastes really special to me.

  10. mung sprouts and coconuts ... what an unusual combination. And it looks sooooo good!

    You are very wise to write down the recipes of your beloved ones. My mother passed away and sometimes I have a hard time to recreate her recipes, even if I watched her preparing it :(

  11. @LaRosa, thanks. We must have been thinking the same thing :-) I feel like an expat from everywhere, but its influenced my cooking so much, so I am just grateful for the opportunity to travel and make new friends.

    @Torwen, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother :-(

    I make a special effort to record the recipes of my grandmothers (my daughter's great grandmothers) now. I learnt my lesson when my beloved grandfather, who was a wedding chef passed away in 2002. Now that I am older, I regret so much that I never got a chance to record all his amazing recipes... the older generation are a gift to be treasured.


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