Green mung beans have been used as a medicinal food across Asia for centuries. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, the whole green mung bean acts to naturally detoxify the body of toxins which have accumulated due to poor diet and lifestyle, and flush them out of the body. In fact many Ayurvedic medicine practitioners prescribe mung bean mono diets for detoxification (a mono diet is where you only eat one food for a certain amount of time).
Split mung is also available and it makes a delicious dhal but does not have the same detoxifying effect on the body, nor is it as nutritious as the whole green mung bean. This mung bean soup recipe is nutritious, nourishing and cleansing; we try to eat it at least once a week. Don't be overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients, it's mostly spices!
1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 inch piece of fresh ginger finely zested or chopped
8 - 12 curry leaves
1 whole green chilli, split down the middle
2 tomatoes diced
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup whole green mung bean
1/4 cup basmati rice
4 cups chopped vegetables of your choice
7 cups of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon raw sugar (optional)
1/2 bunch of coriander - stems and leaves chopped and separated
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Thoroughly wash the mung beans and rice and put aside.
Prepare ginger and vegetables.
Have all your spices lined up ready to go or you risk burning the spices while you're looking for the next one.
Heat the ghee in a big heavy bottomed pot on a low heat
Add the fenugreek, mustard and cumin seeds
Once the seeds are sizzling (but not burnt), add the curry leaves, chilli and ginger and stir.
Add the tomatoes, tumeric, ground coriander and coriander stems and stir for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to soften.
Add the mung beans and rice and stir through until well coated with the spice mix.
Add the water, vegetables, salt and sugar, turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the mung beans are soft and breaking apart.
Remove the chilli, serve the soup into four bowls, pour equal amounts of lemon juice over each, and garnish generously with coriander.
All ingredients are available at your local Indian grocer.
The rice gives it bulk and is completely optional (if you leave it out, only use five cups of water).
I use celery and carrot and whatever else I have on hand - it works beautifully with pumpkin.
Best served with pappadums or Indian breads such as naan or roti.