It turns out that you can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks. This year for my birthday I received a copy of Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey which I promptly was going to return as I’m loyal to only one Asian cookbook and have been for years and that’s the All Asian Cookbook by Jacki Passmore.
Anyways, in pursuit of open-mindedness I cracked the spine and made dinner combining Mung Beans in Coconut Curry along with Beet Greens sautéed in Ginger, Lemon and Cumin with a little side of Tomato and Onion Chutney. I tried to make the Tamarind Chutney but failed miserably. I actually loved it when I tried it at a friend’s house but something went drastically wrong when I made it.
I’ve never seen or eaten a mung bean in my life but I have to say, they’re super easy to cook and quite tasty in a curry. Because these recipes are new to me I think it took a little longer to prepare than it normally would but all in all I think these recipes are simple and quick to make. We did find that everything tasted better on the second night than it did on the first. Would I make this again? Absolutely.
Mung Beans in Coconut Curry
1 cup mung beans
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp chopped garlic
2 cups pureed tomatoes (4 medium)
2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp cayenne (optional)
5 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup cilantro
Wash and drain mung beans and set aside. Heat oil in a medium pan for 1 minute. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for 45 seconds, or until they are a darker brown. Add garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until brown but not burned. Stir in tomatoes, then add ginger coriander, turmeric, salt and cayenne. Stir and sauté masala for 5 minutes, or until oil glistens. Add water and mung beans, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover and cook for thirty minutes stirring once or twice. Taste beans to make sure they’re cooked (don’t over cook them or they’ll get mushy).
Stir in coconut milk and reduce the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat (if you want to thicken curry let it simmer on medium low for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve. I served this with roti but you can also serve it with basmati rice.
Recipe for Beet Greens and Tomato Onion Chutney on its way!