Split Mung Bean Curry

I do enjoy curries made with pulses, they’re so good for you, economical and wonderfully tasty. I had bought a packet of split mung beans in a local shop and wanted to try them out. I came across a recipe online which inspired my own version, but of course, didn’t keep track of the original source. Apologies to the owner of the original recipe, I’d be happy to credit you.

Mung Bean Dhal (4)

The quantity I made filled 4 plastic tubs, so I shared the curry love with my mum and my best pal. Feel free to scoff it all yourself or make less! This gives a gentle tasting curry, you may want to increase the quantities of the spices (I think I will next time) for a little more punch!

Ingredients to serve 4-6

  • 400g yellow split mung beans (yellow moong dal), well rinsed
  • Water, to cover the beans
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Approx 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 small red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 level teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tomato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 200g frozen spinach (or 400g fresh, finely chopped)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Some finely chopped coriander

In a deep pot, combine about 4 cups of water, the turmeric, and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Bring to the boil, then add the mung beans. Add more water if necessary, you want about 5cm of water above the beans.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the lentils are very soft. If the water starts to dry up, add another ½ cup of water. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium-sized frying, heat the rest of the vegetable oil and add the red onions. Sauté for 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions are browned.

Mung Bean Dhal (9)

Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, chilli powder, frozen spinach and tomatoes. Continue cooking gently until the tomatoes are soft. If using fresh spinach, add once the tomatoes have softened. Mix in the cooked beans.

Add the salt (it needs a fair amount, keep tasting) and coriander and mix well. Delicious served hot, but makes a fantastic dip served cold as it thickens as it cools.

If you enjoy curries like this, take a look at my Split Pea and Squash Curry or my Green Lentil Curry.


46 thoughts on “Split Mung Bean Curry

  1. That looks delicious – I love beans and pulses and I can’t cook for less than about 6 people either. It’s much cheaper that way and I often freeze the leftovers 😉

  2. Scrumptious Ms Chica. Another delicious “dhal” to go in my collection to be served over hot rice when I need something hot, spicy and ready to go. I make recipes like this and freeze the leftovers for times when I get in late, when I just don’t have time to cook or whenever I need comfort food STAT! A lovely share, cheers 🙂

  3. I’m always interested by how Indian recipes call for cooking the pulses separately first, then adding to the fried spices and onions. I think it must make for a “cleaner” curry rather than just a mush. Your version looks superb, T! x

    1. Yes, I always used to think it was a case of cooking them all together, but most of the dhal type dishes call for separate cooking. I enjoyed this but will definitely spice it up next time!

  4. Love dhal but have never used mung beans and have to try next. I must admit I do cook it together and can see I would just about double the spices but shall try your way first. Now, oddbod that I am, I actually use this on top of wholegrain toast for breakfast and absolutely love it

  5. Looks absolutely delicious and you have got the consistency so right. Another simple way to cook Moong Dal is just to boil it and season it with green chillies, ginger, salt and turmeric.

  6. I do love a curry, in fact I have a home-made prawn korma bubbling away on the stove as we speak. I have never tried mung beans though… maybe it’s time to discover them (I’d have to convince Mr D-F first though)!

  7. Being on a curry theme myself at the moment, I love the sound of your mung bean dish! Also love your blog, as I was a chica Andaluza once (and now am only once a year, in August!).

    1. Ooh, where were you in Spain?! I lived there permanently for nearly 10 years (to the east of Antequera, close to the border with Granada province). The last 2 years have been split between England and Spain but we’ll hopefully be back there again soon!

  8. If in my country we call “Green Bean Porridge” and the price is also affordable, only Rp 5,000 a serving, often we use for breakfast

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