Beetroot Mung Bean Dahl


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I have been lucky enough to have learnt a lot about Ayurvedic medicine through my work.  This age-old Indian practice are strong advocators of the healing power of mung (or moong) beans, mostly for fighting cancer and detoxifying.  These green legumes are extremely filling, nutritionally packed, and easy on the digestion.  However, people often dismiss them as they find them too bland.  What they don't realise is how versatile the mung bean really is, and how using a few simple herbs can turn a dish from drab to fab!

Preparing Mung Beans
Mung beans can be used whole, split, or sprouted.
I use whole mung beans in this recipe which can be purchased from any good natural food store or Indian grocer.

1. Rinse the whole mung beans thoroughly with running water, cleaning them from all dust and dirt.

2. Cover the required amount of mung beans with water and let them soak overnight or at least a few hours.  This eliminates the phytic acid that is present in the skin of the legume.
NB: If you want more information about grains, legumes and phytic acid, see here.

3. If you wish to sprout the beans, cover them again with water and let them soak again for another twelve hours.  Sprouting is assisted by sunlight, so put them near a window or on your verandah.  Soaking them for as little as two days to as long as five allows the mung to sprout the root. Rinse the sprouts again before use.

4. Or, if you wish to have whole mung beans, cook the soaked beans in boiling water until they are completely soft.  This generally takes about thirty minutes. 

Cooked, whole mung beans

Like mung beans, beetroot is also a powerful cleanser, as it assists the liver to eliminate toxins and prevent the build up of fatty acids.  I thought that these two ingredients combined would be perfect for a light, tasty dinner that also would help my liver to recuperate after two weeks of neglect.

3 cups cooked, whole mung beans
1 medium size beetroot
1 onion
Knob of ginger
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp carroway seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes - optional
2 tbs lime or lemon juice
Coriander, stem or root
1-2 cup diced vegetables of your choice

1. Finely dice the onion. 
NB: A nifty little trick is to keep the knob on the onion, which helps to keep it together while you are dicing it.  

2. Grate the ginger. 
NB: If you are grating it you don't actually have to go to the trouble to peel the skin off.  Most of the skin comes away and does not grate.  

3. Peel the beetroot, and cut roughly into cubes.

4. Shallow fry the onions on low heat until they brown.  Then add the ginger, the spices and the beetroot.  Stir well to incorporate the spices through the other ingredients.

5.  After the beetroot has been browned a little, add about a cup of water and the mung beans. Continue to cook on medium heat.

6. Roughly dice the rest of the vegetables and add to the dish once the beetroot has tenderised. 

7. Roughly chop the coriander and add to the dish with the lemon or lime juice. 

8. Cook until all the water has evaporated and the vegetables are soft.

9. Serve with a smile! 


This is a great post on something as ordinary as mung beans, which are commonly perceived to be boring. You have included insightful information about the health benefits of the recipe, and an easy to follow step-by-step recipe. It is great to know that someone who is a vegetarian, like myself, can go to this blog to search through your ‘tailor-made’ adaptations on traditional recipes. The feel of your site is very personal, as you come across as a friend and a chef through a homely look and emotive voice. Your blog makes me want to go out to the grocery store as soon as possible to buy ingredients to attempt these delicious recipes, and to know I can feel healthy and positive about my diet.

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