Mung beans soften when they sprout and have a pleasant, nutty flavor, which makes them a good choice for this pilaf-like dish. You'll need 24 hours' lead time for prepping the mung beans.
The mung beans can be blanched a day in advance and refrigerated in a resealable plastic food storage bag. The entire dish may be made 2 days in advance and reheated. (It's also excellent cold or at room temperature.)
Servings: 4 - 6 side-dish
- 4 ounces dried mung beans
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon Thai green chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
Combine the mung beans and hot tap water in a medium bowl and let sit for several hours in a warm place until much of the water has been absorbed and the beans' skins are cracking open.
Place a thick wet cloth on a baking sheet. Spread the mung beans over the cloth and cover with another wet cloth. Let sit at room temperature (in a warm place) overnight; the beans will sprout (at least 1/4 inch).
In a large stockpot over high heat, bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the sprouted mung beans and boil for 3 minutes, then drain and set aside. The consistency will be slightly crunchy.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the oil until is almost smoking. Add the cumin seeds and cook for several seconds. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until they are golden. Add the ginger and chili pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Add the spices, stirring to mix well; cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the oil bubbles at the edges. Add the coconut milk and bring it to a boil, then add the blanched mung beans and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mixture has a pilaf-like texture. Add the cilantro; cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Adapted from chef Nilesh Singhvi.
Tested by Geneva Collins.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.