Mung Beans and Rice With Spicy Tomatoes 4.000

Anne Farrar/The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian May 28, 2014

This hits all the right notes: It's hearty (from the classic combination of rice and beans), flavorful (from a layering of spices, chilies, herbs and aromatics), quick (with fast-cooking mung beans) and easy (all in one pot).

Make Ahead: The mung beans and rice and the spicy tomatoes can be refrigerated (separately) for up to 1 week; rewarm each on the stove top or in a low oven with a little water before combining and serving.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 3/4 cup whole green mung beans
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers (to taste), seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (optional)


In separate bowls, cover the beans and rice with water.

Use a mortar and pestle or a food processor to pound or puree the cilantro, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee in a 12-cup saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin seed and 1 teaspoon of the dill seed. Cook until the onion starts to take on color, 5 to 7 minutes, then add the cilantro mixture and cook for 3 minutes.

Drain the beans and add them to the saucepan along with 4 cups of water and the salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, keeping the liquid barely bubbling. Drain the rice, add it to the pot and cook, covered, for 18 more minutes or until both the rice and beans are tender and the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of dill along with the jalapenos. Cook until the seeds start to brown, just for a few minutes, then raise the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve the rice and beans warm, garnished with the tomatoes, yogurt (if using) and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone," by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed Press, 2014).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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