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Curry/ Entrees

Vegan Mung Bean Curry

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Vegan mung bean curry is, hearty and filling curry you can make on any weeknight. It’s easy on digestion, quick to make, and perfect over rice or cauliflower rice.

Mung bean curry in pot

Recently I’ve introduced legumes back in my life. In moderation of course and always after they’ve been through proper soaking. It turns out, legumes themselves are not necessarily the problem when it comes to digestion; but it’s the conveniently canned variety that hasn’t been through a good soak that generally wreaks havoc on the ol’ gut.

Vegetables on table

Cauliflower

Mung beans in measuring cup

A while back, a friend gave me a bag of mung beans as a gift (if you’re a fan of The Office, you’ll likely understand the reference). They sat on my pantry shelf for months and months and I’d occasionally pick them up, turn them over and place them right back next to the other bags of dried legumes.

But some weeks ago when I found myself uninspired and in need of some recipe ideas, I caught a glimpse of the mung beans and decided it was time. I couldn’t quite pinpoint a time in my life when I had actually eaten mung beans other than in sprouted form.

I threw the beans in a pot with water and let them soak overnight, hoping that overnight I would also come up with some sort of inspiring way to use them. I hadn’t so I needed to see what they actually looked like when cooked. Surprisingly, they looked a lot like lentils, but the texture and consistency, somewhat different. So here I was staring at a pot of boiled mushy mung beans when it dawned on me. Curry – how obvious!

I searched my fridge for ingredients that may work. 1/2 a head of cauliflower and a leek would do the trick. My pantry is forever stocked with every variety of canned tomato so, I threw in some tomato puree, spices, and voila, out came probably one of my favorite curries! It’s an easy vegan cauliflower mung bean curry dish you may return to again and again.

Mung bean curry in pot

Tips for making vegan mung bean curry

If you’re new-ish to the mung bean world, don’t worry, they’re particularly easy to cook but don’t expect them to be beautiful!

How to soak and cook mung beans

When searching for the best way to soak mung beans, I wasn’t quite able to come up with much. It seems popularity-wise, mung beans wouldn’t stand a chance next to chickpeas and black beans, but I feel they’re exquisite and much underused.

So here is the simplest way to soak and cook mung beans. All you need is 1 cup of mung beans and 2 cups of water. Cover and let sit overnight. When you’re ready to cook the beans, drain in a colander, discard the water, give them a good rinse and add them back to the pot with 2 cups of water. Cook for 30 minutes until mung beans are mushy and water has evaporated. Don’t worry that’s the consistency we’ll need for this cauliflower curry as it will provide the creamy base.

Can you use lentils instead of mung beans?

If you cannot find mung beans or for whatever reason do not like them, you can easily substitute green lentils for it. Make sure you cook them really well so you end up with a rather mushy consistency and use them in the same way instructed below.

Should you use fresh or canned tomatoes for the curry?

Canned tomatoes are a perfect option for this curry. I’ve tried this curry with a variety of different canned tomatoes, from chopped, to the diced, sauce, to puree and puree far out-tasted the other tomatoes. So find a good quality tomato puree in a BPA free can or jar and go for that.

Would onions work instead of leeks?

Right now is leek season. They peak from September through April and most markets will carry them. But if you’re not able to get your hands on them, don’t worry, you can use a sweet onion instead of the leek. You can follow basically the same instructions and it will not dramatically impact the taste of the cauliflower curry.

Can you eat the cauliflower curry on its own?

You can if you want to. I have. But it’s also quite delicious over rice. I find rice that’s been soaked for 30 minutes prior to cooking to be easy on digestion. But a great alternative if you want to keep it grain-free is cauliflower rice.

Don’t forget the cilantro

If you’re not a cilantro lover, this part is not for you, but if you are, don’t forget to add it at the end of the cooking and as you’re serving it. It’s going to add depth and flavor to every bite!

Final thoughts on vegan mung bean curry

If you have the time to cook the curry in advance, I highly recommend letting it sit for an hour or two. If this is not possible, no big deal. You’ll likely have leftovers and will see how the ingredients transform once they’ve had time to sit overnight. There’s something spectacular that happens to curries when all the wonderful spices further infuse the food.

Other curry recipes you may like: 

Mung bean curry in bowl held by hands

mung bean curry in bowl, napking, limes and cilantro

mung bean curry in bowl

Mung bean curry in bowl with lime and cilantro

Yield: 6

Vegan Mung Bean Cauliflower Curry

Vegan Mung Bean Cauliflower Curry

A simply delicious and nutritious vegan mung bean curry that takes under 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mung beans
  • 5 cups water divided
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large leek, chopped (white part only)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2” piece of ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower or 1 small (florets only)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can tomato puree or 2 cups
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro plus extra for serving

Instructions

    1. In a large pot, add beans, 3 cups of water and soak overnight.
    When you’re ready to cook mung beans, discard soaking water, rinse them well and return beans to pot with 2 fresh cups of water.


    2. Bring to a boil then simmer mung beans for 30 minutes until soft and liquid has been absorbed. If there’s any leftover liquid, drain it. You want the mung beans to be mushy in texture. You can drain excess water if there is any left.


    3. Meanwhile, preheat large pot on medium heat and add 2 tbsp coconut oil, leek and a pinch of salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until it starts to soften. Stir regularly to avoid sticking to pot.


    4. Add garlic, minced ginger, all spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower and toss with spices.


    5. Next add in tomato puree, coconut milk, sugar, salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.


    6. Add mung beans to pot, cilantro and stir well.
    Serve over white rice, cauliflower rice or eat on its own with additional cilantro.


    *Tip: Curry tastes best when it’s had the chance to rest for a bit.

Notes

Soak mung beans for at least 8 hours

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Kiran Dodeja Smith
    October 14, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Love all of the spices included here. I was in India 3 years ago and had a delicious mung bean dish; I’ve been wanting to make them ever since. This is just the recipe that I need!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 14, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      This makes me so so happy Kiran! That sounds like an incredible experience!

  • Reply
    Raia Todd
    October 15, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    This is the second mung bean recipe I’ve looked at today. It must be a sign that I need to get some and get cooking! This curry looks so delicious!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm

      Ha! That’s too funny! Yes, the universe is definitely telling you something! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristen Wood
    October 17, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    I’m a sucker for a good curry ( my favorite meal of all time ), and this looks so ridiculously creamy & delicious, Daniela!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 22, 2019 at 1:16 am

      Thank you so much my friend!! I agree!! I’m the same! I just made it again tonight hehe!

  • Reply
    Carina
    October 22, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    I eat cauliflower most days, this recipe looks delicious and with all the ingredients I love to cook with!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 23, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Thank you Carina! I really appreciate that! I’m with you – it’s such a staple in my life!

  • Reply
    Tuan Phan
    October 23, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Looks delicious and not hard to do (hopefully). Bookmarked your recipe.
    Thanks.

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 23, 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you so much, Tuan!! I assure you, so easy! 🙂 And thank you so much for your kind comment! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cheryl Malik
    October 23, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I love that you use mung beans here! AH, what a hearty recipe!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 23, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Thank you so very much Cheryl! I’m really loving them and they’re easy on digestion too!

  • Reply
    Amanda Kanashiro
    October 24, 2019 at 1:11 am

    My oldest has been obsessed with cauliflower lately, I can’t wait to make this for her. Perfect for when it decided to get cold!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 24, 2019 at 1:20 am

      Ah that’s wonderful, Amanda! It’s such an easy dish and I’ve been making it a ton! It is indeed good cold weather food 🙂

  • Reply
    ChihYu
    October 24, 2019 at 4:16 am

    I love a good curry, and this one is excellent! So good and it’s vegan too!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 24, 2019 at 9:21 am

      I’m with you – few foods make me as happy as curry! Thank you so much 🙂

  • Reply
    Bita
    October 24, 2019 at 4:41 am

    What an amazing vegan curry recipe! Excited to try!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 24, 2019 at 9:20 am

      Thank you Bita! I think you’ll enjoy it 🙂

  • Reply
    Don Baiocchi
    October 24, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    I LOVE all these spices. This is such a great bowl of comfort food.

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 25, 2019 at 10:09 am

      I’m with you Don! I’m all about comfort food this time of year!

  • Reply
    Sandi Gaertner
    October 25, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    I recently had mung beans and I was wondering what else to do with them. Gorgeous recipe!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 25, 2019 at 9:58 pm

      Ahhh that’s awesome! They’re so undressed I agree! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer Fisher
    October 27, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Ahh great idea for mung beans! Looks pretty, yummy and satisfying!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 27, 2019 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer! It’s one of my all-time favorite dishes! 🙂

  • Reply
    Erin
    October 27, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I love all the spices in there! This sounds so tasty. I’ve never actually had mung beans but it looks like I should give them a try.

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      October 27, 2019 at 7:56 pm

      Thank you so much, Erin! I love them – They’re similar to lentils and definitely underused!

  • Reply
    Kari Peters
    October 27, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    This sounds so good, love all the spices, and all your shots are so gorgeous too!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      November 1, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Thank you so much, Kari!! I really appreciate that! 🙂

  • Reply
    Stacey Crawford
    October 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve never made anything with mung bean before and I can’t wait to try it and your curry looks so warm & tasty!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      November 1, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Thanks so much, Stacey! I know, they’re not very widely used but so so good!

  • Reply
    Plain Spices
    December 19, 2019 at 11:54 am

    The vegan mung bean recipe is super delicious. It helped me with losing weight.

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      December 19, 2019 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you so much, Robert for making it! I find it to be easy on digestion and so delicious too!

  • Reply
    Arno
    February 1, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    I soak the beans for 8 hours, and let them sprout for 12 hours ( all in the dark to stop them going bitter). Shouts are then approx 3/8” long. The beans get a wonderful soft taste, and this reduces any “gas-effect” to zero.

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 1, 2020 at 5:14 pm

      Oh that is wonderful to hear!! I’m going to give that a shot as well and see how it turns out! Thank you so much for the tip!

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