A delightful freshened raw flavor with a delicate hint of sweetness, mouthwatering, isn’t't it. Now that is exactly how Mung Beans taste. These crispy and sumptuous beans are one of the most vital vegetables in various oriental food and delicacies. Salads are incomplete without bean sprouts and when it comes to bean sprouts its Mung Bean sprouts that we are talking about.
Coated with a royal green skin, these beans are also known as Green Bean in China. Mung Bean is the most popular bean known in the entire world for its bean sprouts and in various parts of the world it is known by several different names like Mung Bean, Green Bean, Sabut Moong, nga choy, Mungo bean, Habichuela mungo, Oorud bean, Bundo, Mash bean, Golden gram, Green gram, Chinese bean sprouts and many more.
A native to Asia, Mung Bean belongs to the pea family called Vigna Radiata. It has been discovered that China has been growing Mung Beans for more than about 3000 years. nga choy or nga choi is the name that was given to Mung Bean by Chinese people. The crunchy texture and sweet taste of bean sprouts adds flavor to many Chinese dishes. It also enhances a number of popular Chinese dishes, from Egg Rolls to stir-fries and salads. The popularity of bean sprouts in the west is a more recent phenomenon.
Cultivated in India, Indonesia, China, Burma, and Bangladesh on a large scale, Mung Beans is mainly cultivated in Asia only. However now Australia has also started encouraging its production. Basically Mung Beans can be cultivated in two seasons as is done in India and Bangladesh. One seasons beginning in November and other begins in March. Being a tropical crop Mung Beans flourish better in optimum warm temperatures. Loamy soil prove to be the best soil for the cultivation of Mung Bean and it adds to the yield as well.
Interesting Facts about Mung Beans
A native to Asia the only place Mung Beans are grown in the United States is in Oklahoma. It might surprise you but the dust that you might discover on the Mung Bean that you buy might have been the transported right there from China. The Chinese farmers cultivate them with little use of machinery and after harvesting they leave these Mung Beans pods on gravel roads to extract the beans from the pods and ensure dryness of the beans as well.
Today China and India are the main producers of mung beans. Now its cultivation has also been promoted in Australia. Not only this the Mung Bean is also popular in the Philippines as Munggo. In Chinese medicine bean sprouts are considered to be a yin or cooling food. They also have anticancer qualities. It is also used by Oriental herbalists for all hot, inflammatory conditions, ranging from systematic infections to heat stroke to hypertension. Remedies for Antipyretic, antihypertensive, antidote to toxic poisonings and a nutritive tonic. Mung beans are a good source of Vitamins A, B, C & E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and amino acids. Mung beans contain 20% protein and are a good source of foliate and dietary fiber.
Being an old and ancient food crop in Asian countries, lots of information is preserved regarding the vitality of these bright green small, cylindrical beans in the Ayurveda. One of the most prized foods in Ayurveda, Mung Bean is referred to as a tridoshic which means that they balance all three dosh. They form an indispensable ingredient of many Ayurvedic medicines or nutrient boosting preparations.
According to Ayurveda, they assume the following effects on our health:
They nourish and rejuvenate our body systems
Easy to digest, they don’t create any kind of abdominal gas or bloating, so if you have gastric problems, Mung Bean is a perfect food for you. And this light food proves to be healthy and nourishing for recuperating, the very old and the very young, and individuals with a weak digestive fire.
Mung Beans are a medical boon and they are referred to sick people as an energy boosting food in the form of khichari, which has to be a thin blend of rice and Mung Bean. This food helps in sustaining the ill individual without any hassles in digestion.
A very good storehouse of all the vital nutrients, Mung Bean proves to be a tasty and healthy delight for one and all. A must keep for an ideal kitchen Mung Beans enhances the digestion capability of our body without over exerting pressures. It is also considered to be a cooling food. A reservoir of proteins, dietary fiber along with essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper. Folate is also present in sufficient quantities in Mung Bean. Phytoestrogens are also present in relevant quantities in Mung Bean.
Not only are bean sprouts high in protein, vitamin C and Folacin, but they are a dieter’s dream. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup of bean sprouts contains a mere twenty-six calories. Low in salicylate, it is not tough to digest Mung Bean and all individuals can digest in no time.
Easy to cook and great to eat Recipes
Recipe for Stir-fried Bean Sprouts:
Wash and drain the bean sprouts, trimming the ends if desired. Add oil to a wok or heavy skillet. When oil is ready, add the bean sprouts and stir-fry briefly. Add the soy sauce, sugar and salt. Stir-fry another few seconds and add the sesame oil. Serve hot.
Mung Bean Stew
Drain the mung beans and put them into a large saucepan. Cover the beans with the water and boil for 30-40 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat and mash half with a fork or potato masher and leave the other half whole. Now heat the margarine in a medium saucepan, add the garlic and onion and fry until golden brown. Add tomato puree, the mashed beans, whole beans and the peppers and chilli. Add the water and mix well. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.
Basic Mung Dal
Sort and wash the dhal. Drain. In a heavy-bottomed pot, add the washed Dal, turmeric and 3 cups water. Boil for 20-30 minutes and then simmer-cook until Dal is butter-soft. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, and add more water as needed to maintain desired consistency. When cooked, add salt and stir. In a separate pan, heat ghee until melted to a clear oil. Add the cumin seeds and stir to release aroma. The cumin should turn a rich dark brown but not burn. Pour the ghee-spice mixture carefully over the Dal. Stir and serve immediately with boiled Basmati rice or other whole grain and vegetables.