Lentils and Mung Beans – the Whole Story

There are some days when I get an awfully strong craving for Indian spices. I either want to have a curried dish, or a lentil dish… those are the two competitors for my attention.

My favorite dish when I was a girl, is called Mjaddara, a ‘peasant’ type winter dish popular in the villages of Lebanon.  It’s basically a lentil/rice/onion mash that is sooo tasty, sooo comforting and sooo healthy!  That’s THREE Soooo’s!!  🙂 Mom was an expert Mjaddara maker, like her father.

According to Choosemyplate.gov…

Health Properties

“Aside from their slight differences in calorie, carb and protein values, red and French lentils have very similar health benefits. Both are protein-rich, plant-based foods, which gives them a unique set of positive nutritional properties.

According to ChooseMyPlate.gov: low-fat proteins such as lentils are essential for growing, building, repairing and maimaintaining tissues in blood, skin, bone and muscle cells.

Protein is also a particularly satiating nutrient and may be able to keep you full for longer than carb- or fat-rich foods, which can be important if you’re watching your weight. Both red and French lentils are high in dietary fiber, which means they can improve digestive health and potentially lower levels of blood cholesterol and blood sugar.”

Mung beans are low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate, Copper and Manganese.

To find out if a carb food you are about to buy (bread, crackers, pasta, etc..) is a healthy choice do the following:

Add a zero to the total grams of fiber per serving, so 2g becomes 20.  Compare it to the total grams of Carbs per serving.  The fiber number should be MORE than the total Carbohydrates number.  This means if a product has 20g of Carbs and 1g of Fiber (i.e. 10) Then put it back on the shelf!   There is not enough fiber to slow down the conversion of the carbs into glucose, and it will spike your blood sugar.  These spikes that occur all day long are what predispose us to Diabetes and other diseases.  Aim for at least 1.5 times the Fiber to Carbs.

1 cup of cooked Mung beans has 2 grams of Fiber vs. 6 grams of Carbs.  That’s 20 vs 6! A very good ratio.

1 cup of Lentils have 16 grams of Fiber vs. 40 grams of Carb…160 to 40!  An Excellent ratio.

And of course we know that a diet high in fiber can help prevent colon and breast cancer. So eat your beans!

I adapted this recipe to include both lentils and mung beans.

Sprouted Lentils and Mung Beans, Indian Style

  • 2 c. sprouted organic brown Lentils
  • 1/2 c. organic Mung Beans (soaked overnight)
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 c. organic Onion, chopped
  • 1 green organic Chili Pepper (I use Serrano)
  • A 1-inch piece of organic Ginger
  • 1 Tbs. organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1-1-1/2 c. hot Water

Heat a medium stainless steel pot over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add oil and wait another 1 minute.

Add onion and chili pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add ginger and cilantro, stirring for 1 minute.

Add beans and spices and 1 cup hot water, stir, cover and simmer over medium-low for 15 minutes.

Press one of the beans between your fingers to make sure they are done, and add the last 1/2 c. of hot water if too dry.

Adjust seasoning, and serve hot or at room temperature.

~ Cheers!


8 thoughts on “Lentils and Mung Beans – the Whole Story

  1. Hey CupTC-nice writeup! Srsly, covered quite some bases for me, can’t wait to check out the Mjaddara-sounds sooo simple, soooo interesting and sooo delicious! 😉 Came here via The Great Googoly Moogoly searching balanced -protein vegetarian recipes. Mung beans came up, but I’ve never really differentiated them from lentils (in Kenya Mung beans are ‘green grams’) but the lentils have such an awesome fiber kick, for someone interested in their gut profile, takes probiotics etc that’s a massive plus. I don’t know anyone personally who seriously considers lentils a fixture in their diet (just some odd little unAfrican vegetable that these Asians seem to like lol….especeially the funny -smelling yellow ones!) but no worries, my family knows my weird culinary predilections lol; once you’ve had sea urchin sushi you can eat anything…. Anyway keep cooking, keep it organic and keep sprouting!

  2. “Mung beans are … very low in Cholesterol.” All beans, and all vegetative matter is cholesterol free. Cholesterol is only found in animal products. The confusion comes when a processed product contains animal fat as an ingredient. Just thought I’d mention it. 🙂

  3. At the risk of embarrassing myself, are the measurements of 2 cups and 1/2 cup of beans that the recipe calls for before or after they’re soaked?

  4. Could you please tell me whether the mung beans you have used in this recipe is the same as split green lentils? Tks for your response (in advance).

    1. Lalita,

      Mung beans are not green lentils. Mung beans (also known as green gram, Hindi: moong, Gujarati: mug), are little green seeds that are yellow inside. 🙂 Hope that helps.

  5. “Sprouted Lentils and Mung Beans, Indian Style” sounds great. Can you advise how many your recipe will comfortably feed. I NEVER cook but want to try it for my wife. 🙂

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