You’re going to have to trust me on this one. Even if you don’t normally like the texture or taste of beans, you will like these two dishes. The first features mung beans. They’re a small, round green bean that packs a giant nutty flavor. Best of all, they cook quickly and don’t require a pre-soak, like most dried beans.

Now that you’re convinced of the virtues of bulk bins (per my previous post), pick up a few cups of mung beans and black beans and try these recipes. Oh, and to avoid any unintended consequences, rinse the beans well.

MUNG BEAN DAL (based on Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

1.5 cups dried mung beans, rinsed
1 can coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4T butter
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup peanuts or cashews
2 T minced fresh ginger
2 T minced garlic
2 T soy sauce
Pinch ground turmeric (optional)
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime.

In a large pot, combine beans, carrots and coconut milk. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmers. Cook, stirring occasionally and simmer until beans are soft, 45 to 60 minutes; add water as needed to keep moist.

When liquid thickens, saute ginger and garlic in butter until brown. Add turmeric if using it, then stir in scallions, soy sauce, mint and lime juice. Cook for a minute or two more, then add to beans. Serve over basmati rice.


1 cup canned or prepared dried black beans
2T water from the beans
T olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup diced scallions or cilantro

Puree beans in food processor until smooth. Saute garlic and shallot in the olive oil. Add to beans, along with lime, salt and pepper. Add scallions and or cilantro to top for garnish. For dairy meals, add shredded cheese to the top. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips.

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