simple recipes

Mung Beans with Fenugreek leaves

moong dalThere is nothing more comforting than having hot soup or stew on a chilly night. I like to make these lentil based stews and eat just by itself with a scoop of greek yogurt. Most of the time it is either mung bean or brown lentils. They are simple, nutritious and quick to prepare. My pantry is often stocked with a variety of lentils, pulses and legumes which we buy from the Indian grocery store.

Today’s recipe is a stew made with mung beans and fenugreek leaves. A strange combination?? That is what I thought. Somehow I wanted to finish the leftover fenugreek leaves. The fenugreek leaves can be substituted with spinach or swiss chard. Making dishes like these gives me the satisfaction that I am feeding my son healthy and nutritious meals. Mung beans are a good source of protein and fiber and low in cholesterol. Fenugreek leaves supply good amount of iron. Iron is very important for growing children and women.

Mung dal with fenugreek leaves or methi pairs best with white rice and lemon pickle. It can also be served with roti, paratha or toasted whole wheat bread.


mung beans, 1 cup
fenugreek leaves, 1 cup
shallots or onion, finely chopped, 1/2 cup
green chillies, chopped, 2
ginger, minced or crushed, 1/2 tablespoon
garlic, minced or crushed, 1 tablespoon
tomatoes, chopped, 1 medium
cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon
asafoetida powder, 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon
salt, as per taste
ghee or oil, 1 tablespoon
cilantro, chopped, 4-5 sprigs


  • Pressure cook mung beans with 3 cups water and salt.
  • In a pan, heat some ghee or oil on medium flame. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida powder.
  • When the cumin crackles, add crushed ginger, crushed garlic, green chillies and chopped shallots. Saute for a few minutes until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add fenugreek leaves and saute for another minute.
  • Next, add the tomatoes and turmeric powder and the chopped stems of cilantro. Cover and cook until the tomatoes soften.
  •  Add the cooked dal and mix well. Add more water and salt if necessary. Simmer on low-medium for about 5 minutes. If you want creamier consistency, mash some of the lentils with the back of a spoon and mix well.
  • Garnish with cilantro or fried red chillies and serve with white rice and pickle.


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