Most people don't know what mung beans are, but have eaten them plenty of times. You know those bean sprouts commonly found in Chinese food? Yea, those are mung beans. Even though people generally use them sprouted, you can also use them as a bean.
I make Korean mung bean pancakes by blending up whole soaked mung beans; I make mung bean crepes with mung bean flour.
But the other day I wanted something different with my soaked (and partially sprouted) mung beans, and so I discovered this recipe for Mashkichiri- Tajikistani mung bean stew- thanks to my friend Andrea. I played around with the recipe and came up with this version that was really delicious.
I loved it. My husband loved it. My kids loved it. My mom thought it was good, but needed more spice, but she and I disagree a lot on matters of seasoning, so I'm not sure that counts. (She often thinks the food I make is either over spiced, over salted, or under spiced, and I often think her food is under salted and under spiced.) Especially since I had many many bowls of this mashkichiri because I couldn't stop eating it. And my kids who have said that they don't like beans and lentils asked me if I could make this again.
This is traditionally served with yogurt or sour cream and something crunchy, like radishes or cucumbers. I served mine with cashew sour cream. It is also fine without them.
2 tablespoons oil
3 medium-large onions
5 small potatoes
4 large tomatoes
3 cups soaked mung beans (I soaked mine 24 hours, until they just barely began to sprout, but 12 hours is also ok)
4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1-2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
Cooked rice- optional
1. Chop onions, and saute in oil until golden.
2. Add chopped carrots and chopped potatoes and cook on a low flame, mixing frequently, for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients (other than the rice) and cook, covered, until the mung beans, potatoes, and carrots are soft.
4. Either mix the rice into the pot and cook for 2 more minutes, or serve over rice, or leave out the rice entirely. It's great all the ways.
5. Add a dollop of sour cream/yogurt if desired.
6. I like to put radish slices and cucumber slices into each spoon of the mashkichiri as I'm eating it, so there's a yummy bit of crunch with my food.
Try using soaked black lentils in place of the mung beans, or half half.
You can leave out the tomatoes if you want, but adjust the rest of the spices accordingly.
Ever cooked with mung beans before? What is your favorite mung bean recipe?
Ever made any Tajikistani recipes before? This is the first I've tried!
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?