Vij’s mung beans in coconut curry

Since I don’t have an Indian grandmother to guide me on how to cook curries (and Indian food in general), I have to get my inspiration somewhere. There are three authors I rely on when I cook Indian food: Madhur Jaffrey, the queen of Indian cooking, Sanjeev Kapoor, author of How to Cook Indian and Vikram Vij, a Vancouver-based chef and cookbook author.

Mung bean curry

Vij’s food is quite distinctive and his recipes are so very easy. Chickpea and cucumber curry, lamb popsicles and spicy Brussel sprouts crumble are just a few examples of his creativity. Just be a bit careful on the amount of salt in the recipes, sometimes it can be a bit much.


1 cup mung beans
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp chopped garlic (about 9 cloves)
2 cups pureed tomatoes (I used Passata)
2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp cayenne
5 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


1. Wash and drain the mung beans a few times and set aside.
2. Heat the oil over medium-high in a medium pot for one minute. Add the cumin and let them sizzle for 45 seconds.
3. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, until brown but not burned.
4. Stir in the tomatoes, ginger, coriander, turmeric, salt and cayenne. Cook for 5 minutes, until the oil glistens on the surface.
5. Add the mung beans and the water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the mung beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste to see if the mung beans are cooked. Don’t overcook or they can become mushy.
6. Stir in the coconut milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for another couple of minutes, until you have the desired consistency. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Mung bean curry

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17 replies »

  1. We grew up eating curried split peas with shaved coconut and it is delicious to say the least. This recipe is pretty close yet so different. I have to try this out and maybe I’ll have to add my mothers split peas with coconut into my blog soon, so at least you could say there’s blog for that! Haha!
    Thank you for sharing! :)


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