This warming, homely and hearty curry is bursting as much with flavor as it is with goodness. It’s great for giving the body a hit of protein and fuel. The fresh ginger and turmeric not only brings out the flavor, but also adds a layer of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. The accompaniments of carrots, cucumber, and radishes, along with flatbread, make the meal all the more eventful.

Whole Mung Bean Curry [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



For the Rice:

  • Scant 1 cup brown rice (see notes)
  • 4 cups water

For the Mung Beans:

  • 1 cup mung beans
  • 4 cups water

For the Curry:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 10-12 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 dried red chilis (optional)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, ginger, chili, and turmeric paste (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery or coconut sugar
  • A handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon passata
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

For the Ginger, Chili, and Turmeric Paste:

  • 4 cloves garlic, skin removed
  • 5-inch piece of ginger, skin peeled
  • 2-3 thin green chilis
  • 2 -nch piece of turmeric root, skin peeled
  • A handful of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves and stalks (optional)

For Serving:

  • Sliced cucumber, carrots, and radishes
  • Lime wedges and chilis
  • Masala papads or other flatbread


To Make the Garlic, Ginger, Chili, and Turmeric Paste:

  1. Chop the ingredients for each paste into small pieces, then crush into a paste using a pestle and mortar.
  2. Alternatively, blend them together in a small blender or food processor.

To Make the Curry:

  1. Rinse the brown rice in a sieve under cold running water, then place in a saucepan with the measured water and ideally leave to soak for 2-3 hours so that it begins to soften. Bring to a boil and cook on a low heat for around 40-50 minutes until soft, then drain. If you boil it without pre-soaking, then increase the cooking time to an hour.
  2. Place the mung beans and measured water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes until the mung beans are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, make the base mixture of the curry. Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat, then add the mustard and cumin seeds and the fenugreek seeds, if using. Once the mustard seeds are popping, add the asafoetida, curry leaves, and dried red chilis, if using, then immediately add the onions.
  4. Cook the onions over a medium heat until slightly browned, then add the garlic, ginger, chili, and turmeric paste, ground turmeric, cumin and coriander, salt, and jaggery. Stir together for 1 minute and then add the coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped tomatoes, and passata.
  5. Add the mung beans, once cooked, and the cooking water, to the curry base. Mix together and add a little more water if needed to create a soup-like consistency. Leave to simmer over a low heat for around 10 minutes, then squeeze in the lime and serve with the brown rice, sliced vegetables, lime wedges, and chilis.


Brown rice takes longer to cook, so it’s best to let it soak for a couple of hours before cooking.