Mung “Moong” beans (Vigna radiata) are native to South America and were domesticated in India as early as 1500 BC, and grown in the USA, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Moong beans are available either as the whole (green) or split (yellow).
Ayurveda cherishes these beans for their versatility, high protein, high fiber content, and digestibility. In general, beans (legumes) are not easily digested, especially for the Vata dosha which shares the same qualities of being cool, light, dry and mobile nature and have a weak digestion. The only exception to this rule is the split yellow moong dal, which is extremely easy to digest, especially when cooking with culinary spices.
From an Ayurvedic perspective moong beans have a sweet and astringent taste, have a cooling nature with a sweet after taste. They are consider tri-doshic unless eaten in excess. They are packs with antioxidants, are alkaline and have a low glycemic value.
There are many benefits associated with mung beans, include benefiting the heart and cardiovascular system, helps to reduce blood pressure, and type two diabetes. They build immunity, relieve PMS, aids in the digestive process, lower glucose levels, and helps to eliminate toxins.
One of their premiere uses for moong beans is in Kitchari which is the go-to Ayurvedic food that is used during detoxification, when not feeling well. Below is a basic Kitchari recipe.
Cleansing Kitchari Recipe
1 Tbl. Ghee
2-4 tsp. Spice Blend (coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom and turmeric)
To Taste- Mineral Salt and/or Pepper
½ cup Basmati rice
½ cup Yellow Mung Beans
4 ½ cups Water
In a pot, melt the ghee,
Add the spice blend and cook for a minute or so,
Add the dal and rice, stir for 30 seconds, then add the water and bring to boil, cover,
reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes covered, let rest and enjoy.