Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Coconut Mung Beans with Sweet Potato

1 cup split peeled mung beans, rinsed*
1/2 T oil
2 pinches black mustard seeds
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2-1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles
1 can coconut milk
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

Cook the mung beans in saucepan with 3 or 4 cups water until beans are very tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Mung beans cook quickly. Don't let them burn.

Microwave sweet potato in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of water about 4 minutes, until tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add mustard seeds. When they pop, add onion, and saute a few minutes until soft. Add bell pepper, garlic, and ginger. Saute about 5 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, tumeric, and curry powder. Cook and stir a minute to toast spices. Add tomatoes; cook and stir a couple minutes. Stir in coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add mung beans, stirring to combine. Add cooked sweet potato and salt. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. If needed, stir in water to thin.

Serve over rice. On the side, I served summer squash sauteed with garlic.

You could also eat this as soup. This is mild and has excellent flavor. For additional heat you could add Indian chili powder, red pepper flakes or cayenne with the spices, or add fresh hot chiles with the bell pepper. Or you could season with pepper sauce at the table.

*I've made a similar dish using red lentils instead of mung beans.