Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mung(beans) Dal Cultivation

Scientific classification

Kingdom         : Plantae
(unranked)       : Angiosperms
(unranked)       : Eudicots
(unranked)       : Rosids
Order              : Fabales
Family              : Fabaceae
Genus              : Vigna
Species            : V. radiata
Binomial name  : Vigna radiata
Synonyms        : Phaseolus aureus Roxb.

Mung dal/Moong Dal (whole and split)
They are small, ovoid in shape, and green in color. The English word mung derives from the Hindi word mūṅg.The mung bean is one of many species recently moved from the genus Phaseolus to Vigna, and is still often seen incorrectly cited as Phaseolus aureus or Phaseolus radiatus.

Whole moong is actually a bean or pulse and is known as 'sabat moong' . They are small green beans fairly used in India, China, Thailand and Japan. Sprouted they are used in salads or stir fries with lemon juice or vinaigrette.

 History of domestication & cultivation

The mungbean was domesticated in India, where its wild progenitor (Vigna radiata subspecies sublobata) occurs wild. Archaeological evidence has turned up carbonized mungbeans on many sites in India. Areas with

early finds include the eastern zone of the Harappan civilization in Punjab and Haryana, where finds date back about 4500 years, and South India in the modern state of Karnataka where finds date back more than 4000 years. Some scholars therefore infer two separate domestications in the northwest and south of India. In South India there is evidence for evolution of larger-seeded mungbeans 3500 to 3000 years ago. By about

3500 years ago mungbeans were widely cultivated throughout India. Cultivated mungbeans later spread from India to China and Southeast Asia. Archaeobotanical research at the site of Khao Sam Kaeo in southern Thailand indicates that mungbeans had arrived in Thailand by at least 2200 years ago. During the era of Swahili trade, in the 9th or 10th century, mungbeans also came to be cultivated in Africa, indicated by finds on Pemba Island.

Mung beans are known under a variety of names in different languages:

Assamese      : mugu dali, mogu dail
Bengali          : moog dal, moog, moong, or mongo
Oriya             : muga
Chinese         : lǜdòu ( literally "green bean")
Burmese        : pe nauk  or pe ti
East Timor     : monggo or munggo
Filipino           : monggo or munggo
Hindi              : mūṅg
Indonesian      : kacang hijau or katjang idju
Kannada         : hesaru kaalu
Malayalam      : moong dal, cherupayar or cheru payaru
Marathi           : moog dal, moog, moong, or mongo
Pashto            : mai
Sinhala            : mung eta
Swahili            : choroko
Tamil               :paccaippayaru , pāciparuppu
Telugu             : pesara
Vietnamese     : đậu xanh

In India Moong dal is used, which is split moong beans with the skin left (green skin yellow lentil) on or without the skin(yellow lentil). It is used to make delicious dals and curries. Moong lentils in particular is very easy to digest and take on seasonings and spices very well.

Mung beans are commonly used in Chinese cuisine, as well as in the cuisines of Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and other parts of Southeast Asia. The starch of mung beans is also extracted from them to make jellies and "transparent" or "cellophane" noodles. Mung batter is used to make crepes named pesarattu in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Whole mung beans are generally prepared from dried beans by boiling until they are soft.  The beans are cooked with sugar, coconut milk, and a little ginger.

Whole beans

Mung beans are light yellow in color when their skins are removed. They can be made into mung bean paste by dehulling, cooking, and pulverizing the beans to a dry paste. In Hong Kong, dehulled mung beans and mung bean paste are made into ice cream or frozen ice pops. Mung bean paste is used as a common filling for Chinese mooncakes in East China and Taiwan.

Dehulled mung beans can also be used in a similar fashion as whole beans for the purpose of making sweet soups. Mung beans in some regional cuisines of India are stripped of their outer coats to make mung dal. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, steamed whole beans are seasoned with spices and fresh grated coconut in a preparation called sundal. In south Indian states, mung beans are also eaten as pancakes. They are soaked in water for six to 12 hours (the higher the temperature, the lesser soaking time). Then they are ground into fine paste along with ginger and salt. Then pancakes are made on a very hot griddle. These are usually eaten for breakfast. This provides high quality protein that is rare in most Indian regional cuisines. Pongal or kichdi is another recipe that is made with rice and mung beans without skin.

In Kerala, it is commonly used to make the parippu preparation in the Travancore region (unlike Cochin and Malabar, where toor dal, tuvara parippu, is used). It is also used, with coconut milk and jaggery, to make a type of payasam.

Bean sprouts
Mung bean sprouts are germinated by leaving them watered with four hours of daytime light and spending the rest of the day in the dark. Mung bean sprouts can be grown under artificial light for four hours over the period of a week. They are usually simply called "bean sprouts".

Mung bean sprouts are stir-fried as a Chinese vegetable accompaniment to a meal, usually with ingredients such as garlic, ginger, spring onions, or pieces of salted dried fish to add flavor. Uncooked bean sprouts are used in filling for Vietnamese spring rolls, as well as a garnish for phở. They are a major ingredient in a variety of Malaysian and Peranakan cuisine, including char kway teow, hokkien mee, mee rebus, and pasembor. In Korea, slightly cooked mung bean sprouts, called sukjunamul (hangul), are often served as a side dish. They are blanched (placed into boiling water for less than a minute), immediately cooled in cold water, and mixed with sesame oil, garlic, salt, and often other ingredients. In the Philippines, mung bean sprouts are made into lumpia rolls called lumpiang togue.

Mung bean sprouts are the major bean sprouts in most Asian countries. In China and Korea, soybean sprouts, called kongnamul (hangul) are more widely used in a variety of dishes.


Mung bean starch, which is extracted from ground mung beans, is used to make transparent cellophane noodles (also known as bean thread noodles, bean threads, glass noodles, fensi , tung hoon, miến, bún tàu, or bún tào). Cellophane noodles become soft and slippery when they are soaked in hot water. A variation of cellophane noodles, called mung bean sheets or green bean sheets, are also available. In Korea, a jelly called nokdumuk (hangul; also called cheongpomuk; hangul:  is made from mung bean starch; a similar jelly, colored yellow with the addition of gardenia coloring, is called hwangpomuk (hangul). In northern China, mung bean jelly is called liangfen , meaning chilled bean jelly), which is very popular food during summer. Jidou liangfen is another flavor of mung bean jelly food in Yunnan, in southern China.

Creamy lentil and rice dish (khicheri) Veg                                                                                              

Khicheri is made with rice and lentils. Kicheri can be made with brown rice and split green lentils, but it is normally made with white rice and can be made with just about any kind of lentil.


35g/1¼oz white or brown basmati rice, washed in several changes of water

35g/1¼oz mung beans, split and husks removed (or husks left on if using brown rice)

1 rounded tsp ghee

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ small onion, chopped

1 green chilli, whole (optional)

½ tsp chopped fresh ginger

½ garlic clove

salt, to taste

¼ tsp ground turmeric

400ml/14fl oz water (or 500ml/17fl oz if using brown rice)

¼ tsp garam masala

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

Soak the rice and lentils in a large pan of water for 30 minutes.

In a large non-stick saucepan melt the ghee. Add the cumin and fry for 20 seconds, until the seeds have coloured and their aroma has been released. Stir in the onion and cook until softened.

When the onion has cooked, add the chilli, ginger, garlic and salt and cook for a minute before adding the drained rice, lentils, turmeric and water. Bring to the boil briefly before lowering the heat and simmering gently until the rice and lentils are tender. This should take approximately 20 minutes. (If using brown rice, follow the same method, cooking the rice and lentils for 40 minutes with a little additional water.)

Once tender, stir in the garam masala and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

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