Sauteed Mung Bean Sprouts

July 27, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 24 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Never have I eaten a bean or legume that I did not like; they are savory, versatile and fulfilling. However, it was the purchase of Madhur Jaffrey's "World of the East Vegetarian Cooking" cook book when we started experimenting with sprouting mung beans and then being inspired to make this dish, a variation of one of Jaffrey's dishes.
Do not be intimidated by sprouting mung beans. The technique is simply to soak them for 1/2 day and then keep them wrapped in a towel in a warm environment for another 1/2 day. After this day of preparation the beans will have sprouted and are ready for use. If you cannot prepare the sprouted mung beans right away then store them in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
We typically serve this particular dish over white basmati or brown rice for a quick weeknight meal. However, I'm sure other variations would work as well. —viblanco

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 cups whole mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 5 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 pinch black pepper, to taste
  1. For sprouting the beans: Put the mung beans in a large bowl and add water that covers the beans by about 1 to 2 inches. Let soak for about 12 hours and then drain the water. Line a bowl with a clean, damp dish towel (or white t-shirt), put the beans in the towel and cover the top of the beans with the rest of the towel so that the beans are completely enveloped. Leave in a dark, warm place (such as an oven) for another 12 hours. The beans will have sprouted a bit at the end of 12 hours.
  2. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, turn down the heat to medium and add garlic, ginger, turmeric and cayenne. Sauté for about one to two minutes until just before the garlic starts to brown.
  3. Add to the sauté pan the sprouted mung beans, tomatoes, salt and water. Mix and allow the mixture to come to a boil and then turn down the heat to low. Cover the sauté pan with a lid and cook the beans for 20 minutes. Add a little more water if the mixture gets dry.
  4. Mix in the lemon juice and season with black pepper to taste. Serve over rice, another grain, or with a dollop of yogurt.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Beverly Moody-Gill
    Beverly Moody-Gill
  • catbirdx
  • Mia Nordlund
    Mia Nordlund
  • viblanco

9 Reviews

Merle I. March 17, 2022
Delishious... I used a can of diced tomatoes instead of 2 fresh ones. This receipe was really good and is a keeper!!!!!!
agoekler August 26, 2020
I purchased a bag of dried "sprouted mung beans" and wanted to make a dish with it and landed upon this recipe, to my great fortune and delight.

Since these mung beans were already sprouted, I followed the directions for cooking them on the bag and skipped the sprouting step. I will definitely try sprouting the beans myself next time.

Some other differences, based on what was available in my pantry: used roughly 3 cups of the cooked mung beans, a cup of the leftover bean broth they created when cooking, doubled the turmeric and cayenne, used brown mustard seeds instead of black, chopped red and green bell peppers and used cherry tomatoes in the simmer. I gently burst them about 10 minutes in.

The ginger really sings in this dish. Lots of layered bright flavors. Highly recommend the dollop of yogurt.
Beverly M. October 22, 2018
I've made this twice now. It is awesome! My 6 year old daughter loves it as well. I have a strict diet and mung beans are a go so I've been trying to find good ways to make them and this ones a winner. The 2nd time i didn't soak them long enough then sprouted them too long. Ha. So it took about 50 min during the cooking process but I just kept adding water and they turned out great.
catbirdx November 15, 2015
Hi viblanco, Just a note of caution about Madhur Jaffrey's sprouting process for mung beans. I followed the instructions (exactly the same as in this recipe) from her new book Vegetarian India and made a cooked dal with them. My husband and I almost broke our teeth tonight on the hard beans that hadn't sprouted. This technique might need a little editing! Perhaps it works better in summer than colder seasons? I don't know, but people should be forewarned.
viblanco November 19, 2015
Oh no! I've not had any problems sprouting the beans; however, I cannot remember if I've made this when the air temperature was cold (thereby affecting the sprouting process). I have encountered a similar problem when making other beans. After soaking and cooking, sometimes a few beans will just be hard! I've read that this may be the result of "old" beans. Also, look out for small rocks (I've seen a few in my beans when soaking). At any rate, don't lose confidence in sprouting the mung beans! Try adjusting the time, make sure that the area is warm, make sure the towel is moist, and check that the beans have sprouted. Thanks for the warning and good luck! :)
Mia N. January 12, 2014
Isn't 20 minutes a little bit too much time? In other recipes with sprouted mung beans that I've seen they are only supposed to cook for a few minutes.
viblanco January 12, 2014
Hi Mia! Absolutely you can cook the beans in less time. I always do around 20 minutes just to get the spices fully blended; but, honestly, a full 20 mins is not necessary.
cecicurious August 6, 2014
Can you still do this recipe if the mung beans aren't sprouted?
viblanco August 6, 2014
@cecicurious I've not made this dish without sprouting the mung beans. But, I am quite certain that the ingredients would also work with unsprouted beans. Realize, however, if you have dry mung beans, you will need to soak and cook them prior to making this dish. Otherwise they will be way too hard.