Indian Kichari (Mung Bean & Brown Rice Stew)

Kichari is a very popular Indian dish. It is a great one-pot meal made with legumes, whole grains and assorted veggies. Mung beans are well-known in India and are touted for their health benefits (see below). I always get great responses when I prepare this dish. It is so healthy and hearty–and great for cold-weather fare.

Ingredients

1 cup green mung beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
Water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (or to taste)
1–2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
2–3 cups chopped vegetables (carrots, yams, potatoes, beets, squash, etc.)
1 cup chopped leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard, etc.)

Put mung beans and brown rice into a medium-size pot. Cover with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium–high. If mung beans foam up, skim and discard. Cook for 15–20 minutes, adding more water as needed. Add bouillon, ginger, curry powder, turmeric and cinnamon. Continue to cook for a few minutes, then add all vegetables. Cook for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are thoroughly cooked and well combined. Serve warm or hot. Serves 4–6.

Health Benefits of Mung Beans

Green Mung Beans are a wonder and super food. The health benefits of Green Mung Beans are exploding with more research in this food. Tracing its origin from Indian sub-continent, this healing bean is commonly used in Asian countries like China, Thailand, Philippines, Pakistan, India, Vietnam, Korea, etc. It can be added in various styles to recipes ranging from soups, desserts, sprouts and spicy curry. It tastes awesome no matter what is the preparation. The health benefits of this bean are also widespread. Starting from Ayurveda in India, where this bean is cooked for sick people, its healing properties are gaining widespread popularity. Here are some of the benefits of Green Mung Beans:

  • Green Mung Beans are rich source of Minerals. Potassium, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, iron, phosphorus are some of the many minerals found in this wonder bean. Potassium and magnesium are important for heart health. Folic acid and iron are very important for pregnant and child bearing women.
  • Green Mung Beans are rich source of fiber. The fiber comprises of two types, insoluble and soluble. The insoluble fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and reduce the problems of constipation. The soluble fiber helps to reduce the blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Green Mung Bean sprouts are rich source of vitamin C. Vitamins are essential to maintain health and prevent diseases. Vitamin C helps to improve the immune system and keeps the common fever, sore throat, cold away. The sprouts of this bean provide excellent source of vitamin C and thus, giving the benefits of fruit too.
  • Green Mung Beans are excellent source of protein. These beans are a good source of vegetarian proteins and without the disadvantage of saturated fats. Eating a bowl of green mung beans soup daily is a great way to meet the daily needs of protein requirements of our body.
  • Green Mung Beans are good for cardiovascular health. Eating these beans regularly helps to reduce bad cholesterol and improve the flexibility of arteries and veins. Thus, green mung beans are excellent for heart and help to regulate blood pressure to healthy levels.
  • Green Mung Beans detoxify the body and improve metabolism. In Chinese natural medicine and Indian Ayurveda, green mung beans are frequently recommended to detoxify the body and get rid of chronic illnesses. It is an anti-inflammatory food and helps to heal the body.
  • Green Mung Beans helps to lose weight. These beans are low in calories and rich in fiber. Thus, eating a small cup of green mung bean soup gives the feeling of fullness. Thus, eating it regularly helps to reduce unhealthy cravings of sweet artificial foods by regulating the blood sugar levels. Hence, it helps to curb hunger pangs and bring our weight to healthy levels.
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