garlicky mung beans
mung beans. isn't that just an awful name for a food? awfully close to dung beans, if you ask me.
mung beans, mung beans, so green and well-hung dung beans....oops, wrong song. what i meant to say was that you can't judge a book by it's cover, a dunce by it's cap, a puff-daddy by his lame-ass rap. that's what i meant to say. which brings us to mung beans, forever in my mind rhymed with dung beans. do not be fooled by their simplicity and humble nature for they are noble and almighty and tasty too. this is one of my favorite simple dishes, garlicky mung beans. be forewarned that i use a lot of garlic (two fat cloves) in this dish, and i use it raw, though i suppose you could use less...
there is no recipe per se but simply a few guidelines, the first of which is to soak your dung, i mean mung, beans. i always (time allowing) soak my delicate beans and pulses (mungs, lentils, etc.) for at least two, preferably more like four, hours prior to cooking. this allows them a chance to get a little rehydrated and cuts down on the cooking time. less cooking time equals greater probability that i will be paying attention when it comes time to take them off the stove. it also means a gentler simmer that helps avoid the breakdown of the outer seedcoat that results in mush. so in the morning soak your mung beans. in the afternoon put them in a pan with about an inch of water to cover and salt that water until it tastes like the sea. bring to a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes and remove from heat when they're just soft. drain and toss with lemon juice and fresh pressed garlic, adding salt to taste if necessary. you can also add a bit of your favorite oil, if you like, but i find that they don't really need it if you reincorporate just a teeny bit of the bean cooking water back in. handle them carefully while they are hot as they will be fragile and more likely to fall apart. taste again once the beans are cooled as the seasonings may have to be adjusted. serve chilled or at room temperature.
if you haven't tasted mung beans try them, like mikie (of life cereal fame) you just might like them. they are kinda like a cross between a lentil and a pea and have a creamy texture if cooked just right. but they are soooo easy to overcook into a gruel fit only for the most ascetic of vegans, so watch carefully.