Mung Bean and Coconut Curry

Mung Bean and Coconut Curry! This easy vegan curry is packed with Indian flavours, coconut milk, cilantro, and lime. It’s incredibly easy and can be made in the Instant Pot or on the stove top (instructions are provided for both!). Grab the recipe and let’s get started! 

two silver bowls of mung bean curry

Hands up if you have a packet of mung beans kicking around the back of your cupboard that you have no idea what to do with! Fear not, I’m here to help with a Mung Bean Curry that’s so good if you and your family don’t love it, I’ll give you your money back.

Just kidding – there are no refunds on Hey Nutrition Lady.

But seriously, this is both one of the easiest and one of the most delicious recipes in my arsenal. It’s hands down one of the most popular recipes on this site, and with good reason. Check the comments; it’s amazeballs.

cilantro, spices, garlic, mung beans, ginger, tomato, coconut, and limes

First of all, this mung bean curry is a one-pot wonder. No fussing around with extra dishes, minimal cleanup, and not all that much chopping involved. And yes, it can be made in the Instant Pot! Secondly, it features ingredients you’ve probably already got on hand: dried mung beans, canned tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and some fresh cilantro.

It’s jam-packed with immune boosting foods (have you counted how many cloves of garlic are in that picture? that’d be nine, and yes, they’re all going in!), and the mighty mung bean offers up a good dose of plant-based protein and gut-healthy fiber.

mung bean curry in the instant pot

All of that is well and good, but folks, this curry is delicious. If mung beans aren’t an ingredient you’ve cooked with before, I encourage you to give them a try. Unlike some other beans, they don’t require soaking, so they’re great for quick and easy meals.

And as beans go, mung is fairly easy to digest, so if you’re someone who tends towards tummy troubles with other beans, I encourage you to give mung beans a go. When coupled with a spicy masala, coconut milk, and a touch of lime, this mung bean curry becomes a versatile meal. Sip it as a soup, or pair with brown rice or some warm naan bread if you’re looking for something more substantial.

mung bean curry being made in the instant pot

Tips for making a killer Mung Bean Curry:

  • Ummmm, there are NINE cloves of garlic in this curry? Yes ma’am, and I encourage you to use ’em all. I promise you this doesn’t come out a garlic bomb of a dish, and you won’t reek like garlic after eating it. It just works, and in combination with all of the other spices, the garlic gets mellowed out.
  • But on that note, use a garlic crusher! Ain’t nobody got time to chop up nine cloves of garlic. Or you could buy those jars of pre-chopped garlic and use three tablespoons.
  • Keep your ginger in the freezer! It lasts for ages that way so you’ll pretty much always have some on hand for a recipe, plus it’s waaaaaayyyy easier to grate from frozen.
  • Have leftover mung bean curry? Lucky you! This recipe freezes like a dream, and is great for make-ahead meals.
  • Want to green it up? Be my guest! Throw in some chopped spinach at the end of cooking and let it wilt down into the curry. Delicious!
  • Can I made this recipe in the Instant Pot? Yes friends, you can! It won’t save you all that much time but it comes out like a dream and you don’t have to babysit the pot while the curry cooks. Instant Pot users please reduce the water to 3 cups!
  • What if I don’t have an Instant Pot? Then make this delicious vegan curry on the stove top! I’ve done it that way approximately one million times.

two bowls of mung bean curry on a grey background with naan bread and rice

Hey Nutrition Lady, tell me about mung beans!

I’d be glad to! Mung beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein-plus-fiber combination in beans is one of the things that makes them special.

A one cup serving contains around 15g of fiber (over half of the daily recommended intake), and 15g of protein. Much of the fiber is indigestible, which supports digestive health, particularly in the lower part of our digestive tract.

The protein-fiber combination is also key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. Beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health.

mung bean curry on a grey background with squeezed limes, rice, and naan.

Other Tasty Curries you might enjoy:

Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry
Red Curry Coconut Stir-Fry
Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wraps
Slow Cooker Red Lentil Dal

mung bean and coconut curry on a grey background
4.84 from 43 votes
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Mung Bean and Coconut Curry

Mung Bean and Coconut Curry! This easy vegan curry is packed with Indian flavours, coconut milk, cilantro, and lime. It's incredibly easy and can be made in the Instant Pot or on the stove top. 

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Curry
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 392 kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp canola oil or other neutral-flavoured oil
  • 1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 9 cloves garlic crushed (about 3 Tbsp crushed garlic)
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup mung beans picked over for stones and well rinsed
  • 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1-2 medium limes juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped

Instructions

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large pot (I like to use my Dutch oven) heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and cook for about 1 minute, until they just begin to darken. 

  3. Add the garlic, and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it has browned, but watch it very carefully so that it doesn't burn.

  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine, then add ginger, coriander, turmeric, salt, and cayenne.

  5. Sauté this mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  6. Add the water and mung beans. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring the mixture once or twice.

  7. Taste a few mung beans to make sure they are cooked. If they are, stir in the coconut milk, and increase the heat to medium-high.
  8. Once the curry comes to the boil turn off the heat. Stir in the cilantro and the juice of one lime. Taste and decide whether you'd like to add the second lime as well.
  9. Serve hot.

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using the sauté function, heat your Instant Pot on normal heat. Add the cooking oil, and then add the cumin seeds and cook them for approximately one minute, until they sizzle. 

  2. Add the garlic, and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it has browned, but watch it very carefully so that it doesn't burn.

  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine, then add ginger, coriander, turmeric, salt, and cayenne. Sauté this mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Add 3 cups of water and the mung beans. Place the lid on your Instant Pot and put on manual pressure cook HIGH setting for 10 minutes. It should take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. 

  5. Allow the pressure to release naturally (this should take about 20-30 minutes) and remove the lid once safe.

  6. Stir in the coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice. Serve!

Recipe Notes

  • Nutrition values are an estimate only
  • For Instant Pot reduce the water to 3 cups
Nutrition Facts
Mung Bean and Coconut Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 392 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Sodium 503mg 21%
Potassium 892mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 7g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 8.9%
Vitamin C 18.2%
Calcium 10.9%
Iron 30.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe adapted from Vij’s At Home.

 

Mung Bean and Coconut Curry! This easy vegan curry is packed with Indian flavours, coconut milk, cilantro, and lime. It's incredibly easy and can be made in the Instant Pot or on the stove top. Grab the recipe and let's get started! #curry #vegan #beans #mungbeans #coconut #cilantro #indian #easy #instantpot #recipe #vegetarian #healthy


 

Comments

  1. This is my kind of winter meal and I love that it has nine cloves of garlic! I’ve been lucky enough to avoid getting a cold this winter, but we do have some snow in the forecast where I live. I’ll put this on my list of snowy day meals to make. 🙂

  2. Bike commuting in the snow? You win! I use to bike commute all year long, but, uh, we live in California, where the worst weather we ever get is a few days of rain per year. 🙂 This curry sounds delicious and warming!

  3. Made this recipe for dinner tonight with steamed broccoli and quinoa on the side. It was easy, filling and delicious. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  4. I can’t believe you bike to work in the snow! That’s true dedication. I’m from Florida but moved to Chicago 2 years age, so I’m still getting used to winter. This curry looks great! I can’t wait to make it.

  5. The summer time heat (90 degrees here in Northern CA) did not stop me from wanting a warm soup 🙂 We had this for dinner last night and it was delicious! So many great ingredients in this dish, making it flavorful and comforting!

  6. Currently simmering on the stove. so excited to taste! (And so excited to finally be using us the mung beans i bought a while ago).

  7. Wow, I’ve tried a few similar recipes but was always disappointed as most came out flat or far from that restaurant taste, but this recipe delivers! I noticed that you do not use onions rather heaps of garlic, not complaining! And the coconut milk/cream…would that be a normal 400gm can? I used about half a can as I was worried that the coconut would overpower the taste of the mung beans but I can see that there would be no harm in using an entire can. Just love the recipe and thank you!

    • Glad you enjoyed! Yup, a regular 400ml can, the whole thing. It definitely doesn’t overpower, there’s so much going on with this dish. Give it a try with the whole can next time!

  8. Thank you for what seems like a very good recipe. I am making it now. However, I would say to probably double that boiling time for the Mung beans. I soaked them for about 8 hours first, and have now boiled them on low heat for maybe 45 mins, and they are still not done.

    • Hi Emperor Mung. I’m wondering if you’ve used a different kind of bean, or if yours are quite old? Mung beans are one of the kind that don’t require pre-soaking, and when I cook mine for too long they turn to complete mush! I can’t be sure exactly what’s going on since I’m not there cooking with you, but if you’ve soaked them first and after 45 mins they’re still not done, it makes me wonder what’s going on with the beans!

  9. This recipe looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it, I do have one question though, did you use dry mungbeans or fresh?

  10. This was so yummy! I subbed almond milk for coconut and halfed the spices. I will defiantly make this dish again.
    Thank you so much.

  11. Fabulous! I doubled everything except the oil and I didn’t double the lime juice, just for personal preference and it came out perfect as a lovely thick soup/stew consistencey. The next day, it tasted even better, and had thickened up more to something I’d like to put over rice. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Cooked this tonight and boy am I glad I did!! So beautifully tasty ! Thank you so much for the recipe!! I shall be perusing more of your recipes too! Xxx

  13. I cooked too many mung beans yesterday, and I needed a recipe to use them up. I made this one. Delicious! Served it over rice noodles, which I also made too many of, lol. I adapted for cooked beans, and it worked wonderfully. Best part? Plenty of leftovers for lunch this week 🙂

  14. This recipe is way too GOOD to be this EASY!! Talk about flavorful, this is definitely going in my favorite recipe stash. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. Now, on to hunt for other great recipes on your site 🙂

  15. This is a great dish but I felt it was lacking vegetables… so I added carrots, cauliflower and bell pepper pieces … it was so yummy.. my family loved it ..

  16. Just made this, and it tastes amazing! I stir fried some curry leaves with the cumin for extra flavor. I also think adding some lemongrass paste to this recipe would be great.

    the consistency is more ‘soupy’ than a thick curry. For folks who are looking for a more stewy consistency, i suggest cooking the mung bean in water separately, then draining the water and adding the cooked mung bean to the curry base + coconut milk.

    Thanks for this delicious recipe!

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! This is for sure one of my favourite recipes. Sometimes I add a bit less water to get more of a stewy consistency than soupy, but your tip is a good one as well!

  17. Fabulous flavor, even when using lite coconut milk. Really enjoyed this, and easy to make despite my not loving cooking. I am not one for heat, and think the lite milk did not soak up enoigh of the cayenne as it was rather hot for my taste buds at first…..but, easily solved by adding an extra 1/2 can of milk. Next time, I will use the regular milk as bet it is even more favorable.

  18. Sounds like a great recipe. I am allergic to tomatoes, any suggestions for what I could substitute. Thanks.

  19. Amazing recipe I have made it 7 times now and each time is tastes completely different with a few different tweaks but just as delicious as the original! I add a couple fresh chillis to mine and also a couple of veg oxos and also I put some frozen spinach in for the last 20 mins to add some extra goodness or a frozen brocolli and cauliflower. Originally I speed read the instructions wrong and thought it said Mung Bean Soup and to add in wild rice to make it a meal which I did the first time – it was thick and delicious like a spicy soup! Thanks again for the recipe and inspiration!

  20. This tastes sooooo gooooood!!!! Even during 100 degree heat. My first time cooking with mung beans. So glad I came across this recipe. It’s simple easy to make, tastes delicious and homey

  21. I found it a bit too runny and HOT for my taste, so I added diced potato and a sweet potato. Those obv overcooked and mashed leaving me with veeeery tasty and filling meal! Thank you for this recipe! Happy I made my first ever curry from scratch! 🙂

  22. Absolutely delicious! I must admit that I was cautious about the 9 cloves of garlic and only used 4 – still yummy but I’ll go all-in next time I make it!
    Thanks again!

  23. God almighty this was delicious. I’d use a bit less water next time. I made a double batch and only ended up putting one can of coconut milk in for fear of turning it into a soup. Even like that it was incredible. I’m sure it’s even more delicious with more coconut flavour.

  24. I inherited a ton of food from my friends’ pantry when they left town, including a package of mung beans, which I’d never tried cooking with before. Found this recipe. Cooked a double batch, since I had enough mung beans for that. This is possibly the most delicious recipe I’ve ever tried!!! Will definitely be buying some more mung beans.

  25. Seriously amazing I never write reviews on anything but this is so yummy. I added a half cup more mung beans and didn’t have cilantro or lime. But it came out amazing thank you for the recipe! Made it with come cornbread paired well.

  26. My new favorite mung beans base recipe. The coconut milk so delicious! Thank you for this! I already made it two times and both perfect. So easy too❤️
    Ps: i gave it 5 stars but the web does not let me with the clik gave you more?????

  27. what an amzing recipe!, thank you very much!

    i am making them now with sprouted mungo beans, so easy to sprout at home, the flavors of the bean are released beautifully, i am soon making mungo bean tempeh to try it out in the recipe

    Ill see how it goes and will keep you posted

    bless you

  28. Have you tried this in an instapot? I made a mung bean soup with sweet potato in the instapot. No soaking and 25 min on chili setting and the beans were perfect, this will be another to try out.

    • I don’t have an instapot, but it sounds like an intriguing device! This recipe doesn’t require soaking the mung beans and comes together quite quickly even done stovetop, so I’m sure it would be super speedy in the instapot.

  29. I found this recipe while scrolling through the internet trying to find something interesting and inventive for the mung beans. I made the recipe this morning and the flavours having been marinating in the curry sauce all day. Just finishing it off with cilantro, coconut milk and lime to be served with wild rice. Oh, will put some baby spinach through it to make a one pot dinner.

    This is a delicious recipe and despite being summer here in NZ, this is dinner tonight. Thanks for this recipe.

  30. I love this. Thank you for posting this recipe. A friend of mine gave me a LOT of mung beans over a year ago and I didn’t know what to do with it and I felt overwhelmed so I put them away.
    Today I finally used some on this recipe and I love it.

  31. This recipe is awesome! Thank you so much. My family loved it. Four of us easily finished it in one meal, so I’ll try doubling it to have leftovers next time.

  32. Yum! This is my new favorite curry recipe. I found it when I bought some mung beans on a whim and was trying to figure out what to do with them.
    The second time I made it, I halved the cayenne pepper (for spiciness) and the salt (I try to avoid it when cooking, since there’s so much in other foods we eat). I think it turned out well.
    Thank you for a great recipe!

  33. No idea why I had bought a pack of mung beans at the local organic store – never having cooked with them or tmk eaten them. What a hit! I used the whole packwhich was more than the recipe called for but guessed it would freeze so used the recipe as a rough guide. The kids said “What’s this?” but ate it and said it was “Yum”. I made a thicker version in case the little one was having a “balking at soup” day. He’s fine if you take the liquid out of any soup like dish and pile any veg up into a mountain with some tomato sauce down the sides because then obviously it’s a volcano – although nowadays we can dispense with the tomato sauce and just call it jungle mountain. The herbs, spices and lime were a great combo . I presoacked my beans to be on the safe side only because I hadn’t presocaked some black eyed peas which were well in date and after a day in the crock pot they were still only just soft.

  34. This is really good. I have used this recipe several times now. My only modification is to add 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of garam masala towards the end. If you do this then use only 1/2 tsp of the cayenne since the masala will add heat. I sometimes use less water for a thicker result and serve with basmati rice.

  35. Wow! I’ve been looking for a recipe to use mung beans I had in the cupboard for a while… this is simply the best! I have made the recipe several times now and I can say that it has become a regular at home… my daughter loves it also! So many good things in there… thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  36. i really cannot say to much, put simply THIS is a winner tasty, awesome fro winter, my kids loved it. nuf said

  37. I made this last evening and wow is it ever good! Yum~! Love the citrusy tang I actually probably went overboard on the lime juice but once I got to squeezing I couldn’t stop. It is fantastic recipe so simple too! Thanks!

  38. Love this Katie! My first use of mung beans and I’m hooked. So flavorful and satisfying, and simple. Perfect 🙂

    • Hey Stacy! Funny you should ask… I just bought an Instant Pot (it’s supposed to arrive in a few days!) and I was just saying that this recipe is on my list of posts I need to test in it. So while I’m sure it *can* be adapted for the IP, I have yet to try and and can’t say exactly what to do just yet. Stay tuned for updates – and if you try it out in the meantime, please let us know!

      • Made it….its fantastic. I followed the recipe exactly, sauteed everything first, the once I added the liquids, I high pressure cooked for 10 mins and let it naturally release. Then added coconut milk and cilantro. Was a bit runny for a bit, but it thickened up with the lid and power off. Love it!

  39. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! Such a delicious curry. Never had a clue what to do with mung beans before but will certainly be buying lots in the future. Only worry it eating too much of it in one sitting as it’s yum!

  40. Thank you for the great recipe! The only things I did differently was sauté the ginger spice mixture with the cumin seeds and then sauté the garlic very briefly before adding the tomatoes. I had an old bag of opened dried sprouted mung beans I needed to use up. Tried them once, and didn’t care for them. Not a fan of the texture. But this recipe made them divine! Kudos!

  41. I just made this, it is a winner!! I used the InstantPot method. I pre-soaked my beans to help with my tender digestion. I used about 2.5 cups of water, perhaps a splash more, and it came out fantastic!! I forgot to get cilantro. I know it would be even better with cilantro. It might be a little on the spicy warm side for my son, so I can go a little easier on the pepper. This is a great dish!

  42. This was my first Hey, Nutrition Lady recipe and i loved it! We had nothing in our fridge after coming home from a cold camping weekend and this hit. the. spot! Oddly, the only fresh ingredients i had in my house were cilantro, lime and garlic. It was meant to be. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes!

    • Yay! Welcome to HNL! So glad you enjoyed this mung bean curry and that it helped warm you up after a cold weekend of camping. I hope you find lots of other stuff you like here too 🙂

  43. Katie, I finally found mung beans at a natural foods store, but the package label (they are bulk, in one-pound bags) says to soak them for 4-8 hours, then boil/simmer for 45-60 minutes. I read all of the comments and some say to soak, some not, and you assure us that soaking is not needed. My question is: do you think this recipe would work in a slow cooker (crockpot)?? And if so, would you recommend soaking the mung beans in that instance? I have all the ingredients and can’t wait to make it!

    • Hi Louise, I’ve made this recipe a zillion times (actual number!) and have never soaked the mung beans. In fact, I’ve never soaked them in anything I’ve used mung beans for (other than sprouting). Unfortunately I haven’t tried this recipe in a slow cooker. I see no reason why it wouldn’t work, but don’t have the specific instructions to help you out. I’d probably leave the liquid quantities as is and add extra liquid towards the end of cooking if needed. Good luck, and if you do try this in the slow cooker please let us know!

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