Curried Indian Mung Beans and Rice

Chef Katie Simmons
Recipe by
Chef Katie Simmons

Did you know that India's Jews come from four distinct groups and can trace their roots there back to ancient times? As in all Jewish communities around the world, Indian Jews translated their culinary tastes and the laws of kashrut to embrace the foods of the region.

The aromatic flavors of India come together in this easy, healthy version of Indian khichda. Eaten together, mung beans and rice make this delicious dish a source of vegan protein and fiber.  

1/4 cup split yellow mung beans
2/3 cup brown basmati rice
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1/8 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Yield: 6 servings

  • Gather ingredients.
  • Rinse the mung beans under running water for about 30 seconds, until there is no foam coming from the beans.  Set aside. 
  • Place the fenugreek seeds in a medium pot. Turn the heat to medium, cover, and toast just 2-3 minutes, until slightly darker and aromatic. Add the rice, the remaining spices, and the fresh ginger. Cover and toast another 2-3 minutes, just until aromatic. When the rice begins to "pop" and darken, you're done toasting.
  • Add the mung beans, water and bay leaves. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer about 25 minutes, until the rice and beans are tender.
  • Remove the lid and fluff. Let any excess moisture release through the steam.
  • Add the salt, pepper, and cilantro.
  • Garnish with extra cilantro and serve. 

Chef Katie Simmons' Tips

  • You may need to visit an Indian market to find some of these spices.  If you don't want to stock up on a big mix of spices, you can substitute with 2 tablespoons of a generic curry powder blend. 

Classically-trained Chef Katie Simmons is a personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet.