Coconut Mung Bean Soup



Although this soup takes an hour to prepare, it has a soothing quality that is so easy on the digestion, which is great for Vata with wonderfully refreshing flavours from the coconut milk, fresh herbs and tangy yogurt.

1 cup mung beans (whole or split)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
6 cups water
2 tbsp ghee or sunflower oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1-inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup light coconut milk
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill, mint, basil or cilantro
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice

Raita or plain yogurt

Wash mung beans thoroughly (if you have time, soak whole mung beans for an hour before cooking). Place drained beans in a large pot with 3 cups water, plus salt, turmeric and fennel seeds. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered til done (around half an hour for split mung beans, 45 minutes for whole). Skim off any foam that accumulates on the surface.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Heat ghee in a medium pot or large pan and add onions, carrots, garlic and ginger. Saute over medium-low heat, stirring in chili pepper flakes and garam masala. Cook slowly til vegetables are soft. Season lightly with a pinch of salt and set aside til mung beans are done.

To the pot of cooked mung beans, stir in 3 more cups water, the cooked vegetables plus tomato paste. Simmer together for 10 minutes, letting the soup thicken and the flavours blend. Then take a wand-style hand blender and puree just part of the soup, leaving most of it chunky. Stir in coconut milk, cooking just a few more minutes.

Stir in the herbs and lemon juice, and ladle soup into bowls with a dollop of raita or yogurt, and toasted pita triangles on the side if you like. Serves 4.

VATAS a great Vata recipe
PITTAS replace carrots with celery; avoid basil and red pepper flakes; use garlic and ginger minimally
KAPHAS mung beans should be avoided by Kaphas but are okay once in a while (if you like, replace with red lentils); replace coconut milk with plain soy milk; minimize or omit salt