Tajik Mung Bean Soup
Tajik Mung Bean Soup is a hearty and nutritious traditional vegetarian recipe.
Like many traditional recipes, Tajik cooks make it mostly by sight and taste, so all measurements are approximate, and you can feel free to modify quantities, add meat or stock, fiddle with spices, or make other modifications as you see fit.
- 1 onion, chopped
- about 6 medium carrots, sliced
- about 4 medium potatoes, chopped
- about 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup mung beans
- 1/2 cup white rice
- generous dashes of basil, whole cumin seeds, black pepper, and salt
In a large soup pot, saute the vegetables and spices over medium-high heat for about five minutes in a generous dollop of olive oil. Add about six cups of water, or enough to cover thevegetables, plus a little extra, and the mung beans.Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for about 40 minutes.
Check the soup to see if the beans have "popped" and are floating at the surface. If no, cook for a few more minutes. If yes, add rice and simmer for another 20 minutes. Check to make sure beans and rice are fully cooked, adjust spices, and serve warm.
More About Mung Beans
In America, mung beans are best known for their nutritious sprouts, but they are an important part of the diets of many Asians. In China and Southeast Asia they are used to make cellophane noodles and spring roll wrappers, as well as porridge-like desserts. In India, hulled beans are used in dals and soups, as well as a type of pancake and fried snack. They are especially important in ayurvedic cooking.