Green Gram/Moong Dal – Benefits And A Healthy Recipe

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Green gram, aka moong dal or mung beans, are high in nutrition and offer several benefits. The green gram seeds are widely used in Asian cuisines, and there are several delicious recipes, too.

While in some regions it is used to prepare savoury dishes, in others it is used in sweet dishes such as desserts. It also tends to be a staple diet in some parts of the Middle East along with rice. 

Infographic of botanical and common names of green gram

Why do you need to incorporate this wonderful pulse as a part of your diet?

Here is a glimpse into the health benefits it offers to answer the question.

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Weight loss

The green gram is low in calories and fat but high in nutrition, particularly, protein as well as fibre which makes it an ideal choice for losing weight. Any dish prepared with this pulse tends to be highly satisfying on your tummy, which can help avoid cravings, another key to shedding additional weight. Besides, you get to enjoy the benefits of a healthy meal as green gram is high in nutrition. Moreover, the mung beans are mildly diuretic and can help you lose excess water weight.

Promotes digestive health

The beans tend to be light on the digestive system, as the carbs in mung are easier to digest compared to those in other legumes. Hence, even those who tend to get flatulent when consuming legumes can eat recipes with green gram without facing the issue. 

In fact, moong dal is one of the most important ingredients that Ayurveda recommends to cleanse and rejuvenate your body. The ancient medical science also advises you to consume the dhal in the form of kitchari, a savoury dish that is a combination of green gram dal, rice and spices which helps heal your gut and strengthen your digestive system. And an optimal digestive system helps ensure optimal overall health.

Reduce the risk of chronic diseases

Mung beans help reduce the risk of numerous chronic conditions. Since it is high in antioxidants, it can help prevent cancer. It also has the properties to lower bad cholesterol, which helps keep heart diseases at bay. 

Besides, it is rich in magnesium, potassium and fibre, a combination known to keep blood pressure in check and prevent heart disease. 

Being high in protein and fibre, it releases sugar into the bloodstream slowly, which is essential for maintaining blood sugar levels, thus avoiding diabetes from developing.

Good for skin

Since moong beans are high in minerals and vitamins, consuming it regularly, tends to bring out the natural glow of your skin from within. 

Furthermore, you can use green gram powder topically as a part of your all-natural skin care regimen. And, not just for the face, you can use it all over your body instead of soap or shower gel!

To make green gram powder: Grind whole green gram very well in a mixer; sieve the powder; store in an airtight container.

You can easily combine green gram powder with other natural ingredients such as turmeric, milk/rose water, as per your preference and the nature of your skin and use it regularly to enjoy the beauty benefits of moong dal.

Images of green gram, plit moong dal with husk, without husk, and sprouted mung beans

More Benefits

The benefits of this superfood do not end here, though. It is also,

  • good for eyes
  • strengthens bones
  • can improve brain health
  • is suitable for pregnant women as it is rich in folate

and so on. 

How To Add It In Your Food?

As you can see, the list of benefits tends to be quite endless and varied, with seemingly having a profound impact on various aspects of “good health”. And it is not tough to include the beans as a part of your diet; soak the seeds overnight or for about 8 hours, cook them till soft and then add to soups, salads, curries, or in any other way you would typically use your pulse.

But if you are in the mood to try something new, here is a tasty yet healthy dish that you can prepare using mung beans.

A Delicious Recipe With Green Gram

Pesarattu is a popular dish in Andhra Pradesh, India, wherein the mung beans are used to prepare a batter that is used to make savoury crepes (the vernacular name is Dosa). The delicious dish is typically eaten along with tasty chutneys.

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Pesarattu – Healthy green gram dal dosa

Andhra pesarattu - a green gram recipe

Ingredients:

  • Green gram dal – 2 cups
  • Raw rice – ¼ cup
  • Ginger – ¼ inch
  • Green chilly – 2
  • Cumin – 1 teaspoon
  • Onion – 1 cup finely chopped
  • Oil – A few drops to prepare each Dosa
  • Salt – To taste

Preparation method:

Soak the green gram and rice in water for about 8 hours. Grind the rice and moong dal mixture along with ginger and green chilly in a blender/mixer to a dosa batter consistency. Then, add salt, jeera and chopped onions and mix well.

Heat a pan and pour the batter into it using a ladle and then spread it well. Toast it using a little oil by flipping it till both sides are done, just like regular Dosa or a crepe or a pancake.

Serve it hot with ginger chutney or any spicy chutney!

NOTE:

If you are making Dosa for the first time, it is better to make clear notes on how to make Dosa. It is not rocket science; however, it is not easy either until you master the technique!

Recipe credit : Poornima Devi

Some Interesting facts About Green Gram

  • In recent years, the mung beans are used to produce mock-meat as a plant-based alternative to meat and eggs to be used in popular dishes like burgers.
  • The Koreans prepare a dish called Bindae-tteok similar to pesarattu using a batter made of this wonderful legume. It typically comes with filling made of bean sprouts, baechu kimchi, or meat.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends drinking mung bean congee(porridge) to expel toxins from the body. And sweet soup is commonly consumed by the Chinese during hot summer days to keep cool!

Images from canva.com

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