This is an excellent soup for times when you need to cleanse. This may be when you are feeling unwell, sluggish or have poor digestion. It is also a fantastic soup to have as a cleanse at the turn of the seasons, when doshas are most likely put out of balance. If you intend to undergo a thorough cleansing programme, it is always best to seek the advice of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.
Mung beans are less gas-producing than other beans, help remove toxins from the body and stimulate the digestive fire. This soup balances all three doshas. The ingredients are available in Indian food stores and most health food shops. For online suppliers of organic mung beans, asafoetida and all other spices needed for this recipe, try www.healthysupplies.co.uk or or www.realfoods.co.uk.
Cleansing Mung Bean Soup
- 400 g mung beans
- 2 l hot water plus more to top up later
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) to taste
- 2-3 cloves garlic optional
- fresh root ginger finely chopped
- 1 -2 tsp cumin seeds or freshly ground powder
- 1-2 tsp coriander seeds or freshly ground powder
- Rock salt as little as needed to make tasty!
- other spices all, some or none, as per your taste, suggested quantities below:
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds ~ 5 pods
- 4 cm cinnamon stick
- 10 cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 10 black pepper corns
- Wash the mung beans thoroughly and then soak them over night (at least 12 hrs and 24hrs if possible)
- In a pan heat ghee
- Add turmeric powder and asafoetida
- Sauté for a few seconds
- Add the beans and fresh water.
- Cook until all the beans are soft and broken up (40 – 60 min )
- Heat some ghee in a frying pan, add 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic and sauté lightly for a minute until soft but still aromatic. (optional)
- Add fresh ginger and cumin and coriander seeds and any other herbs or spices you like
- Briefly sauté.
- Add the sautéed spices plus some rock salt to the mung beans and continue to simmer for a further 2 minutes.
- Serve the soup hot with finely chopped coriander leaves or other fresh herbs. Eat with green vegetables.
- You can experiment with different flavours each time you make your soup to maintain a sense of variety.
- Adding spices at the end of the cooking process helps retain more of their flavour and therapeutic value.
- Adding salt in the beginning makes beans tougher and take longer to cook; therefore always add salt at the end.
- You can also add 1 tsp. of ghee or 1 tsp. of virgin, unrefined oil such as flax, hemp or sesame. Virgin oils should be added to food after it has cooled down a bit, as these oils are not heat stable and thus not suitable for cooking.
- Asafoetida or hing is tricky to find, best to go online (see below)
- Mung beans, asafoetida and all other spices can be bought from, for example, www.healthysupplies.co.uk or www.realfoods.co.uk.
- Original recipe thanks to Rebecca and Sascha Kriese at Ayuseva