Slow Cooked Mung Beans and Rice With Indian Spices and Caramelized Onions

Ali Segersten Jan 13, 2012 17 comments

I have had a number of requests for slow cooker recipes. Thank you! You have inspired me to use my slow cooker more often in the last few weeks! It is so nice to simply add all of the ingredients to the pot, walk away, and come back hours later with a warm, hearty meal in front of you. I have a few new slow cooker recipes to share with you in the coming weeks (both meat and vegetarian). The following nightshade-free recipe is designed for the Elimination Diet and is perfect for Phase 2 and Phase 3.

Aside from being one of the quickest legumes to prepare and the easiest of all beans to digest, mung beans have numerous positive health benefits. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, and protein. They show good antioxidant activity in the scientific literature. Mung beans don't have a very strong flavor so they tend to take on whatever you add to them during cooking. Indian spices pair particularly well with mung beans as do dried herbs. Last week I made a tasty mung bean, leek, and potato soup with dried tarragon, thyme, and dill. You can really play with spices and herbs to create some delicious combinations.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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I soaked the beans and rice - how much water should I use in the recipe? The full 6 cups or less? Thanks.

I made this recipe last night and I can't wait to make it again. The caramelized onions and cilantro are perfectly complimenting to the mung beans and rice. My slow cooker's "low" setting is 8 hours, which was too long because the bottom was burnt. Next time I'll go with 6 hours. I used the leftovers in the morning as a porridge (minus the onions) and I was pleasantly surprised. Thank you!

Absolutely delicious! Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

I just ate this for breakfast this morning after cooking it yesterday.. Oh! :D It is so filling, nourishing and delicious! YUM!

I absolutely loved this! I love the porridge texture and the flavor is unexpectedly delicious. I also added cardamom pods - which I add anywhere I can. The next day, I added water to the left-overs and we had a really lovely soup. Already planning to make this again next week.

Yum! Will you post the mung bean soup recipe you mentioned? It sounds delicious!!

Thanks, Ali! This was so good. I can't wait until you post your next recipe for the slow cooker!

This looks wonderful and I have almost all the ingredients I need in the pantry. I will definitely try soaking the mung beans overnight because I noticed some digestive issues the last time I cooked with them. Thank you, I love seeing all the healthy meal options you come up with!

This sounds delicious! I'm sure my readers will love it! :)

Jennifer - Thank you so much for your comment! I had no idea about the lead component in slow cookers. I am sure this recipe can be cooked on the stove within about 45 minutes.

Congrats on your new little one and your HBAC, so happy to hear you made it work!!!

Lindsay - I use the regular 14.5 ounce cans of coconut milk. I should also note that I use Native Forest brand which uses BPA-free cans.

Metta - I use the whole, green mung beans. Taste is so subjective. To me, mung beans are very mild flavored compared to adzuki, black, or kidney beans. Possibly your mung beans were older? Old beans take a very long time to cook and may never cook thoroughly. Make sure your mung beans are fresh. They always cook very quickly for me compared to all other beans except lentils.

Hi Ali,

Do you happen to have a crock pot that is lead-free? The idea of slow cooking in the crock pot is very appealing, but I gave away the crock pot that had been sitting in our pantry forever collecting dust after I started researching the lead factor. Vita Clay and Zisha sound semi-reasonable, but clay doesn't seem like it would be free of other things that might not be good for humans. Cuisinart claims to be lead's hard to tell with the FDA standards and whatnot. Sigh! So many things to consider.

Yum, I might have to have our helpers whip up some mung bean dal for us tonight since we have a new wee person in our house (who arrived safely at home!) and I am no longer cooking everything. :-)

How many ounces is the can of coconut milk that you use? Thanks! Sounds and looks so so great!

I love vegetarian recipes that can be made in the crock pot. I haven't made mung in a long time..

Can't wait to try this! We love mung beans, Indian food - and my slow cooker - Thanks!

Hi Allie,

Do you use the whole green mung beans, or the yellow split mung beans that are used in Indian recipes?

I've found the green mung beans to be strong in flavor and take the same amount of time to cook as other beans, so I'm thinking you might be referring to the split mung beans for this recipe.

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