Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Moong Bean-Plantain Curry

Did you see Stephen Colbert on C-span’s televised Correspondents’ Dinner, last Sunday night? His comedy skit was breathtaking in its boldness. Charming, clear and ironically straightforward – his comic delivery was a sight to behold. Finally it took a pretend journalist to state the obvious – the little emperor has no clothes and of course that made the ‘real’ journalists and the guest of honor spitting mad. If you enjoy political satire or like Colbert style, don’t miss out his stellar performance and checkout this site for transcript and video link. One has to admire his chutzpah.

Coming back to cooking, here is a traditional recipe where plantain and moong beans are cooked together in water and seasoned with green chilli-coconut paste. Rural in origin and often served with sorghum roti, this favorite curry of mine is a hearty, flavorful and filling meal, also one of the ways that I cook plantains aka green bananas.

Plantain cut into cubes, Moong beans soaked, green chilli-coconut paste
Presoaked Whole Moong Beans, Green Chilli-Coconut Paste and Plantain cubes


1 plantain (green banana), peeled and cubed
2 cups of presoaked whole moong beans (soaked in water overnight)
6-8 green chillies
1 tablespoon of finely sliced fresh coconut
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
½ to 1 teaspoon of salt
For popu
1 tsp of mustard seeds, cumin, few pieces of dried red chilli and curry leaves

Take the presoaked whole moong beans, about 2 cups in a big vessel. Add 4 cups of water, quarter teaspoon of salt and cook them covered on medium-high heat for about 15 minutes undisturbed. Presoaked moong beans cook easily and can be done without using the pressure-cooker. It tastes somuch better cooked in this old style. Meanwhile do the prep work. Peel and cut plantain and make a smooth paste of green chillies-coconut.

After 15 minutes of cooking, check the moong beans. They must be tender by now. Add plantain cubes, turmeric and also water if needed. Cover and cook them on medium heat again for another 10 minutes. Plantains cook fast unlike potatoes and by the end 10 to 15 minutes of cooking, plantain cubes will be tender and the moong beans will be falling apart. That’s what we want. At this stage, stir in green chilli-coconut paste and cook for another 5 minutes.

Just before turning off the heat, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in small vessel, add and toast the popu or tadka ingredients. Add this to the curry and stir. Turn off the heat. Serve and enjoy the best tasting curry, the kind you’d find in a humble Indian home (never in a restaurant). Usually served with chapati, sorghum roti or with rice.

Moong Bean-Plantain Curry with Chapatis
Moong Bean-Plantain Curry with Chapatis ~ Our Simple Lunch

Kitchen Notes:
Prepare the curry little bit on the watery side.
The gravy of this curry comes from watery, overcooked moong beans and the greenchilli-coconut paste.
I’ve also added one banana pepper to this curry.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Arati Kaaya (Plantain),Moong Dal (whole) (Friday May 5, 2006 at 1:48 pm- permalink)
Comments (29)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

29 comments for Moong Bean-Plantain Curry »

  1. Hi indira,

    This is really a new stuff… have never had plantains with moong !!! have tried quite a few recipes from ur site and have got raving reviews for the same. Thank you for sharing traditional andhra recipes… each one is a keeper..

    keep up the good work.

    Comment by Annu — May 5, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

  2. Thanks Annu. This is one of my favorite way of cooking green bananas. Give it a try and let me know how you like it. thanks.

    Comment by Indira — May 5, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

  3. Hai Indira,
    Looks yum. Going to try definitely.

    Indira replies:
    Let me know how it turns out, thanks Srivani.

    Comment by srivani — May 5, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

  4. hi Indira,

    Its a great recipe indeed!! we keralites prepare the same curry to go with puttu!But we are coconut and jeera paste and slit green chillies. I want to try this one..!!


    Indira replies:
    That sounds good, Aparna. Thanks for sharing.
    We, from Nandyala, often have it with sorghum roti and also prepare this same type of curry with potatoes. Tastes real good.

    Comment by Aparna — May 5, 2006 @ 2:24 pm

  5. Hi Indira,
    Nice side dish for chapathi and hot rice. I will try this and tell you soon,Indira. OOPS, yesterday I missed “t” in the word hosting.

    Indira replies:
    I can eat this curry cups and cups just on its own. Love it. Try it Vineela, very easy to prepare and tastes superb.
    No problem, spell mistakes are common with me too.:)

    Comment by vineela krishna — May 5, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

  6. I love Raw banana, and this looks yummy Indira!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Veda.

    Comment by CurryInAHurry — May 5, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

  7. never tried the combination of plantains and moong. this is completely new to me.
    nice recipe.

    Indira replies:
    Plantains, moong bean combination tastes great, give it a try, Lakshmi. I am sure you are going to like it.:)

    Comment by lakshmi — May 5, 2006 @ 3:04 pm

  8. Hi, Indira !
    This recipe is new for me too. Looks yummy……..I will definitely try this..
    Padma from Florida..

    Indira replies:
    You are welcome, Padma. Let me know how you like it, thanks.

    Comment by Padma Prakash — May 5, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

  9. My MIL makes something very similar to this. I think this is called “mezhuku puratti” in palakkad regional cooking. She puts both the moong and plantain together in the pressure cooker.

    How do you get your chilli and coconut to a paste with so little water?? just amazing ๐Ÿ™‚


    Indira replies:
    See, I thought this curry is unique to my region. Few other commentators also mentioned the same thing. What a surprise, learning new things from blogging.:)
    My sumeet mixie is not working, and for this paste I used the coffee grinder. Cut green chillies, grated the fresh coconut and finely grinded them in coffee grinder, without adding water. For small quantity, it works fine.

    Comment by Saffron Hut — May 5, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

  10. Hi Indira, interesting post – one of my Bengali friends had another twist to the above combination. She would grind the raw, sprouted moong along with the boiled raw banana and other spices, make koftas and fry them and serve them in gravy. That works very well too – actually, the patties themselves are quite tasty even without the gravy.

    Indira replies:
    What an interesting recipe, thanks for sharing Vidya.
    I’ve also another recipe for banana kofta curry and I use cashews instead of moong in my version. It’s almost like malai kofta but prepared with raw bananas.

    Comment by Vidya — May 5, 2006 @ 3:46 pm

  11. I’m a huge fan of the daily show and the entire gang. Stephen Colbert was just plain brilliant. He has razor sharp wit and its such a shame that the mainstream media all but ignored his coverage.
    Anyway, coming to the plantain curry, this is a new one for me. I usually just stir fry them with popu and onions. And almost invariably they turn into rubbery rock solid chunks. And ideas to rectify that?

    Indira replies:
    Their thinking is if they cover it up with enough dirt, no one can smell it, I guess. Thank God for the free internet and bloggers.
    I know, I’ve also the same problem with dry saute type of plantain curry. The only solution is eat right out of the pan, finish it off before it’s cools down. That’s the only thing I’ve been following. No other trick works for it. The plantains are like this here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Kiran — May 5, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

  12. This sounds interesting…I like the flaky taste of moong beans…
    I tried your brinjal-ginger was a hit with rice, dal and ghee….felt like I was back home.
    Thank You.

    Indira replies:
    You are welcome, Nabeela.
    “felt like I was back home”… Where are you from?

    Comment by Nabeela — May 5, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

  13. haha..Thanks for that Colbert link. That was really great! Wow! I didnt know you could talk like that to a President in this ‘free’ country!
    This the first time I have seen anything like this.

    Indira replies:
    This was the first time, he faced something like that. No wonder he got angry and left the party early. He acts like murdering, alcoholic, little sissy dictator.
    Did you check the video, beautiful to watch.

    Comment by L.G — May 5, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

  14. Hi Indira,
    I just love your blog! You really do make Indian home cooking seem accessible to novices like myself. I actually stumbled onto your website when I was looking for info on dosas and idlies. I go to school at NYU, and there’s a wonderful Dosa Guy who mans his lunch cart right by Washington Square Park. Needless to say, I’ve been getting more than my fill of delicious south indian style treats recently. Though I’ll be sad to leave Thiru and his tasty lunches, I can’t wait to try and make some idlies myself over the summer thanks to your dummy-proof instructions! Thanks again~

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Sue for your nice words about my blog.
    Yum, dosa and idlies fresh from the stall, particularly during winter times. Lucky you and I am jealous. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Sue — May 5, 2006 @ 6:41 pm

  15. Hi Indira, we make this recipe often at home. I love this combo of moong dal and raw banana.This is famous in Kerala.I like this recipe more with rice than chapati’s.

    Indira replies:
    See, I didn’t know that before. I thought the recipe is unique to my home. ๐Ÿ™‚
    We usually have it with sorghum roti, often prepare it with potatoes also. Little bit of ghee and hot roti and this curry – my favorite breakfast growing up. My mom prepares it during summer holidays, so that we’d shutup and stop nagging her for snacks/food until afternoon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Priya — May 5, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

  16. Wow! I have never made moong bean with plantains. We all love moong beans, and its my daughter’s favorite beans! Sometimes she will say “mom, can you cook some of my favorite beans?” But she just loves it boiled with salt and butter. So I always keep her portion non-spicy.
    Did you grind your coconut using an ammikkal?

    Indira replies:
    What a darling daughter you have!:)
    Me too, growing up, moong beans are my favorite kind of dal. My mom prepares a watery soup with them, I’ve already blogged the recipe. Yellow moong dal, little bit of garlic, red chilli powder and lots of water. Ghee tadka for delicious soup/rasam.
    I used the coffee grinder this time. finely chopped green chillies, grated some fresh coconut and grinded to smooth paste using coffee grinder.

    Comment by RP — May 5, 2006 @ 7:07 pm

  17. idi naaku chaala kotta recipe Indira.
    Never heard abt green banana and moong dal together.

    Indira replies:
    Maa ammamma, mariyu attayya chestaaru, ee kura nu, Santhi. Chaala ruchiga untindi mariyu sulabhamu cheyadamu kuda.

    Comment by Santhi — May 5, 2006 @ 10:54 pm

  18. Absolutely new recipe to me.Interesting combo.I am going to try it,Indira.Nice recipe!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Sailaja

    Comment by sailaja — May 6, 2006 @ 11:52 am

  19. Indira, I had some chilli-coconut paste till yesterday, and I used it in a simple cauliflower curry to use it up. And now I read this! But next time. I need to get plantains, and so I’ll get some fresh coconut also.
    You could also sprout the beans first and then use, no? I am in a big sprouting frenzy nowadays.

    Indira replies:
    I’ve prepared this curry two days in a row. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thursday with soaked moong beans and on Friday with sprouted ones. Last weekend I’ve purchased 3 plantains, couldn’t think of what to do with them so went with this old classic. We both love this curry.
    Sprouted moong beans are fine too. They taste even better, if you ask me.:)
    What else are you sprouting?

    Comment by desiknitter — May 6, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

  20. Hi Indira
    Thanks for adding me to your bloglist.

    Indira replies:
    You are welcome, Revathi. Its my pleasure.
    You have a way with words and I enjoy my visits to your site. Keep up! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Revathi — May 6, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

  21. This recipe is new to me. Great recipe, this joins my must try list. Thanks Indira.

    Indira replies:
    This is my ammamma and attaya’s recipe, Arjuna. Give it a try, I’m sure you are going to like it.

    Comment by Arjuna — May 6, 2006 @ 7:08 pm

  22. God bless Stephen Colbert, Patron Saint of Truthiness!!

    And thanks for the platanos recipe. I’ve only ever made them using Caribbean recipes (tostones, mofongo, etc).

    Comment by Susan in Italy — May 7, 2006 @ 10:30 am

  23. I have never even seen a moong bean. Maybe I will look for it now.

    Comment by Gabriella True — May 7, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

  24. Indira, I sprouted matki and white vatana (peas). Basically just to give it a more healthy twist. I used the Vatana to make “ragda patties”: you make an alu tikki (or buy from neighbourhood desi store, like i did!), make the vatana curry with onion-ginger-garlic, tamarind-gud, maharashtrian goda masala and red chillis and salt, pour the ragda on the tikki, then sprinkle fresh chopped coriander and onion on top. has a nice ragda/beans curry recipe.

    Btw, I really like the name Kittayya!

    Indira replies:
    Ragda patties sound wonderful and I’ve bought some baby alus from local farmer/flea market last Sunday. I also have the goda masala, Veena of AS, kindly sent me few months ago. Certainly will try your recipe, also will check the mumbai-masala site for detailed recipe. Thanks DK.
    I’ve never prepared ragda patties at home before, this is going to be my first time.

    Comment by desiknitter — May 8, 2006 @ 9:20 am

  25. I’m from Hyderabad, and my husband is from Guntur.

    Comment by Nabeela — May 8, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

  26. hey indra, i tried this recepie…from many dayd i am looking farward to cook aratikaya differently….its so yummy.thanks for ur great recepie and excellent pictures which made me try this recepie.thank uu soo much

    Comment by anu — September 20, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

  27. Hi Indira,
    I loved your banana and moong recipe… moong with its earthy texture is my favourite lentil, especially when cooked through but whole.
    I cook Whole moong in a North Indian way, very simply with lots of chopped ginger and and green chillies,a bay leaf, then season with jeera, more chopped green chillies/dried red chillies, either chopped garlic or a dash of hing.
    Different versions each time, and a squeeze of lime.

    Comment by Anita — October 24, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

  28. Incidentally, what do you call buckwheat and rye in Hindi? Is buckwheat the same as kottu?

    Comment by Anita — October 24, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

  29. […] ร‚ย The recipe for this has been adapted from Indiraรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs Moong Bean Plaintain curry. ร‚ย I love cooked plantain and also cooked moong beans, but hitherto this recipe I had no idea of combining them together for making this delicious curry. I chose Azuki bean/Red Chori instead of Moong bean and made little changes to the masala. This goes well with rice chapathis or Rotis. […]

    Pingback by RedChillies - Red Chori Plantain Curry — December 18, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

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