While herbs and teas may come to mind when thinking of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian style of medicine is actually much more; it is a way of life and being. The literal translation of Ayurveda is “Life Science,” the main goal of which is to live as healthy as possible by maintaining the mind-body connection. Through Ayurveda, some of the simplest aspects of life correlate to how the mind and body intertwine. Digestion and diet are two ways that lifestyle affects Ayurveda.
Mung dal is a bean that is commonly served in ayurvedic dishes. Mung beans are boiled and stripped of their outer coats in the production process. However, they still retain a high nutrient content. Roughly a quarter cup of mung dal has 7 grams of protein, which provides more protein than a large egg. The same portion contains 5 grams of fiber, 0 grams of fat and only 100 calories. With high iron content and the presence of vitamin C (which helps with iron absorption) it is a healthy option for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike. The digestion of mung dal is relatively easy on the stomach as well making it an important ayurvedic staple. Compared to other beans, mung dal is believed to create less gas and cause less abdominal bloating. By soaking mung dal prior to cooking, gas production can be further decreased.
Cooking with Mung Dal
Mung dal can be used in soups, appetizers, entrees and even desserts. It is a versatile bean similar in taste and texture to lentils and split peas. A traditional ayurvedic dish is khichri, which pairs mung dal and basmati rice with flavorful Indian spices. Stir frying mung dal with vegetables, turmeric, cumin and herbs is another common recipe. One of the most important underlying themes of ayerveda is to go with the flow. Whether that means following a recipe or using whatever is in the pantry, mung dal is a delicious addition to any meal.
Mung dal is available in the Banyan Botanicals product line at Peoples South and Central locations.
by Erin Lyon, Wellness Specialist.