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Green gram

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Green gram

Mung bean
Mung beans
Dried and opened Mung bean pod
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Vigna
Species: V. radiata
Binomial name
Vigna radiata
(L.) R. Wilczek

Phaseolus aureus Roxb.

Mature seeds, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,452 kJ (347 kcal)
Carbohydrates 62.62 g
- Sugars 6.6 g
- Dietary fiber 16.3 g
Fat 1.15 g
Protein 23.86 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.621 mg (54%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.233 mg (19%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 2.251 mg (15%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.91 mg (38%)
Vitamin B6 0.382 mg (29%)
Folate (vit. B9) 625 μg (156%)
Vitamin C 4.8 mg (6%)
Vitamin E 0.51 mg (3%)
Vitamin K 9 μg (9%)
Calcium 132 mg (13%)
Iron 6.74 mg (52%)
Magnesium 189 mg (53%)
Manganese 1.035 mg (49%)
Phosphorus 367 mg (52%)
Potassium 1246 mg (27%)
Zinc 2.68 mg (28%)
USDA Nutrient Database
Mature seeds, sprouted, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 126 kJ (30 kcal)
Carbohydrates 5.94 g
- Sugars 4.13 g
- Dietary fiber 1.8 g
Fat 0.18 g
Protein 3.04 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.084 mg (7%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.124 mg (10%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.749 mg (5%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.38 mg (8%)
Vitamin B6 0.088 mg (7%)
Folate (vit. B9) 61 μg (15%)
Vitamin C 13.2 mg (16%)
Vitamin E 0.1 mg (1%)
Vitamin K 33 μg (31%)
Calcium 13 mg (1%)
Iron 0.91 mg (7%)
Magnesium 21 mg (6%)
Manganese 0.188 mg (9%)
Phosphorus 54 mg (8%)
Potassium 149 mg (3%)
Zinc 0.41 mg (4%)
USDA Nutrient Database
Boiled mung beans
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 441 kJ (105 kcal)
Carbohydrates 19.15 g
- Sugars 2 g
- Dietary fiber 7.6 g
Fat 0.38 g
Protein 7.02 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.164 mg (14%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.061 mg (5%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.577 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.41 mg (8%)
Vitamin B6 0.067 mg (5%)
Folate (vit. B9) 159 μg (40%)
Vitamin C 1 mg (1%)
Vitamin E 0.15 mg (1%)
Vitamin K 2.7 μg (3%)
Calcium 27 mg (3%)
Iron 1.4 mg (11%)
Magnesium 48 mg (14%)
Manganese 0.298 mg (14%)
Phosphorus 99 mg (14%)
Potassium 266 mg (6%)
Zinc 0.84 mg (9%)
USDA Nutrient Database

The mung or moong bean[1] (also known as green gram or golden gram) is the seed of Vigna radiata,[2][3] native to the Indian subcontinent,[4] and mainly cultivated in India, China, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, but also in hot and dry regions of Southern Europe and the Southern United States.[2] It is used as an ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes. It is known by other names such as pasi payaru in Tamil, cherru payaru in Malayalam, Hesaru Bele in Kannada and pesarlu in Telugu.


The English word mung derives from the Tamil word முங்கு mūngu[5] and/or Sanskrit word मुद्ग (mudga).


The mung bean is one of many species recently moved from the genus Phaseolus to Vigna, and is still often seen incorrectly cited as Phaseolus aureus or Phaseolus radiatus.


Mung beans are commonly used in various cuisines across Asia.

Whole beans and mung bean paste

Whole cooked mung beans are generally prepared from dried beans by boiling until they are soft. Mung beans are light yellow in colour when their skins are removed.[2] Mung bean paste can be made by dehulling, cooking, and pulverizing the beans to a dry paste.[2]

Although whole mung beans are also occasionally used in Indian cuisine, beans without skins are more commonly used; but in Kerala, whole mung beans are commonly boiled to make a dry preparation often served with rice gruel (kanji). Dehulled mung beans can also be used in a similar fashion as whole beans for the purpose of making sweet soups. Mung beans in some regional cuisines of India are stripped of their outer coats to make mung dal. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, steamed whole beans are seasoned with spices and fresh grated coconut in a preparation called sundal. In south and north Indian states, mung beans are also eaten as pancakes. They are soaked in water for six to 12 hours (the higher the temperature, the lesser soaking time). Then they are ground into fine paste along with ginger and salt. Then pancakes are made on a very hot griddle. These are usually eaten for breakfast. This provides high quality protein that is rare in most Indian regional cuisines. Pongal or kichdi is another recipe that is made with rice and mung beans without skin. In Kerala, it is commonly used to make the parippu preparation in the Travancore region (unlike Cochin and Malabar, where toor dal, tuvara parippu, is used). It is also used, with coconut milk and jaggery, to make a type of payasam.

In Chinese cuisine, whole mung beans are used to make a tángshuǐ, or dessert, otherwise literally translated, "sugar water", called lǜdòu tángshuǐ, which is served either warm or chilled. In Indonesia, they are made into a popular dessert snack called es kacang hijau, which has the consistency of a porridge. The beans are cooked with sugar, coconut milk, and a little ginger.

In Hong Kong, dehulled mung beans and mung bean paste are made into ice cream or frozen ice pops.[2] Mung bean paste is used as a common filling for Chinese mooncakes in East China and Taiwan.[2] Also in China, the boiled and shelled beans are used as filling in glutinous rice dumplings eaten during the dragon boat festival (端午节).[2] The beans may also cooked until soft, blended into a liquid, sweetened, and served as a beverage, popular in many parts of China.

In the Philippines, a savory dish called ginisang monggo (known in English as 'sautéed mung bean', 'mung bean stew', or 'mung bean soup'), also known as mongo guisado or simply balatong/monggos, is made of whole mung beans with shrimp or fish. It is traditionally served on Friday evenings, as the majority of the Filipino population are Roman Catholic and abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent. Ginisang monggo can also be made with chicken or pork.

Mung bean paste is also a common filling of pastries known as hopia (or bakpia) popular in Indonesia, the Philippines and further afield in Guyana (known as black eye cake) and originating from southern China.

Bean sprouts

Mung bean sprouts are germinated by leaving them in water for four hours of daytime light and spending the rest of the day in the dark. Mung bean sprouts can be grown under artificial light for four hours over the period of a week. They are usually simply called "bean sprouts". However, when bean sprouts are called for in recipes, it generally refers to mung bean or soybean sprouts.

Mung bean sprouts are stir-fried as a Chinese vegetable accompaniment to a meal, usually with garlic, ginger, spring onions, or pieces of salted dried fish to add flavour. Uncooked bean sprouts are used in filling for Vietnamese spring rolls, as well as a garnish for phở. They are a major ingredient in a variety of Malaysian and Peranakan cuisine, including char kway teow, hokkien mee, mee rebus, and pasembor. In Korea, slightly cooked mung bean sprouts, called sukjunamul (hangul: 숙주나물), are often served as a side dish. They are blanched (placed into boiling water for less than a minute), immediately cooled in cold water, and mixed with sesame oil, garlic, salt, and often other ingredients. In the Philippines, mung bean sprouts are made into lumpia rolls called lumpiang togue.

In northern China and Korea, soybean sprouts, called kongnamul (hangul: 콩나물) in Korean, are more widely used in a variety of dishes.


Mung bean starch, which is extracted from ground mung beans, is used to make transparent cellophane noodles (also known as bean thread noodles, bean threads, glass noodles, fensi (粉絲), tung hoon (冬粉), miến, bún tàu, or bún tào). Cellophane noodles become soft and slippery when they are soaked in hot water. A variation of cellophane noodles, called mung bean sheets or green bean sheets, are also available. In Korea, a jelly called nokdumuk (hangul: 녹두묵; also called cheongpomuk; hangul: 청포묵) is made from mung bean starch; a similar jelly, colored yellow with the addition of gardenia coloring, is called hwangpomuk (hangul: 황포묵). In northern China, mung bean jelly is called liangfen (凉粉, meaning chilled bean jelly), which is very popular food during summer. Jidou liangfen is another flavor of mung bean jelly food in Yunnan, in southern China.

The starch of mung beans is also extracted from them to make jellies and "transparent" or "cellophane" noodles. Mung batter is used to make crepes named pesarattu in Andhra Pradesh, India.

History of domestication and cultivation

File:Mung bean germination.ogv

The mung bean was domesticated in Mongolia, where its progenitor (Vigna radiata subspecies sublobata) occurs wild.[6][7] Archaeological evidence has turned up carbonized mung beans on many sites in India.[8] Areas with early finds include the eastern zone of the Harappan civilization in Punjab and Haryana, where finds date back about 4500 years, and South India in the modern state of Karnataka where finds date back more than 4000 years. Some scholars therefore infer two separate domestications in the northwest and south of India. In South India there is evidence for evolution of larger-seeded mung beans 3500 to 3000 years ago.[7] By about 3500 years ago mung beans were widely cultivated throughout India. Cultivated mung beans later spread from India to China and Southeast Asia. Archaeobotanical research at the site of Khao Sam Kaeo in southern Thailand indicates that mung beans had arrived in Thailand by at least 2200 years ago.[9] Finds on Pemba Island indicate that during the era of Swahili trade, in the 9th or 10th century, mung beans also came to be cultivated in Africa.[10]

Common names

Mung beans are known under a variety of names in different languages:

Mung bean sprouts are known as the following:

  • Burmese: pe ti pin pauk (ပဲတီပင်ပေါက်)
  • Chinese: 芽菜 (Pinyin: yácài, Jyutping: ngaa4coi3, means "sprout vegetable"), or 银芽/銀芽 (Pinyin: yínyá, Jyutping: ngan4ngaa4, means "silver sprouts"), and 豆芽 (Pinyin: dòuyá, Jyutping: dau6ngaa4)
  • Dutch: tauge
  • Cebuano: togé
  • Hokkien: tāu-gê
  • Indonesian: tauge or kecambah
  • Japanese: もやし (moyashi, means "sprouted")
  • Korean: sukju namul
  • Malay: tauge
  • Singlish: tauge
  • Sinhala: mung biija (මුo බීජ)
  • Spanish: frijolitos chinos or diente de dragón
  • Tagalog: togue
  • Thai: thua-ngok (ถั่วงอก)
  • Turkish: "mash filizi" (maş)
  • Vietnamese: giá đậu or giá đỗ
  • Sindhi: Mungh(منڱ)'

See also


External links

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