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Jan 6, 2008 11:58 AM

Soaking Mung Dal/Mung beans - question for tonight's dinner ....

I'm going to make a recipe from "Week In, Week Out" (Simon Hopkinson) tonight called "Fragrant Duck 'pilaf'". The pilaf is actually mung dal - which it says to rinse and drain. This gets baked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. However, my bag from Kalustyan's says to soak for 4 hours before use. So - should I be soaking these even though the recipe doesn't call for it?


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  1. Well, I didn't soak them and they were a bit hard, so I removed the duck and cooked a bit longer on the stove top. Did notice that my beans were green, and the ones in the photo were yellow, so I may need to track down different ones next time.

    1. Mung beans come whole, split, or skinless. Yours were...?

      6 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Whole. Bag says:

        Moong Whole
        Mung/Moong Bean
        Green Gram

        Photos of beans I used, finished product and closeup of photo from the book. Sorry for poor quality of the later.

        Maybe I should have been using split ones?

        1. re: MMRuth

          Looks like I should have used these - from the Kalustyans website:

          Moong Dal
          Hulled & Split Mung/ Moong Bean And They Are Flat, Small , Golden Yellow, And Quick Cooking.No Soaking Required And EasyTo Cook, Have Delicate Mild Taste And Easy To Digest. Becomes Glutinous And Thick Puree To Make Dal Soups, Stews & Sauces.Used For Special Dish Called Khichdi (Rice & Moong Dal mix) And Cooked As Dal Or Fried For Delicious Snacks.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Yes, hulled and split would have done the trick. Unlike MN, I don't soak these.

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Thanks - now I know and will pick some up. At least I used up those moong beans - no idea what I bought them for in the first place - probably tempted by the pretty green color.

          2. re: MMRuth

            I've been soaking dried unhulled mung beans over night. They are still hard and have not absorbed any liquid. I previously soaked mung beans from this bag, with the result that they absorbed the water and softened. Any idea why this second attempt has failed? I'm new to using dried beans

            1. re: PDB

              How old is the dahl, and what's the recipe you're trying to prepare it for?

        2. Regardless of whether or not a recipe calls for it, you should soak the beans as it helps to get rid of the phytic acid. Phytic acid is a strong chelator of a lot of minerals.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            Thanks - good to know. For some reason I thought of these more as lentils than beans - my mistake. Should lentils be soaked for the same reason?

            1. re: MMRuth

              You're welcome. Phytic acid is in all legumes, some more than others. Soybeans have a really high amount of phytic acid and should not be consumed unless processed in some way to make it more digestible -- tofu, soy sauce, etc.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Hi there, you seem to know your beans! Could you advise me if ive just ruined my vegetable soup?! Iv had it going for 9hrs in a slow cooker and as i thought it was lacking in legumes i just poured a couple of cups of dried hulled mung dal straight into the mix, stirred and left! I have also presumed they were like lentils (im with you on that one MMRuth!) and just dumped them in without thinking! Im planning on slow cooking the soup for at least another 6hrs, will this get rid of the phytic acid or will I have to start the whole soup again (i dont want to poisen any of my guests!!)

                1. re: steeny71

                  For some reason, cooking doesn't seem to get rid of the phytic acid as well as soaking them. But I'm sure a bit of phytic acid won't hurt anyone. My family always had a bowl of soaking beans going on all the time (we ate a lot of beans) but I don't. There have been plenty of times where I wanted beans but didn't have the time to soak. So I would just dump the stuff in at the end (works with things like lentils; will not work with legumes like garbonzos). Mung dal cooks pretty quickly (especially if they're hulled). So I think you'll be fine. And, no, phytic acid isn't poisonous.

              2. re: MMRuth

                Lentils do not need to be soaked at all.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  If you're talking about whether or not lentils can be cooked without soaking -- you're right, lentils do not need to be soaked. If you're talking about increasing the bioavailability of nutrients -- yes, soaking lentils decreases the amount of phytic acid.

            2. Actually mung dal comes in two forms, green and skinned yellow.
              The green ones, with skin, need to be soaked overnight or at least four hours.
              The yellow mung dal do not need soaking. But if one wants them to remain separate after cooking, then they are soaked twenty minutes and cooked in minimum water till just done..
              If one wants to majke a batter for mung dal pancakes, then one soaks the yellow dal for not more than three hours before grinding.