Hearty Mung Bean Stew With Kale

I’m always looking for new and innovative ways to use beans and lentils, which lead me to this delicious mung bean stew recipe. I love hearty meals, especially in Autumn and Winter.

In all honesty, I only started using mung beans a couple of months ago. I was at my local bulk buying shop to stock up on beans, lentils, grains and nuts and thought I’d give these guys a try.

I’ve been buying staples in bulk much more these days and avoiding the big supermarkets as much as possible to save the amount of plastic I use.

Even our toilet paper is wrapped in plasticโ€”now we’ve switched to Who Gives a Crap! I’ve become so much more conscious of this. So I decided to buy things in my jars directly without having to discard any plastic packaging.

Bit by bit, I’d love to reduce the overall amount of plastic that I bring into the household. Have you got any tips on how to reduce plastics in your house? I would love to hear some more suggestions! I’ll be writing a post on it soon ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Simple, flexible, tasty and heartyโ€”this mung bean stew can easily become a staple in your home.

This mung bean stew is healthy and has lots of wonderful flavours and textures. I love the addition of kale, but you can use spinach instead or leave it out altogether if you don’t have it at home, it’s optional.

The fresh tomatoes can be swapped for half a can of diced tomatoes. I don’t like recipes that restrict you to certain ingredients without alternatives.

If there’s something at home that you don’t have from the ingredients list, think about either substituting it or leaving it out altogether.

I guess this comes with experience in the kitchen and feeling confident to swap things around and/or leaving it out but still achieve a delicious meal.

Do you have to soak mung beans before cooking?

Mung beans are a pretty bean once soaked for a few hours or overnight. I usually soak all beans and legumes to speed up the cooking time. Soaking also helps to break down the beans when digesting.

If I eat beans or anything of that nature that wasn’t soaked first and cooked straight away, I feel really bloated and am in a lot of pain (and I mean A LOT of pain!), and the bonus (just kidding!) is that I also look like I’m six months pregnant!

Mung Bean StewI hope you learn from my mistakes and make sure you always soak them before cooking. Even if it’s for a few hours, trust me, you’ll not regret that extra time.

What are mung beans used for?

As the name suggests, mung beans are part of the bean and legume family. So naturally, you can use them in place of its relatives in curries, stews, soups and salads.

Mung beans are a little bit sweeter in taste and from a quick google search, I found that theyโ€™re quite often mashed up and used as a paste in Asian desserts. Very cool!

Like other legumes, mung beans can be purchased split, whole or sprouted.

Are mung beans good for you?

Mung beans are naturally derived from plants have a host of nutritional benefits including manganese, essential B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, folate, zinc. They also pack quite a punch of protein and dietary fibre.

If you want to know more about the health benefits of mung beans, check out this post by Simple Roots Wellness.

Hearty Mung Bean Stew With Kale

I have this mung bean stew with some beautiful fresh wholemeal bread, and it’s simply to die for. I’m delighted with this recipe, and I hope you enjoy it just as much!

Hearty Mung Bean Stew with Kale
Yield: SERVES 4

Hearty Mung Bean Stew with Kale

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This mung bean stew recipe is healthy and has lots of wonderful flavours and textures. I hope this meal becomes a staple in your house like it has for us!


  • 2 cups of whole mung beans (soaked for at least 3 hrs, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 potatoes (around 300-400 g) - feel free to leave the skin on just make sure you wash them well first, chopped into small cubes (this is to help them cook faster)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Cayenne pepper to desired heat
  • 2 tomatoes, diced or half a can (200 g) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste (optional)
  • 3.5-4 cups water (boiled)
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful coriander, chopped (optional)


  1. Put the beans in a medium saucepan and add water just enough to cover the beans. Place on stove on medium heat and bring to boil. You will probably get some white foam on the top. I normally just scoop that off. Once boiling, let it simmer on low-medium heat for around 15 minutes until all the water has pretty much evaporated and the beans have become soft.
  2. While the beans are cooking, in a large saucepan on low heat, add the oil, onion, garlic and ginger cooking until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add in the potatoes, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper, tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for around 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  4. Add the mung beans and cook for a further 5 minutes to incorporate everything.
  5. Pour in the boiling water and add the kale, stirring for a minute or two. Salt to taste and half cover to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. The best way to check if it's cooked is to try a piece of the potato.
  6. Sprinkle the coriander on top and serve on its own or with a nice thick piece of handmade bread.

Other great hearty recipes for you:

  1. Vegan Black-Eyed Bean Stew
  2. Easy Vegan Brown Lentil Stew
  3. One-Pot French Lentil, Mushroom and Sage Stew
  4. Red Lentil Soup (Vegan)
  5. Anna’s Rustic Eggplant Patties in Tomato Sauce

Interested in more recipes?

Want to get inspired each week with a new vegan recipe using everyday ingredients? Click on the link below to get them straight to your inbox!

  • *Groan*, this looks so hearty and the perfect home dish for the cooling weather. I have a bit of a pet hate for plastic! When we are travelling, I always like to keep some metal cutlery or reusable containers in the car to avoid using plastic cutlery or containers. Bulk buying is great too, especially with those places that allow you bring your own containers. Did you know that you can ‘recycle’ all of your soft plastics at Woolies/Coles?! I think they melt it down and reuse it as outdoor school furniture. Looking forward to your post on plastic xo

    • That’s a great tip Anthea! And I also didn’t know about the soft plastic being repurposed like that, will definitely get involved ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Judy Tripp 02/02/2017 Reply

    Dear Masa: Thank you so much for this recipe, which I found while searching for a way to cook my mung beans. It is simple and although I have not tasted it yet it looks delicious. (I’m afraid I omitted the ginger, I was planning to use some old ginger in powder form but after I had checked it out I was inspired to throw it out!)

  • Elaine 23/02/2017 Reply

    I love mung beans and your recipe sounds delicious. I always use sprouted mung beans because they’re easier to digest. I’ve never used regular mung beans. With that being said, would you omit soaking the beans for 3 hours?

    • So sorry Elaine that I never got back to you! If you’re using sprouted ones then yes you can omit the soaking time.

  • L. Torbati 12/05/2017 Reply

    I decided to try a plant-based diet and wanted to try mung beans in a recipe. I came across this one which appealed to me. I mostly followed the recipe, but added some celery, carrots, and substituted rutabagas for potatoes. I also added a bit of cumin. I let it cook as directed then put in a 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. This stew is simply delicious!! Thank you so much for posting it and giving me a starting point to be creative with it. BTW, I did soak the beans overnight.

  • Peta Power 12/07/2017 Reply

    Thanks for this recipe. I bought mung beans for the first time in years today so needed inspiration for an easy meal.
    If you want to stop using plastic bags at the supermarket I suggest you look up Boomerang bags. Their HQ is on the Gold Coast but they have contacts all over Australia.

  • Cecile Aldersey 13/10/2017 Reply

    Got given some mung beans and looked you up for what to do with them. Thank you, also I knew about the plastic recycling by Coles but did not know what they did/made with it. Didn’t know if the plastic they recycled was All plastic or just special sort, like soft, clingy stuff etc. Anyway they get the lot. Thank you for very interesting info.

    • Glad you now have a recipe to make with them ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, it’s good to know these things to do our bit for the planet.

  • Sarah 13/12/2017 Reply

    Awesome recipe! I used riced cauliflower instead of potatoes!

    • Manon Fielding 04/03/2018 Reply

      Great idea re the cauliflower as I cannot eat regular potatoes! Thanks!

  • Ben 02/02/2018 Reply

    So delicious!
    I used sweet potatoes instead and added a little mushroom broth in place of water. Thanks!

  • Manon Fielding 04/03/2018 Reply

    I made this the other day and was heating it up at work. Everyone loved the aroma so I gave them some to try and they all loved it. It is really good. I’ve been eating it for breakfast somedays! I had read that it was great for appendicitis and mine was slighly inflamed, now it is not.

    • Glad to hear that you and your work colleagues like it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing and happy to hear your better now!

  • Sarah 23/04/2018 Reply

    Thanks for this nourishing recipe! I added some sweet potato along with the potato, and I stirred through some cooked quinoa before serving. Thankyou! My 2yo and 17yo both enjoyed it too!

  • Krista Vanatti 24/04/2018 Reply

    Love this soup! Reminds me of curry. I omitted the tomatoes altogether since they are out of season. Added mushrooms and celery and it’s to die for. Thank you for the guide!

  • Laurie 02/05/2018 Reply

    I added 1 tsp cumin and chopped mushrooms and bell peppers, and replaced the water with 4 cups of mushroom broth and it was delicious. Can you give us a gauge on the nutritional facts for your dish (ex: fat, carbs, calories, etc. etc)? Thank you for the recipe!

    • Sounds like nice additions! ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t normally provide that information, but there are plenty of websites where you can just put in the list of ingredients and it will tell you. Here’s an example.

  • Kelly 18/07/2018 Reply

    Absolutely love this recipe! I’ve never cooked mung beans before so this was the very first recipe I tried with them. It’s now in the meal rotation! Thank you!

    • That’s great to hear Kelly! Sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner. Thank you for the wonderful feedback ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sandra J 17/12/2018 Reply

    I did a search online for mung bean recipes and found yours. I took inventory of the ingredients and read the instructions and went for it! I made some slight changes based on what I had and didn’t have. I made my own veggie broth instead of using boiling water and I also used that same broth to soak, boil and simmer the beans, I had chard instead of kale, and also added a little bit of dandelion greens that I had in the fridge. I also added carrots. I cut the potatoes and carrots in small pieces. I left out tomato paste and coriander since I didn’t have any. I think everything else was based on your recipe. It turned out super tasty! Thank you!

    • Your version sounds delicious too Sandra! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sandra J 17/12/2018 Reply

    Hello again, I wanted to add another note, I too brought some to work, ate it over rice, and a coworker, who is from India, saw it and she thought it was an Indian curry dish and she said it looked really good and healthy. In looking at other posts, its obviously a very adaptable and versatile recipe, a great starting point with what seems to be endless possibilities.

  • Heather 04/03/2019 Reply

    Mineโ€™s simmering on the stove right now, and I canโ€™t wait to eat it! I omitted the tomatoes and cayenne as Iโ€™m allergic, and added ground coriander seed. If I want it thicker at the end, I may add a little canned pumpkin (common sub for tomato paste in soups). Thanks for the recipe!

  • Nina 05/03/2019 Reply

    I made this stew last night (with very minimal adjustments), and I’m currently eating leftovers for lunch at my desk. It was good last night, but it’s PERFECT today. I will definitely be making this again!!

  • Wendy 09/05/2019 Reply

    I’m making this for the third time having previously stumbled upon this recipe when looking for a way to use a glut of mung beans. Today’s is sans potato but otherwise as per recipe. It’s very tasty and adaptable. My tip: Try it with some raita on top!

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoy it Wendy! Thanks for sharing your tip, sounds delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  • jay 06/08/2019 Reply

    YUM!! I bought some mung beans….they’re split mung beans so it also cut’s cook time ๐Ÿ™‚ A tip I’ve always used for beans(especially if I forget to soak overnight) is bring beans to a boil the take off heat and soak for 1-3 hrs(depending on the beans).

    I’m one of those weird people who can’t have coriander because it takes like soap lol. So i used some parsley and bock choy.
    Thanks for another yummy recipe!

    • Thank you for your wonderful tips, Jay! I’ll try that technique if I forget to soak overnight ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the recipe with your tweaks.

  • Erin 13/09/2019 Reply

    I’m getting ready to make this for the 2nd time and it’s such a good recipe that I just had to leave a comment. Such a hearty, satisfying dish that seemed to taste better by the day.

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