Growing up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Mug Nu Pani or a thin soup made with whole green moong beans used to be the antidote to any and every ailment.
Feeling weak? Have Mug Nu Pani.
Broken bones? Give some Mug Nu Pani to the infirm.
Recovering from a fever? Nothing like Mug Nu Pani to bring back the lost strength.
Suffering from a broken heart? Some Mug Nu Pani will comfort him/her like nothing else.
You get the drift, right? No wonder Mug Nu Pani spells out comfort food, heartiness and recovery to me!
I love Mug Nu Pani, sick or not. A Gujarati neighbour of ours taught me how to make it, years ago, and I have been hooked to it ever since. It has saved my soul several times over, growing up, and still continues to do so.
To the uninitiated, a thin moong bean soup might sound very meh and uninteresting. Let me quickly assure you that this soup is anything but meh. At least, the Gujarati style of preparation makes this soup far from bland and dull. Mug Nu Pani is, in fact, quite a delicious soup, one choc-a-bloc with nutrition. It works wonders for the aged and infirm, growing children, and those who need a pick-me-up on a gloomy day. It isn’t very difficult to make, either.
Now, let’s check out the recipe for Mug Nu Pani aka Moong Bean Soup, the way that neighbour of mine taught me to make it.
Ingredients (makes 4-5 servings):
- 1/2 cup whole green moong
- Salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander (dhania) powder, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) powder, or to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped coriander leaves
- 1 teaspoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 2 generous pinches asafoetida (hing)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
1. Soak the moong beans for at least 8 hours or overnight, in just enough water to cover them entirely.
2. When the beans are done soaking, drain out all the water from them. Add in enough fresh water to completely cover them, and pressure cook them for 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
3. Meanwhile, chop the coriander finely, and keep aside. Peel the garlic and chop very finely. Keep aside.
4. When all the pressure from the cooker has gone down, get the cooked moong beans out. Mash them well with a masher.
5. Add a little fresh water to the vessel. Use your hands to mash the cooked moong beans further, extracting the flesh from them.
6. Again, add a little fresh water. Mash the cooked moong beans and extract the flesh from them. Repeat this process 3-4 times, until all the flesh from the moong beans has been extracted.
7. Now, discard the spent cooked moong beans. Strain the residual liquid using a fine strainer.
8. Take the liquid in a saucepan and place it on high heat. Add in salt and pepper powder. Allow it to come to a boil.
9. While the liquid is coming to a boil, we will prepare the tempering for the soup. For this, heat the ghee in a small pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add in the cumin, finely chopped garlic and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Add this tempering to the soup when it is about to come to a boil.
10. Add coriander powder and cumin powder to the soup at this stage. Mix well.
11. When the Moong Bean Soup comes to a boil, reduce the flame to medium. Let the soup simmer for a minute, and then switch off the heat.
12. Mix in lemon juice and finely chopped coriander. Serve the Moong Bean Soup hot.
- To make the cumin powder, dry roast some cumin seeds in a pan on high flame, till they begin to emit a lovely fragrance. Ensure that they do not burn. Let them cool down entirely, and then grind into a powder in a mixer. Store in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and use as needed. I make this powder in small batches every two weeks or so and use as and when I need it, in my daily cooking.
- To make the coriander powder, dry roast some coriander seeds (dhania) on high flame in a pan, till they begin to emit a nice fragrance. Ensure that they do not burn. Allow the coriander seeds to cool down completely, then grind into a powder in a mixer. This powder too can be made in small batches, and used in day-to-day cooking, as and when needed.
- This soup is supposed to be watery, not too watery, but definitely not thick. Use a fine strainer to remove any residual boiled green moong solids, for best results.
- Adjust the quantity of salt, black pepper powder, coriander powder, lemon juice and cumin powder you use in the soup, as per personal taste preferences.
- You may omit adding the finely chopped garlic to the soup, if you so prefer. Personally, though, I love it in the soup – I think it adds a lovely touch to it.
- To make the black pepper powder, just grind black peppercorns to a powder, using a mixer.
- Mash the cooked moong beans while they are still hot, just out of the cooker. This way, you will be able to extract maximum flesh out of them.
- After mashing the cooked moong beans once, you need to add fresh water to them little by little a little, 3-4 times, mashing the beans with your hands, extracting more flesh from them. In all, you’ll be adding about 1 cup of water at this stage. More than that, and the soup might get too watery.
- Some people pressure cook the moong beans, let them cool down, then blitz them in a mixer or hand blender, then strain the water and go on to prepare the soup as above.
- After extracting all the flesh from the cooked moong beans, all that remains is the husk, which you would be discarding. Hence, you need not worry about any loss of nutrition by doing so.
- Haven’t soaked green moong beans, but still want to make this soup? Well, you can. Just add about 1-1/2 cups of water to 1/2 cup whole moong beans, pop them in the pressure cooker, and give them 12-15 whistles – basically, blow them to smithereens. Once the pressure comes down entirely, mash the cooked moong beans and proceed to make the soup as above.
Did you like this recipe for Mug Nu Paani? Do tell me, in your comments!
This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Bean Power’, wherein the members are cooking delicious recipes using different types of whole beans.