Sweet Mung Bean Porridge

(Photo by Haley GR/Flickr)


Serves 6.

300 g/10 oz green mung beans
500 ml/1 pint/2 cups water
2 slices ginger or 2 strips pandan leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
400 ml/14 fl oz can coconut milk
125 g/4 oz palm sugar or brown sugar


Pick over the beans for any stones. Wash well and drain. Put beans into a saucepan with the measured water, ginger or pandan, and salt. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until water has been absorbed. Mix 1 cup of the canned coconut milk with an equal amount of water and add to pan. Bring to the boil once more, add palm sugar and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until mung beans are very soft, adding more hot water if necessary. The consistency should be that of a thin porridge. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Combine remaining undiluted coconut milk with a pinch of salt. Serve porridge warm or at room temperature, and top each bowl with a little of the thick coconut milk.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)