Mung beans and potatoes (Mash wbatata)

mung beans potato dish

On a job assignment recently, I met a group of people who all worked for the same company (a mega chain of restaurants and hotels in the Middle-East); they were all native Lebanese, but each one came from a different region. One (the chef) was from Akkar in the North, another was from the South, etc. I asked them what kinds of foods they ate growing up. Each had completely different recollections; in fact, neither had ever tasted the foods that the other had experienced. (One even described homemade pasta with savory sauces called macaroons that is widespread in the country as a sweet donut!). Lebanon is a tiny country (smaller than Connecticut) yet the diversity here is astounding.

Here is one example of a dish I heard about and read about and had to search high and low all over the markets in Beirut for one of its component: Mung beans! Apparently mung beans are consumed in the North but are very hard to find in the capital. This dish is as rustic as it gets. Mung beans are cooked in water and potatoes are added halfway through. Flavor comes at the end by mixing the two with fried onions and adding salt and black pepper. 

Recipe is an adaptation of Chef Ramzi’s Min Turath Lubnan. In the recipe, the potatoes end up mashed and I kept them cubed for vanity’s sake (looks better).


  • 3 potatoes, cubed and kept in a bowl of water
  • 1 cup of mung beans
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • salt, black pepper, to taste


  1. Place the beans in a pot; add three cups of water and bring to a simmer.  Simmer the beans for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes until soft and fully cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and fry the onions till golden. When the potatoes are cooked, add the onions and season to taste. Serve immediately.

NOTE: I would add some lemon juice at the end of cooking for flavor and (why not) a teaspoon of mashed garlic as well.  

chickens in Kesrouan

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  1. Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    This dish is very original and scrumptious looking! i didn’t know Lebanese people used mung beans…



  2. Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Nutritious and fabulous looking mash, drooling here.

  3. Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I saw these beans at the market some time ago, but didn’t buy as I wasn’t sure what I could cook with them. They are not so common here, so many people have no idea about it! Thank you for the recipe, now I know what to cook!

  4. Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful way in incorporation this healthy bean into a dish! I love the addition of the fried onions for flavor.

  5. Posted March 3, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard of mung beans but never tried them – I love these types of rustic dishes!

  6. Posted March 3, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I love mung beans but haven’t thought to pair them with potato. It seems to be a natural pairing, too! The fried onions are so attractive as a garnish.

  7. Posted March 3, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    That looks so simple and delicious, I can’t wait to try it!

  8. Posted March 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Amazng that there can be so much culinary richness in a smll country! This looks delicious!

  9. Posted March 4, 2013 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Mung beans sounds familiar…. Oh, I think some noodles we use in Asian food is made from mung beans but I’ve never eaten the mung beans themselves! Looks delicious!

  10. Posted March 4, 2013 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Je ne me rappelle pas avoir cuisiné de haricots mungo. Mangé oui.
    Une recette très tentante. Je vais voir si j’en trouve sur mon marché.
    A bientôt

  11. Posted March 4, 2013 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    It’s such a rustic dish indeed and great for it’s very simplicity. I do wonder though whether some acid is needed to cut through the richness of potatoes?

  12. Joumana
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    @Gourmantine: you are right, hence the idea of the lemon juice at the end.

  13. Posted March 5, 2013 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Pas plus tard qu’hier, j’ai acheté un paquet de mung beans. Je me demandais comment les cuisiner… maintenant je sais ! Merci pour cette recette qui a l’air délicieuse.

  14. Posted March 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Une bonne recette qui réchauffera nos petits bedons gourmands…bisous et bonne soirée

  15. Posted March 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Ou comment faire un plat gourmand avec peu de choses….

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