½cupcilantro, chopped (optional; but especially good in summer)
Cook the mung beans
Soak mung beans for 4 hours, or overnight. Drain the soaking water and rinse 3-4 times until the water runs clear. Add mung beans with 4 cups cold water and a pinch each of turmeric and salt to a pressure cooker or saucepan.
Cook according to one of the following three methods:
Bring beans to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 60 minutes or more, until the beans are soft and breaking apart.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method
If using a stovetop pressure cooker, secure the lid, and bring the cooker up to high pressure. Set a timer for 8 minutes, and reduce the heat slightly. After the timer goes off, turn off the heat. Wait 15 minutes, check for residual pressure, and open the lid safely.
Instant Pot Method
If using the INSTANT POT, secure the lid and select the “Pressure” button. Set timer to 10 minutes. After cooking stops, allow the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes. Check for residual steam and open the lid safely.
Temper the spices
Separately, heat a tablespoon of ghee in a small skillet on medium-low heat. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and cook until they turn a few shades darker. Add a ¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, and a pinch of asafetida. Cook until the ginger is just starting to brown. Turn off the heat and add spiced ghee to cooked mung beans.
Finish the Soup
Heat the spiced mung beans again and add ½ teaspoons salt. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add a squeeze of lime and the optional chopped cilantro. Taste, and adjust for salt, lime, and red chili. Add a little more if you like.
Enjoy with, or without, a side of basmati rice.
Mung beans are popular in China and Japan, as well as India, and they are sold in most grocery stores. If you have trouble finding them were you are, you can purchase them online here.