Mung bean (Vigna radiata)

Mung bean (Vigna radiata)
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Phaseolus aureus Roxb.

Mung bean, also known as mung dal, moong dal, mash bean, munggo or monggo, green gram, golden gram, and green soy, is the seed of Vigna radiata which is native to India. The beans are small, ovoid in shape, and green in color. The English word “mung” derives from the Hindi mung. In the South Indian Tamil language it is known as payiru, in Kannada as hesaru bele and in the Philippines as munggo or monggo.

The mung bean is one of many species recently moved from the genus Phaseolus to Vigna and is still often seen cited as Phaseolus aureus or Phaseolus radiatus. These are all the same plant.

Mung beans are mainly cultivated in Bangladesh during two seasons. One is the Rabi season (starting November), and the other is the Kharif season (starting March). Mung beans are tropical (or sub-tropical) crops, and require warm temperatures (optimal at 30-35°C). Loamy soil is best for mung bean cultivation.

Mung beans are commonly used in Chinese cuisine, where they are called lǜ dòu (绿豆, literally “green bean”), as well as in Japan, Korea, India, Thailand and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, they are called đậu xanh (again, literally “green bean”). They are generally eaten either whole (with or without skins) or as bean sprouts, or used to make the dessert “green bean soup”. The starch of mung beans is also separated from the ground beans to make jellies and noodles.