I have been going through protein sources for vegans here and in other forums in the internet. I don't see any of them listing green gram as on of items despite having around 25g protein in 100g substance.

I am wondering if there is a particular dietary or nutritional reason why is it not considered a good source of protein? Is it only because it's not known in some part of the world?

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Image source : Wikipedia

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    Yea, even I love it. I just boil it with some salt and pepper and some onion sometimes, that's mostly part of my post workout meal.
    – Codeformer
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 14:30
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    They are quite popular as sprouts, though. Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 18:13
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    Why do you assume they're not popular? I'm not a vegetarian and have cooked them. They're small so they cook fast, or at least quicker than other bigger/thicker beans. Leo Babauta is a popular vegan minimalist that writes in zen habits, maybe you could check his page for recipes, here for mung beans.
    – nilon
    Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 13:46
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    I explored more on the topic, the intention of the question was to find out if there is a specific dietary reason for mung beans not being listed on most of the protein source for vegan lists. It turns out that the reasons are not dietary and Mung bean has some wonderful nutritional benefits. Although this protein rich item is not traditionally used in many parts of the world, especially the western world, it is gaining popularity even there these days.
    – Codeformer
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 2:11

3 Answers 3


As a European, my personal reason is that it is not grown anywhere near home, as opposed to many other legumes. According to this article, largest producers are China, India, Myanmar and Indonesia. Otherwise this seems to be a very good source of protein indeed.

  • Doesn't France grow a variety of green lentil (puy lentil)? Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 11:38
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    Green lentils are indeed grown in France (lentille verte du Puy and lentille verte du Berry). These are lentils, though, not mung beans. And the green is not as bright.
    – Tetramino
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 23:36

I think this is probably because most of the resources you are looking at were probably written by people from North America and Europe, where veganism and vegetarianism are niche lifestyles gaining in popularity, and where every veg*n is always being asked "where do you get your protein, then?" because large quantities of meat are consumed by the majority of the population.

I'm a British vegan, and I started working in a health food shop 14 years ago. It was the only place I could buy mung beans. I had one recipe for them in a vegetarian "student" cookbook.

As far as I know, thinking narrowly about the majority white culture, there are no traditional "British" dishes that use green gram. The same is probably true of the US.

Of course, there is an endless and wonderful variety of dishes that use mung beans in many forms from Asia. Not only are they a great source of protein that is high in fibre and low in fat, they are also exceptionally versatile and easy to deal with compared to many other pulses.

They are

  • Soaked and cooked whole and used as is or mashed into a pate
  • Soaked whole and drained and left to sprout, then eaten raw or cooked in curries, stir fries, salads...
  • Soaked and ground to make dosa batter
  • Split and skinned and soaked and eaten in a salad
  • Split and skinned and cooked to make a dal, smooth and thin or dry, sometimes combined with other pulses

and so on.

But the work of Asian chefs and cooks and bloggers who know all this is not so easy to stumble on online as the lists written by Europeans and North Americans, maybe because they are not writing explicitly about vegetarian sources of protein, but just about dishes they like to cook.

Searching for "moong" on this site alone finds 18 recipes :)


Mung beans are popular in the Philippines. There is dish whose primary ingredient is mung beans: Mongo. They are commonly available in shops and markets. Mongo is one of the few nearly vegetarian or vegan dishes that you will find there. I say "nearly" since unless you have it especially prepared for you, it is liable to contain prawns, bits of pork, fish sauce, etc.

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