Moong beans were first domesticated in India, where they grew as wild plants. Archaeological evidence shows that mung beans were growing in the Harappan civilization in the Punjab and Haryana areas of Indian about 4,500 years ago! Scholars separate domestication of mung beans into two different species: the kind that grew in southern India (which was a larger-seeded mung bean that began being harvested about 3,000–3,500 years ago) and the even older kind of mung bean that has smaller seeds and grew in northern India. Cultivated mung beans later spread from India to China and other parts of Southeast Asia. Records show that in Thailand, mung beans have been eaten for at least 2,200 years. Around the 9th or 10th century, mung beans also came to be cultivated in Africa since they grow easily in warm climates and helped feed undernourished populations. Mung beans are most popular and widely grown today in India, China, Southeast Asia and also somewhat in parts of southern Europe and the U.S. In the U.S., mung beans have been cultivated since around the 1830s, although they’ve really only picked up a following over the past decade or two. Today about 75 % of the 15–20 million pounds of mung beans consumed in the U.S every year are imported and grown in India and China.
Mung bean production is mainly (90%) situated in Asia: India is the largest producer with more than 50% of world production but consumes almost its entire production. China produces large amounts of mung beans, which represents 19% of its legume production. Thailand is the main exporter and its production increased by 22% per year between 1980 and 2000. Though it is produced in many African countries, the mung bean is not a major crop there.Production of moong in India
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
Mung beans, which have the scientific species name Vigna radiate, appear in cuisines around the world, mostly in India, China, the Philippines and Korea. In India, split and peeled mung beans are traditionally used in the dish called dahl, which is a thick stew that is high in fiber and protein, yet low in calories. It’s a filling meal and is considered a staple in Indian cooking that is eaten multiple times per week for most families.
In Chinese cuisine, mung beans are also used to make pancakes or dumplings, combined with rice in stir- fries as a staple dish and even used in desserts. Whole mung beans are used to make tángshuǐ, a type of Chinese dessert which literally translates to “sugar water” because the beans are cooked with sugar, coconut milk and a little bit of ginger. They are also ground into a paste to form a popular type of ice cream and sorbet in Hong Kong.
Mung bean sprouts are made into a processed version of starch noodles that are most common in Asian cuisine. Mung beans have a much greater carbohydrate content (about 50–60 %) than soybeans do, so they work well as flour and noodle products. Mung beans’ starch is the predominant carbohydrate in the legume and is why they are typically used for the production of starchy noodles, such as the kind called muk in Korea.