Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stone-hard mungbean, a spell of field deities

Dr Abe V Rotor

Why mungo seeds won’t soften when cooked is due to a spell cast by deities in the field.

You may have already experienced this situation. While enjoying your favorite dish of “mungo with pork and ampalaya leaves,” all of a sudden you find yourself grimacing with pain after biting a stone-hard mungo seed!

Blame it to no one, but the lazy canny farmer who, instead of harvesting only the mature mungo pods, uprooted the whole plant. The hardened seeds come from immature pods mixed with the mature seeds. The starch in the immature pod has been locked up and hardened during drying, making it difficult to soften even under prolonged cooking. The process may be likened to caramelization in sugar.

As a matter of information, mungo or mungbean (Phaseolus radiatus) is the counterpart of soybean in the tropics for its high nutritive value and many uses. It can be made into flour, sotanghon (noodles), lumpia, togue (sprouts), hopia, curds, and many more products.

The best way "to cast the spell," so to speak is ground or mill the mungo seeds before cooking.

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