The 10th February 2020 marks the first ever World Pulses day! 

The day marks an international observance of the critical role that pulses (the edible seeds of plants in the legume family, such as chickpeas or lentils) hold in poverty alleviation, food security, nutrition, and soil and environmental health, and therefore their huge contribution to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.

Pulses are not only nutritious to eat, they contribute to sustainable agriculture and food systems, helping to decrease greenhouse gases and increase soil health, all whilst using less water than other crops.

As one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change, Afghanistan is also one of the least equipped to deal with the consequences. This highlights the importance of promoting sustainable agricultural systems that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaption both within Afghanistan, as well as internationally.

Mung Beans are an Afghan speciality. So try this delightful mix of apricots, mung beans, rice and spices - a real Afghanaid favourite - to celebrate this #WorldPulsesDay!

Serves: 2                                                                                               Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

150g basmati rice/long grain rice

75g mung beans

1/3 teaspoon green cumin seeds 

1 onion, chopped

1cm ginger, peeled and chopped

1-2 green chillies (to taste), chopped

½ bunch fresh coriander

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

75g dried apricots

450ml water or veg stock

Salt to taste

Method

1. Wash the rice and soak it for around 20 minutes. At the same time, put the apricots in a separate bowl of water to soak.

2. Put the mung beans in a pan of water and bring it to the boil. Cook for around 20 minutes - until the beans are edible, but not mushy - and then drain, setting them to the side.

3. Heat some oil in a saucepan and fry the cumin seeds for a minute or so. Follow them up with the onion, ginger and chillies.

4. As the onion is softening, drain the apricots and finely chop them. Once the onion has softened, add the other spices and chopped apricot, stirring well.

5. Add the rice, water/vegetable stock and a pinch of salt, cover the lid of the pan, turn the heat down and let it simmer for around 15 minutes until the rice is cooked. Add the mung beans for the last 3-5 minutes. 

6. Take off the heat and stir in the coriander. Best served with natural yoghurt and salad.

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