Traditional Turkish Mung Bean Salad

2019 11 26 03.52.48 3

If you would like to try only one traditional Turkish recipe let it be this one. It’s a symphony on harmony, excitement, variety and joy. I took it from the already legendary “The Turkish Cookbook” by Musa Dağdeviren (starred in Netflix’s Chef’s Table) and I liked it so much I think I’m going to make it for our Christmas dinner.
You can replace pomegranate molasses with slightly sweet balsamic vinegar (I would choose one with high grape must content or blend it with dried fruits). If you don’t have fresh garlic at hand, normal garlic will do as well. And if can’t get any sumac: the juice of half a lemon will give you the sourness of 1 tsp of sumac.

Serves four. Prep time: 20min, plus overnight soaking, cooking time: 30min


  • 120g or 2/3 cup mung beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dried sumac
  • 100g or 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 fresh (green) garlic
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs
  • 10 parsley sprigs
  • 4 basil sprigs
  • 2 tarragon sprigs
  • 100g or 1 1/4 cups pomegranate seeds

For the dressing:

  • 2 fresh (green) garlic
  • 4 spring onions
  • 50g unsalted green olives, pitted finely sliced (or use salted olives and you won’t need to add salt to the salad)
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Drain and cook the mung beans in simmering water for about 25 min. Put the cooked beans into a bowl and add 1/2 tsp of salt together with the dried chilli flakes, sumac, walnuts, olive oil, and pomegranate molasses.
Finely slice the fresh garlic, spring onions, olives and chilli and cook them in a preheated pan together with the olive oil for 3min.
Now, finely slice the spring onions, fresh garlic and herbs. Toss gently the dressing first and then the remaining ingredients with the mung bean mixture.

If you try this recipe do share a picture of it on Instagram and tag it with #anarchycuisine so I can see it!

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