Bubur Kacang Hijau (sometimes known as “Bubur Kacang Ijo” in Indonesia), is a creamy and comforting sweet mung bean porridge. “Bubur” means “porridge”, “kacang” means “beans” and “hijau” means “green” in the Malay language which is the national language of Indonesia and Malaysia. Although Indonesian Malay and Malaysian Malay are essentially the same in that they are derived from the original Malay language, the two languages have slight differences with some words having different meanings, spelling and syntax.
Like many other dishes such as satay and rendang, this mung bean porridge is a “shared dish” having a place in both Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine although it is more popularly consumed in Indonesia. Often eaten warm, it is an ideal dessert for cold/wintery days although it could also be enjoyed chilled on hot days.
Nourishing mung beans, creamy coconut milk (known as “santan” in Malay) and fragrant pandan leaves are combined and sweetened with an unrefined form of palm sugar (known as “gula jawa” in Indonesia or “gula melaka” in Malaysia) to bring out a dessert that is not just delicious but nutritious as well. Gula jawa or gula melaka not only sweetens but adds a very distinctive flavor which cannot be replaced with modern-day refined sugar. Add gula jawa / gula melaka to your taste, some like the porridge very sweet while some like it mildly sweetened. The coconut milk may curdle when boiled together with the gula jawa / gula melaka so add it after boiling the milk.
- ½ cup mung beans
- Gula jawa / gula melaka – as desired
- 2-3 pandan leaves – tied to a knot
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- Water as required to cook mung beans
- 1 cm piece ginger
- Pinch of salt
Wash and soak the mung beans in water for at least 12 hours or overnight. Soaking helps soften the beans and reduce cooking time.
Bruise the ginger or pound in a pestle and mortar till bruised but not finely crushed.
Combine the soaked mung beans, ginger, padan leaves and water as required to cook the mung beans.
Cook the beans over medium heat until beans are well cooked and very soft. If it’s too dry, add a bit of water.
Once beans are softened, pour coconut milk, pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over low heat.
Once boiling, stop heat.
To serve, dish out some mung bean porridge into a bowl and sweeten with crushed gula jawa / gula melaka as desired.