Monggo with Ampalaya

Monggo with Ampalaya

For the non-Filipinos out there, this dish might sound and look so strange and exotic to you because the main ingredients – monggo and ampalaya are unfamiliar to you. This dish is simply called Monggo with Ampalaya because it is a concoction of these two ingredients. Monggo or mung beans are small beans that are oval in shape and green in color. It is widely used in Asia for both sweet and savoury dishes. Ampalaya or bitter gourd is a fruit that is very bitter. For this recipe, the leaves are also used.

The ampalaya can be likened to cucumber in terms of being crisp and watery. It packs a lot of vitamins and minerals, and it is a natural diuretic. If you want to reduce some of its bitterness, you could add salt and wash it thoroughly before cooking.

Monggo with Ampalaya is a classic comfort food for Filipinos especially on a dreary and rainy day. Because it is a little on the soupy side, it goes well with any dry main course like Fried Fish or Adobo, and of course, with our staple rice.  It is best eaten when it is warm or hot. There are several versions of this dish as you could add your favorite meat, vegetable, seafood or dried and smoked fish to add more flavor and variety.
   
The initial stage of the cooking is done by boiling the monggo seeds for about half an hour in about 4 cups of water to soften it, and letting the water reduce until you reach a thick and rich consistency. In another pan, the rest of the ingredients are sautéed and mixed together before adding the monggo mixture. Then, viola! Lunch (or dinner) is served.
    
Preparation Time:    30 minutes
Cooking Time:   20 minutes
Yield:   3-4 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked monggo
¼ pound shrimps, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
½ cup sliced tomatoes, finely chopped
1 pc ampalaya, sliced
ampalaya leaves
1 ½ cups water
salt and pepper to taste
cooking oil

Cooking Directions:
1.  In a pan, heat the cooking oil, and then sauté the onion and garlic. Add the tomatoes and cook for several minutes.
2.  Add the sliced ampalaya and allow to cook for about 2 minutes.
3.  Add the cooked monggo and the water, and bring to a boil.
4.  Stir in the shrimp and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5.  Add the ampalaya leaves. Cook them until the leaves are a little wilted.
6.  Serve hot with rice.
7.  Enjoy!

Monggo with Ampalaya

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