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An exciting discovery

August 17, 2009

Well, exciting for those of us forced to live in gluten free land anyway! A wrap that rolls (without cracking), that tastes good (without needing to be heated up prior to eating or smothered in anything to make it palatable) and that keeps well. Not only that, but it is high in protein, relatively low in carbs and low in fat. Too good to be true?

wrap2Gluten free breads generally not only taste pretty bad, but they are also invariably really high in carbs and high GI (glycemic index)…making them not particularly great for you to eat. I stumbled upon this quite by accident. It is probably very traditional in many Indian households but not something I have come across before. “It” my friends is a wrap made solely of mung beans.

Mung bean wraps

I soaked some dried, split mung beans which still had their green skin (hence the lovely green colour of the wraps) overnight in a bowl of water. The next morning I drained out the water and put the beans into a food processor to grind to a very smooth paste. Try to avoid adding any water – you should not need any as the soaked beans have plenty of moisture already.  They ground to a light, smooth paste very quickly. The consistency was thicker than an pancake batter. Add a little salt to taste.

1 cup of dried mung beans will give you 6 to 8 dinner plate size wraps.

Heat a heavy metal pan until it is really hot. Spread a teaspoon of oil over the pan (or leave this out if you are using a non stick pan) and scoop a ladle of the batter into the pan. Using a spoon spread the batter out to get it as thinly spread as possible all over the pan. Leave it to cook for 3-4 minutes on this first side. Then flip over and cook for a further couple of minutes on the other side. If you are planning on using them as wraps then don’t allow them to get too crispy (but never fear if you do as they will still soften fairly quickly anyway).

I have been making these and storing them for a few days in the fridge with no problem. They roll beautifully and taste great…and I love the fact that I am getting the nutrition of lentils in what would otherwise be fairly empty and wasted carbs (I prefer to save my carbs for freshly baked cakes!). I ground the batter with some green chillies and grated ginger one time which gave the wraps another flavour dimension. In the picture you can see I made myself a lovely lunch with ricotta, avocado, red capsicum, baby spinach leaves and smoked salmon (not vegetarian despite the vego tag on this recipe – the wraps are vego though). Be warned though as they are more filling than a standard wrap and you may find that half is plenty for lunch!

I am going to send this post to My legume love affair.

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68 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2009 6:19 PM

    They look and sound wonderful! Great discovery, much healthier than the traditional fried flatbreads. I don’t know if this is of any use, but I’ve read that channa dal has an amazing low GI – under 10, from memory. Do you think you could convert the recipe to use those?

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      August 19, 2009 8:24 AM

      I don’t know how it would go with channa dal. I expect that it would be a fine substitute. Be interested to hear how it works if you do try it. I have tended to use channa dal whole or very coarsely ground, so I don’t know how it would behave as a paste. I think just about all lentils are very low GI, from memory about 26. I will have to check out if channa dal is lower than other lentils.
      I made some more of these mung bean wraps this morning and had one for breakfast with vegemite and cheese – very nice indeed. Chicken and salad wrap waiting for me for lunch…and all this before 7.30am. Sometimes I surprise myself….! :)

  2. August 17, 2009 8:13 PM

    Wonderful idea! I find most commercial wraps pretty dull, so this looks a treat. Wish I could roll up my morning scrambled eggs in one right now.

    Thanks for the great MLLA recipe!

  3. August 18, 2009 10:14 AM

    That does indeed look like it might inspire a legume love affair :) I had no idea that GF breads are high in carbs and not very good for you. Very interesting to know indeed! :D

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      August 18, 2009 9:32 PM

      Actually that was a pretty bold/generalised statement of mine. There are some fantastic gluten free grains like quinoa and amaranth…but they are expensive and therefore not used much in commercial products. Most commercial products use rice, potato starch, tapioca starch, corn etc which are not bad in themselves, but they are all high GI (glycemic index), usually high fat (they add a lot of oil or eggs to try and replicate what gluten does), etc. Hence my big statement about them not being that great for you to eat. It is really good to incorporate other grains in your diet I think, even if you do not need to avoid gluten. Getting off my soap box now… :)

  4. August 20, 2009 11:17 AM

    I’ve just ordered mung beans from Santos Trading to give these a go! :)

  5. August 20, 2009 12:16 PM

    love to have a taste of this…can u send some my way? sounds very healthy!!!

  6. Liz permalink
    September 14, 2009 2:33 PM

    these are great! Mung beans especially. Thanks for the recipe will be making them this weekend, im sick of eating Mountain Bread every day for lunch. Love your site will be adding you to our blog roll. Please feel free to check out ours and if you love ours add us. http://www.strayedtable.wordpress.com

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      September 18, 2009 2:10 PM

      Great, I would be interested to hear how you find them.

  7. September 14, 2009 6:34 PM

    Lovely way to make wraps. Looks great.

  8. October 19, 2009 7:14 AM

    I made these this morning! I soaked biodynamic mung beans that I bought from Santos – 1 cup as instructed – but didn’t use enough water, so they’d completely absorbed all the water and were quite dry this morning. I couldn’t get them to grind finely in the blender or food processor, so I added some water – this gave me a thick, slightly chunky pancake batter consistency.

    Cooked them without oil in my non-stick pan and ended up with six laaaarge wraps. Just had one stuffed with baba ganoush, lean turkey and snow peas. Delicious! Thanks.. :)

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 20, 2009 8:12 AM

      I am so happy that you tried them…and you like them!

  9. Kathy permalink
    January 6, 2010 1:03 PM

    You are so clever :)
    I have been finding the same thing sice I have discovered I get bloated eating wheat. I have been trying to find better oprtons of low GI grains.
    I’ve just placed an order through Santos…
    Can’t wait to try them!!!

  10. Holly permalink
    January 22, 2010 11:47 AM

    I just found you via Tastespotting and I just want to say: I adore you! Simply for posting this recipe. I am allergic to gluten but by way of genes, I really have to limit carbs & starches or I gain an insane amount of weight. This looks tasty and worth the starch! I actually have mung beans in my cupboard, hurrah!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      January 22, 2010 12:05 PM

      Hi Holly, welcome! I am glad you like the sound of these wraps. I was very excited when I ‘discovered’ them. Gluten free options for a simple lunch (sandwich, wrap) are so awful and limited. I hate gluten free bread and the wraps normally are like crumbly carboard (and they are all massively high is carbs and fat)…hence the constant quest to find something better. I hope you like these wraps. Another one I have made a few times but not yet posted a photo on the blog is a wrap made out of chickpea flour. I just add some water to the chickpea flour with a little salt. Make it really runny like a crepe batter, and fry like a crepe. Surprisingly good and quite delicate (crepe like)….and so easy. I make them for breakfast sometimes. I once added an egg in with the mixture but didn’t like it as much. Happy wrap making!

      • Marie D permalink
        October 16, 2013 2:56 AM

        I wonder if you would find it more enjoyable if you soaked the chickpea flour with water overnight before making them??

  11. KatMac permalink
    January 23, 2010 7:04 AM

    Hello!
    Thanks for recipe, sound delicious. Got a question (maybe a silly one?) how are split mung beans different to actual mung beans? Is it as simple as just being cut in half?
    Thanks!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      January 23, 2010 9:11 PM

      Yes that is it – just a whole mung bean split in half! You can use the whole ones too, just soak for a little longer. Run your hands through the bowl before grinding and check for any that have not soaked (which for some reason does happen with the whole beans) – they will feel like heavy little stones. If you can pick them out before putting them into a blender or grinder it might save your machine.

  12. Lynn D. permalink
    January 24, 2010 6:26 AM

    I just made these with whole mung bean and think they are fantastic. I soaked them for about 2 days, changing water from time to time, until there was just the tiniest bit of a sprout in some of the beans. I also had to add about a cup of water (and a pinch of salt) to the beans to get them to blend and have a pancake batter consistency. I think these would be Phase One South Beach friendly and you should consider passing this on to Kaylyn’s Kitchen.

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      January 25, 2010 1:47 PM

      Allowing them to sprout a little would make them healthier for you – good thinking! Glad you like them.

  13. magicalfroot permalink
    January 24, 2010 5:13 PM

    Great idea. Can’t wait to try these out.

    Just one question, though. Do you soak the beans in the fridge or at room temp?

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      January 25, 2010 1:46 PM

      Just room temperature will be fine. I leave mine on the kitchen bench. If it is a reallly hot day cover the bowl with a damp tea towel (in case they soak up all the liquid and start to dry out). Once you have ground up the beans to make the batter, store any left overs in the fridge otherwise the mixture will ferment. It should keep in the fridge for a day or two. Slight fermentation will be ok too – will make them slightly fluffier and give it a slightly acidic taste. I would not leave it longer than two days though.

  14. February 11, 2010 5:59 AM

    i just made these and they are amazing. i did have to add a few table spoons of water, but they came out perfect and i filled them with leftovers from last night of my magical mung beans and rice: http://goldenbridgeyoganyc.com/?main_page=page&id=6 and some salad from last night and stir fried up some mung bean sprouts. its a mung bean love affair!!

  15. May 16, 2010 2:42 AM

    I’m so happy to have found this!!! Making low-carb grain-free enchiladas, and was totally stuck on the replacement for corn tortillas part! When I post the recipe, I will send everyone here for the tortillas! thanks! GENIUS!

  16. May 16, 2010 3:03 AM

    What a fabulous discovery! I will link to your blog today!

  17. thenewgirl permalink
    July 10, 2010 2:08 AM

    These are so amazing. I was so skeptical the first time I made them, thinking, how is this even going to work?? But they turned out great and are simple and easy to fry in a non stick pan. I’ve eaten them THREE times this week already.

    I’ve adapted the recipe a little bit to add some ground flax seed into the recipe, partly for added nutritional value, but also as an added binder. I found that doing this gave the wraps a nice elastic texture, similar to a regular flour tortilla. I haven’t tried it without the flax, so I don’t know if they have this texture naturally with just the beans.

    Also I found that by storing them in the fridge they lost some of their elasticity and tore a little bit when I rolled them in to wraps, but my remedy for this was just to make up a batch of batter and keep the batter stored in the fridge and make a fresh tortilla or two whenever I’m ready to eat one. Works great!

    I had a lovely avocado, basil and tomato salsa wrap, and this morning I had a banana wrap with blended dates, which could easily double as dessert!

    I love this stuff…it feels like eating bread again! :) Thanks!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      July 10, 2010 9:09 AM

      I am glad you like them! They are surprisingly good aren’t they? I must try your version with flax seeds next time.

  18. Ines permalink
    April 30, 2011 4:43 AM

    This is such a fantastic idea!

    Just a quick question, do I have to simmer the dry mung beans to cook them before blending and then frying the batter?

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      May 2, 2011 9:26 AM

      Hi Ines, no you don’t need to cook the dry mung beans. If you soak them for a few hours or overnight they will get soft enough to grind/blend into a paste. And the crepe style cooking process is more than enough cooking time. Good luck with making these, I hope they work out for you. Reminds me that I should put some mung beans on to soak for myself!

  19. Pam permalink
    June 9, 2011 3:35 PM

    I made these tonight. I am pleased with them, but it was a learning curve. Living in Tucson I am used to thin tortillas PLUS I have made a lot of crepes and was expecting these to be like making crepes. I had whole beans and soaked them for 17 hours (they were delicious to munch fresh out of the water.) I used a blender to blend the beans. I needed a bit of water to do so. The batter was thick and needed to be spread with a spatula. I wasn’t prepared for that. (I expected these to be thinner with a thinner batter.) So I added quite a bit more water. They took longer to cook with the extra water and I used twice as much batter per wrap. I do not have non-stick pans so I used quite a bit of grapeseed oil for each wrap. They were thicker than tortillas, but had a nice, foldable texture, even though they were thick. I made cheese crisps with them (in the microwave.) My husband and I thought these were pretty good. Our 5 year old liked the taste but not the texture. He said maybe if I browned them more. (Though tomorrow he could decide he likes them.) Our 2 year old–the one that needs to be gluten free–would not try them. I did add salt to them. Before the salt they tasted like unsalted potatoes. With the salt they had a nice taste (and I’m not a big salt user.) I love that these don’t contain grains and are so super healthy. I will definitely make them again, though I will hold off on adding the extra water until I’ve worked a bit more with them.

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      June 9, 2011 4:32 PM

      I am so glad that you tried making these and that you liked them. I appreciate the feedback too!
      I find I mostly make them on a heavy metal crepe pan (I don’t have any non stick pans anymore either). I use a tiny amount of oil (about a half teaspoon) for the first one and less for subsequent ones. The key is to get my crepe pan really hot, then nothing much sticks to it, and it gets nice and crispy as well. I use the back of a spoon to spread the batter out in a circular sort of motion to get it spread as thin as possible. It takes a bit of practise and is worth perservering with rather than adding extra water. Sometimes I add a little grated ginger and/or a few cumin or fennel seeds to give it an extra bit of flavour. They are really quite a healthy alternative, and a much nicer texture and taste than any of the gluten free wraps I can buy here in Sydney. Do let me know if you come up with any variations as we can all do with a bit of inspiration to change the routine!

      • Pam permalink
        June 9, 2011 5:15 PM

        Based on your comment, I have decided to buy a cast iron crepe pan. I’ve wanted to try cast iron for a long time and this will be a good start. Looking forward to trying this recipe on cast iron.

      • Pam permalink
        June 13, 2011 4:29 PM

        I ended up with a blue steel crepe pan. http://www.amazon.com/Buyer-Pancake-Crepe-Blue-Steel/dp/B0019N4ZHQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1307945869&sr=8-3 So much easier to make the tortillas than in my stainless steel pan. I just made 10 tortillas and put them in the freezer. I only needed enough water to get my blender to blend the beans. I did as you suggested and used a spoon to spread the paste around. I used 1/2 cup of paste for each tortilla.

      • spiceandmore permalink*
        June 13, 2011 6:00 PM

        We have one of those pans – they are great aren’t they? So much easier than stainless steel and even non stick I think. Much better results too. Glad you had more success this time. Good idea to make up a batch and freeze them. I must remember to do that next time.

  20. Pam permalink
    June 23, 2011 5:51 AM

    Made these again. This time I measured 2 cups dry mung beans. I used 1/3 cup paste (1/2 cup made them too thick.) I got fourteen 7 1/2 inch tortillas using my blue steel pan I posted before. I just ate one and the thickness was much better. I used an oil sprayer so I could use grapeseed oil (I am concerned about canola oil since it is modified from the rapeseed oil plant.) I got a BPA free sprayer http://www.amazon.com/Prepara-PP02-OM100-Oil-Mister/dp/B0026L7BNU/ref=sr_1_5?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1308772164&sr=1-5

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      June 26, 2011 7:40 AM

      Thanks for adding the details with more specific quantities – I am sure other readers will appreciate it!
      I never use canola oil either – if you find out about what they have to do to make it palatable and deodourised, you would definitely not want to use it! I tend to use sunflower, peanut or rice bran oil when I need oil for high temperature cookin…or extra virgin coconut oil too.

  21. crys permalink
    July 27, 2011 12:29 AM

    Wow ! great idea, I cant wait to try this I’m running to the store now ! 90 % of our meals are a Mexican wrap beans and rice, rice and beef, beef and potatoes, ect the list goes on and on but I suspect a wheat allergy in my son and would like to get away from wheat but he rejects corn tortillas. If these taste as good as they sound, I will wave 2 meals a day wheat free and Im sure I can do the 3rd with other favs.

  22. Katie permalink
    August 25, 2011 8:32 PM

    I have made these this morning to have for my lunch at work however I couldnt wait and have just eaten one lol

    It was delicious and once I added a bit of water easy to make as well. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely idea :-)

    Katie

    x

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      September 9, 2011 1:51 PM

      So glad to hear that they worked for you Katie.

  23. October 13, 2011 2:41 AM

    I made these today and like most people I added water until it was a pancake consistency. I found a thiner batter was easier to work with since I couldnt get the thick one spread around the pan before it cooked. After about my third pancake I got it figured out and the rest turned out great.

    My only problem was that these are extremely filling. I ony had 1/2 of a wrap and I am sooooo full. I think I’ll try them for breakfast tomorrow with only a few veggies inside. It is more of a crepe than a wrap but your right, us Gluten free people have to be inventive and Im all for a wrap that doesnt have xantham gum or other gums.

    I believe these come from Indian dosas which are usually made with black lentils and rice but can be made with mung beans or a variety of beans. Then it is fermented for a day before cooking.

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 14, 2011 8:21 AM

      Yes, it certainly has its roots in an Indian dosa but it unfermented. I love dosas as well but they are mostly rice (usually 3:1 rice:lentil ratio), so not quite the same in terms of low GI etc. Mind you, the fermentation of dosas probably boosts their ‘goodness’ and lowers their GI so perhaps they work out the same in the end (?). All good stuff. Glad you like these.

  24. anon permalink
    October 19, 2011 12:51 AM

    Made these for the first time yesterday. What a discovery – thank you so much for these. They are going to be a keeper. So simple (actually less work than making wheat wraps), so tasty and so fabulously healthy.
    I soaked whole beans for 24 hours. They did take longer to grind smooth in the food processor than I thought (so the first one I made ended up a bit thick). In a non-stick pan you really do not need any oil.Only “unfortunate” thing is that I only made a very small batch (I admit I was sceptical) and I liked them so much I had none left to test how well they store.

    • Pam permalink
      October 19, 2011 2:03 AM

      I make big batches, usually about 30 at a time. I put a piece of wax paper between each one , put them in a ziplock brand (bpa free) freezer bag and we use them as we need them. We like them just fine how they store.

      • spiceandmore permalink*
        October 19, 2011 9:02 AM

        Oh that is so good to know that they freeze well. I am going to make up a big batch as well and freeze them. Would be handy to have a supply in the freezer. Thanks for the tip!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 19, 2011 9:03 AM

      They really are so easy and surprisingly tasty too, aren’t they?!

  25. anna permalink
    October 27, 2011 4:01 AM

    You posted this a couple years ago, but I just recently became diabetic and have been searching for good low carb options. I tried this and it was really nice! I was surprised at how “neutral” they tasted, i.e. not totally beany and weird. I added a bit of extra water and the flax too, since I’m extremely carb sensitive. Only thing is, I am really not adept at spreading them and they turned out thicker in some spots and thinner in others. Maybe if I had one of those crepe spatulas, like the ones they use in France to make crepes on the iron…

    I have made similar crepe-like things using chickpea flour (besan), where you just add water. The taste was a bit stronger though, and the crepes were too delicate to be used as wraps.

  26. Emma permalink
    February 9, 2012 12:19 AM

    hi! these look amazing, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be Slimming World friendly too! also, it means I’ll be using mung beans forsomething other than stuffing microwaveable heat pads lol… but I have a question, are they freezable?
    thanks!

    • Pam permalink
      February 9, 2012 2:45 AM

      I make 30 or 40 at a time then put a piece of was paper between each tortilla. Then store in a ziplock brand freezer bag (they’re BPA free.) They last for as long as it takes us to eat them.

      • Emma permalink
        February 14, 2012 1:04 AM

        thanks so much…
        I finally made some this afternoon and I think freezing them is a moot point, they’re not going to last long enough lol!!!

        I’ve passed the recipe link on to my friend. her daughter is 6 and is allergic to milk and eggs and is also gluten intollerant. with these, she can have pancakes on pancake day like everyone else!

        also, I found that watching people making crepes on youtube taught me how to get them nice and thin ish.

      • spiceandmore permalink*
        March 1, 2012 1:30 PM

        So glad to hear that you enjoyed them. It is hard having food intolerances…and must be even harder to have them as kids I think! My daughter’s best friend (friends since they were 3!) has really bad allergies and she is always so delighted when I have made things that she can eat.

      • spiceandmore permalink*
        March 1, 2012 1:30 PM

        Gosh, you are so organised. I wish I could be that organised too…it would be so handy to have a stash of these ready and waiting!

  27. Keldelacoe permalink
    April 2, 2012 12:06 AM

    Hi I have been wanting to try these for a few weeks after seeing your link on a slimming world forum. I passed the recipe on to my friend who is wheat and gluten intolerant but they didn’t work? Not sure where she went wrong but after I have read all the tips n this thread I’m looking forward to giving them a go tomorrow :)

    • Pam permalink
      April 2, 2012 2:27 AM

      Maybe it was the consistency. I add water to mine so they are like a thick pancake batter. Someone else I know made them without water and they were like toothpaste. When she added water to the next batch, they came out much better.

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      April 2, 2012 4:33 PM

      Did your friend use sprouted mung beans (like those you buy in the shops already sprouted)? They don’t seem to work for these wraps. I have tried allowing my beans to just barely start to sprout when I use them, and that seems to be ok. But the ideal is to just use the dried mung beans, preferably whole beans not split beans, and soak them overnight before grinding into a paste. You might need to add some water to help it grind smooth and achieve the consistency you need. Happy to help ‘troubleshoot’ what went wrong for your friend if you can find out some more information on what she did and what the problem was.

      • Pam permalink
        April 2, 2012 4:56 PM

        I’ve let my beans sprout up to 48 hours then drained then mixed with water and had good results.

  28. afracooking permalink
    June 15, 2012 4:51 AM

    Your title is not an understatemeT:this really is an exiting discovery!!! I continually cook new recipes and try out original things – but this dish just blew me away. So tasty, easy and healthy! Thank you so so much for sharing this. And as I think EVERYONE should try this, I shared your recipe on my blog as well http://afracooking.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/mung-bean-wraps/

  29. afracooking permalink
    December 27, 2012 6:15 AM

    I already left a comment with a thank you earlier this year, since your mung wraps have become one of my favourite go to meals! I even took a packet of mung beans with me when I visited family for christmas so I could convert them :-) So I just had to leave you another message of thanks!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      January 9, 2013 4:51 PM

      I am thrilled to read your comment – thank you!!

  30. January 10, 2013 12:15 PM

    Trying these tonight… I’ve already discovered that I had trouble spreading them thin without tearing & trouble shaping them correctly with a spatula. So I pulled out a sheet of wax paper, and patted them thin thin thin (and round) on the wax paper. When the skillet was ready, I flipped the tortilla over into the pan, and pressed it even thinner through the wax paper while side one was sealing, then carefully peeled the paper away from one side to the other… walla! Beautiful shape, and thinner than I could get by spreading with an instrument!

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