Mung bean dessert with coconut milk: Indonesian Bubur Kacang Hijau

/ / / Mung bean dessert with coconut milk: Indonesian Bubur Kacang Hijau
Bubur Kacang Hijau - Mung bean dessert with coconut milk

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If you ever go to Indonesia, you may see many food street sellers that do ‘Bubur Kacang Ijo dan Ketan Item’. That literally means Mung bean and black glutinous rice porridge

It’s a sweet dessert that uses coconut milk and palm sugar with pandan leaves as its fragrance.

This sweet porridge is very famous in Indonesia. And it’s one of the popular street foods that are enjoyed any time of the day, although Indonesians love to have it as breakfast as well.

And this Bubur Kacang Hijau is one of the sought-after desserts for Iftar in Ramadan.

I love this Mung bean dessert with coconut milk. And I love it even more with black glutinous rice, or Ketan Hitam (Item) in Indonesian. 

Actually, I wanted to share this recipe with the black glutinous rice porridge so that it will be like proper Indonesian street food. But due to lockdown, my groceries are limited to online shopping. And to get glutinous rice, I would have had to go to Chinatown. 

So yeah, it’s better than nothing. Let’s just have this Bubur Kacang Hijau (Ijo). And I’ll try to share Bubur Ketan Hitam some other time. 

By the way, in case you’re wondering, the word ‘ijo’ is the slang for ‘Hijau’ which means green. And ‘Item’ is the slang word for ‘Hitam’ that means black. Lastly, ‘bubur’ literally means porridge. 

Indonesian Bubur Kacang Ijo - mung bean dessert with coconut milk

Mung bean dessert recipe

So, the reason I’m sharing this recipe is to show how fascinating what culture has to offer. Because, in my husband’s family culture – which is Pakistani/ Indian/ Kashmiri related – Mung bean is often used for cooking savoury. Their famous dish is Mung dal – mung bean curry.

Though my husband told me that his mom used to cook Mung beans with milk as a sweet dish, I haven’t come across desserts made of Mung beans among Indian and Pakistani food recipes. In fact, many of my Pakistani/ Indian friends were surprised when I told them that Indonesians cook Mung beans as sweet desserts. And there are many dessert dishes made of this type of lentils. 


Traditionally, this Mung bean dessert uses coconut milk and pandan leaf that makes it 100% vegan. However, if you like, you can substitute the coconut milk with regular milk and pandan leaf with vanilla. It will still be tasty. Just a bit different.

I don’t think I really need to mention again how impressive the benefits of Mung beans are for health. But if you wonder, you can check out the article by Healthline on the health benefits of Mung beans here.

Related posts

I hope you find this recipe of Bubur Kacang Hijau – the Indonesian mung bean dessert – intriguing and makes you want to try to cook it. If you do, please let me know how you think of it in the comments below.

And please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest to sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

And before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may equally love.

Thank you and all the best.

Yield: 8

Mung bean dessert with coconut milk

Mung bean dessert with coconut milk

This creamy Mung bean dessert with coconut milk is called Bubur Kacang Hijau (Ijo) in Indonesian. It's a comfort sweet dish that popular to have for breakfast as well as for dessert.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes


  1. Wash and rinse the Mung beans for 2-3 times, and soak for about 1-2 hours.
  2. Drain the beans, put in a cooking pot and add the water.
  3. Boil the beans at medium heat with the lid on. You may want to stir every now and again to make sure that all the lentils are evenly cooked. Usually, it takes me about 20-25 minutes (see the note).
  4. Once the beans look plumped up and cooked, add in the sugar, salt, and ½ of pandan leaf. Cover the pot and cook further for about 10 minutes until all the beans softened. Keep an eye on it and stir it every so often to make sure everything is cooked.
  5. Then add in ½ cup of the coconut milk, stir the porridge, and cook for another 10 minutes. Your bubur kacang Hijau is ready. Set aside.
  6. Boil the remaining ½ cup of coconut milk with the other ½ of pandan leaf, and a pinch of salt until it boils. Once it reaches boiling point, let it simmer for at least 10 minutes until you can see the creamy coconut milk looks slightly oily. Turn the heat off.
  7. Serve the Mung bean porridge in a bowl and pour the coconut milk over.
  8. Enjoy your Mung bean dessert with coconut milk.


  • Pandan leaf has a very exotic and distinct fragrance. Here in the UK, the pandan leaf we get at the shop is imported from Thailand. And the leaves are very long. Indonesia’s pandan leaves are much shorter. Therefore, for this recipe, we only need one piece. If you find it difficult to find, you can substitute it with vanilla. I can only say that the Pandan aroma suits better with coconut milk. It always reminds me of Indonesia ?.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 114Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 157mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 1gSugar 12gProtein 1g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

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