What is Mungunzá?

June 21, 2024


Mungunzá, also known as Mung bean porridge, is a traditional Brazilian dish that is popular in various regions of the country. This dish is made from mung beans, which are small green beans that are commonly used in Asian cuisine. Mungunzá is a versatile dish that can be served as a sweet or savory dish, depending on the ingredients and seasonings used in its preparation.

History of Mungunzá

The history of Mungunzá dates back to the colonial period in Brazil when African slaves brought mung beans to the country. These beans were easy to cultivate and quickly became a staple food in the diets of the slaves. Over time, mung beans were incorporated into traditional Brazilian cuisine, leading to the creation of Mungunzá.


The main ingredients used in Mungunzá include mung beans, coconut milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Additional ingredients such as cloves, ginger, and salt can also be added to enhance the flavor of the dish. Mung beans are rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making Mungunzá a nutritious and satisfying meal.


To prepare Mungunzá, mung beans are soaked overnight and then cooked with water until they are soft and tender. Coconut milk, sugar, and spices are added to the cooked beans, and the mixture is simmered until it thickens into a creamy porridge-like consistency. Mungunzá can be served hot or cold, depending on personal preference.


There are many variations of Mungunzá across Brazil, with each region adding its own unique twist to the dish. Some variations include adding corn, tapioca pearls, or condensed milk to the porridge. In some regions, Mungunzá is served with savory toppings such as shredded chicken or beef, while in others, it is served as a dessert with fruits and nuts.

Health Benefits

Mung beans are a nutritious legume that is packed with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy addition to any diet. Mung beans have been linked to various health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and better blood sugar control.

Popular Occasions

Mungunzá is a popular dish during traditional Brazilian festivals and celebrations, such as Festa Junina, a festival that celebrates the feast of Saint John. During these festivities, Mungunzá is served as a traditional dessert, often accompanied by other Brazilian sweets and treats. Mungunzá is also commonly served at family gatherings and special occasions.

Regional Differences

In different regions of Brazil, Mungunzá is prepared and served in unique ways that reflect the local culinary traditions and preferences. In the Northeast region of Brazil, Mungunzá is often made with corn and coconut milk, giving it a sweet and creamy flavor. In the South region, Mungunzá is served as a savory dish with meat and vegetables.


In conclusion, Mungunzá is a delicious and versatile dish that has a rich history and cultural significance in Brazil. Whether served as a sweet dessert or a savory meal, Mungunzá is a beloved dish that brings people together to celebrate and enjoy the flavors of Brazilian cuisine. Try making Mungunzá at home and experience the unique taste of this traditional Brazilian dish.

Tatiana Cesso

As a journalist, I've made it my mission to explore and share stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. You may have stumbled upon my work in esteemed publications such as InStyle, Marie Claire, Bazaar, L’Officiel, and Vogue, among others. Having called the U.S. home since 2010, I've lived in Chicago, LA, and currently, Miami. But my heart always beats to the rhythm of Brazil. It's where I was born and raised, and my love for its culture, people, and energy knows no bounds. To share this passion, I've founded Brazilcore, a platform aimed at bridging the gap between Brazil and English speakers worldwide.