For a few months now, I've been wanting to actively produce some bean sprouts and then use them in a normal daal recipe. I've accidentally sprouted some kala chana before by letting it soak too long, and I loved the texture of it. I figured I could do it with any whole bean or lentil and be equally amazed. The thing is, you need to plan ahead. You can't just decide at noon that you want to have some sprouted daal for dinner. You need to have that urge a few days beforehand. I knew a week ahead that I was going to be hosting an Indian dinner party, so I had plenty of time to wait for my little moons to develop.
I like mine to be just barely sprouted. It's actually quite easy.. Even if you accidentally do it wrong, like leaving the beans underwater for over 24 hours, they will still sprout.
How to sprout
Wash the beans well under running water, then leave them to soak for a few hours or overnight. After the soaking time, drain and place in a transparent recipient and cover. You basically want them to not dry out (hence the cover) and not be completely in the dark (hence the transparent recipient). After 1 day, you will see little white tails staring to emerge from the bean's navel. You can rinse to re-wet and leave them for another day for a slightly larger sprout, or'longer for longer and longer sprouts.
I soaked'mone for 24 hours and let them hang out drained for another 24 hours. They were perfect, with the bean just starting to split to let life spring from it. It was beautiful and filled my heart full of joy.
And then there was life...
I was then able to use them in this amazing sabzi recipe, inspired by VegrecipesofIndia.
Serves 6-8 as a side
2 cups sprouted moong (1 cup dry)
1 1/2 Tbsp oil
6 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 inch ginger, grated
1 green chile, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
Pinch hing (asafoetida)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
2 cups water or whey
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a wok and add the ginger, garlic, and sliced chiles. Cook about 1 minute.
2. Add the hing and turmeric until it fizzes, then add the chopped onion.
3. Cook until onion is translucent, then add the chopped tomato. Cook until it softens.
4. Add the spice powders and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring.
5. Add the sprouted moong and stir to coat, keeping on high heat.
6. Add the water or whey with the sea salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the moong are tender.
The cooking time will depend on how sprouted they are. The more they are blossomed, the less time they will take to cook and adjust the seasoning
I served with some Paneer Lababdar, Bhindi, and Garlic Naan, preceded by some Samosas and Punugulu with Green Chutney, and followed by some Coconut Burfi.
This meal was a dream come true.
As I made the paneer, I saved the whey and used every last drop of it in place of water in each of the dishes. It adds an extra dimension to the dish you can't quite put your finger on. The best part is that adding whey makes this a double whammy in terms of nutrition. Sprouts contain more protein and less phytic acid than their harder bean predecessor, which means your body can absorb the nutrients more easily. Sprouts are also considered easier to digest than normal beans.
The sprouted mung sabzi, the way I made it, was like a secret pleasure.
The sprout was so discreet that I felt I was the only one with the power, because I knew...