Sprout Masala

2010
08.15

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Since eating healthy has become exponentially the coolest thing to do these days I have been trying real hard to work up the hip in the family. Although it has been a struggle to give up our ongoing love affair with the fat-sugar-fried or anything that spells YUMMM for that matter, certain healthy foods I must admit, have helped in easing the transition. And sprouts for us is among the top contenders. The nutritional value of sprouts apparently are double sometimes quadruple times their dried forms and the best way to eat them would be raw like in salads or sandwiches. But, though we are all for the healthy, and aye aye the  nutrients, we are not yet so bohemian in our being as yet. So, for now we are eating these elixirs of life in their cooked form probably killing thousands of nutrients in the process. I know I know, many of you are already tsking your tongues out! But hey, we are hoping to slowly work ourselves to where all of you already are. Please be patient with our baby steps. And for those of you who are in the transition process like us here’s a really nice recipe for a side dish that pairs amazingly well with rice or Indian breads.

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Many I know are nervous about making sprouts at home. But folks, if I have to say it is no big deal, trust me, it definitely IS NOT a big deal. You could easily pocket what I mean by easy because I‘m the kind who thinks it is too much work to burn 50 calories in an hour ;). (If you don’t believe me ask Roy). Here’s how I sprout my legumes – I soak any kind of washed whole lentils or beans overnight in water. The next morning. I drain out the water and wrap up the swollen lentils in a linen cloth and place it in a colander. I run water all over the wrap to make sure it is wet through out and let the excess water drain out of the colander. I then place the colander with the wrap in a warm and dark place – In my kitchen it is the shelf adjacent to the stove.  Every 7 – 8 hours, I run water on the wrap and let the excess water drain out like before and again I let it rest its dark place. In 2 – 3 days I have the most vibrant looking sprouts that I keep falling in love with over and over again!

Just like most other veggies there are no hard and fast rules while making sprouts.  I use them to make dals as well as sides. When I cook them as sides, I usually add some chopped nuts like cashews or almonds. I love that in between crunch they add.

Ingredients

2 cups green gram sprouts (takes about 1/4 cup of dried whole legumes to make around 2 cups)
1 medium sized onion chopped very fine
2 tomatoes chopped into small chunks
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon and clove spice mix
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 green chilies chopped fine
3 tbsp toasted chopped and crushed cashew nuts
2 tbsp of refined oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin and sauté for a minute.
  • Add in the chopped onions, sauté till golden brown
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute
  • Add salt, chilies, turmeric, coriander, spice mix, powdered cashew nuts and tomato puree and sauté till the oil comes clear.
  • Add the sprouts, sauté for a few minutes and reduce the flame.
  • Gather all the sprouts together to the center of the pan and close the pan with a tight lid and let it cook.
  • Check in occasionally, stir and repeat the previous step until the sprouts are cooked to your liking.
  • Take off the flame. Garnish with cilantro and lemon zest.
  • Serve hot with Indian Breads or rice.
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