I picked up this simple recipe from my mom many years ago– I made some minor adjustments, by adding carrots and chili peppers and decided to name it Spicy Tangy Sprouts Carrots Salad. A couple of times in a month she would sprout different kinds of beans and make this simple snack/salad by seasoning with ingredients like curry leaves, mustard seeds, urad dal etc and just adding lime and salt. She would soak the beans in a wet cloth and thanks to the warm, muggy weather back in in India, they would sprout in just a day.
Sprouting is very popular in South India and there are a number of vegetarian dishes made with sprouts, grated coconut etc – a very popular recipe called ‘Sundal’ made this way is also served in Hindu temples as an offering to God. I remember a simple, black chickpea dish made by the priest at a temple in Hyderabad that I visit even now. It is made with sprouted and steamed black chickpeas sautéed with mustard seeds with a pinch of salt and some lime. Delicious.
Benefits of sprouting
I never realized the many health benefits of these simple and delicious dishes back then, but now I know better. Sprouting is highly recommended by nutritionists and it is something you can easily do at home. Here’s a simple explanation of the process and benefit of sprouting– “a seed (or grain or legume) has many nutritional advantages to you, but many of them are locked up tight by anti-nutrients (such as phytic acid). Once you start the germinating process, that dormant seed starts to become a live plant. Anti-nutrients are cast away, it changes, inside and out, and when you eat that seed, no longer are you eating just a seed, instead you are eating a tiny little plant. The process of changing seeds into little plants is easy, but the changes that happen are huge.” (Source: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/01/why-sprout.html)
Experts estimate that there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than uncooked fruits and vegetables. Research shows that during the sprouting process mung beansprouts (or just beansprouts, as they are often called) increase in vitamin B1 by up to 285%, vitamin B2 by up to 515%, and niacin by up to 256%. This salad is a good way to get the nutritional benefits while enjoying a tasty snack.
Spicy Tangy Sprouts Carrots Salad
- 1 Cup Whole Green Mung Beans Sprouts
- 1/4 Cup Carrots Fine Cut
- 1 Green Chili Pepper Small, Fine Cut
- 6 Curry Leaves
- 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 Dry Red Chili
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lime Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt Or to taste
- Soak whole green mung beans in water overnight and then transfer them to a wet cloth placed in a glass bowl. It may take up to 36 hours for the beans to sprout. Alternatively, use a sprouting jar.
- Store sprouted beans in a glass container in the refrigerator if you are not ready to cook right away
- Gather seasoning ingredients in a bowl (curry leaves, urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chili pepper)
- Sautee seasoning ingredients for 2 minutes
- Add sprouts, carrots, green chili peppers, salt and stir for a minute
- Mix seasoning thoroughly with all ingredients and transfer to serving dish. Sprinkle lime juice and mix well. You can also add chaat masala for extra flavor