Sprouts have been popular on well-planned salad bars for decades. I love to add both alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts to my salads and have munched on them since I was a kid.
These crispy little treats are popular ingredients in Indian cooking. As a matter of fact, lentils are easy to sprout at home and cook into a healthy and delicious dish. Let me tell you how simple it is to grow sprouts for a tasty snack or a dish.
- Rinse one cup of mung beans (or other lentil) to remove any debris. Put them in a large bowl and cover them completely with cool water. Soak them overnight.
- The next morning, pour out the water and rinse the beans several times until the water is fresh.
- Dampen a piece of cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel. Wring out any excess water then place the dal on top of it. Tie the ends of the towel together and place the bundle in a large bowl. Put the bowl in a dark place for 2 to 3 days. During the winter I place it in the oven.
- Sprinkle a little water over the towel 2 or 3 times every day. After the third day, the sprouts should be about ½ to ¾ inch tall.
- Refrigerate until you are ready to use them.
Eating sprouts is popular around the world because nutrients and antioxidants may be concentrated in the tiny low calorie plants. 100 grams (about 3½ ounces) have:
|100 grams||30 calories|
Apparently the experts have not concluded the discussion on this. Some lentils may have bacteria in them naturally and eating them raw may lead to illness. Cooking will kill any bacteria and make them safe.
In India, mung beans are the most popular but some like fenugreek sprouts. They appear in savory as well as sweet recipes in both North India and South India. I avoid fenugreek sprouts because they are too bitter to eat. Technically, any lentil or seed can be sprouted and eaten. For example, broccoli, wheat grass, clover, alfalfa, garbanzos, etc. are common.
Check out my Spicy Sprout Salad for an healthy vegetarian Indian salad. It is perfect as the main item for lunch and as a side dish for dinner on a hot evening. This recipe is very easy and quick to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
Mung beans are also called green gram, mung dal and moong dal. Whatever they are called, they make a tasty yet healthy snack!
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