And how to sprout moong beans?
One hot, humid day, I forgot to grind my soaked moong dal rice mix and it sat on the counter the whole day. The next day I found my whole moong was sprouting tiny buds. So, I grinded the mix for my dosa and then proceeded to soak some more sprouted moong dal for my usal (not to be confused with usual).
The process of sprouting beans/ legumes is easy but does take time so planning a day or two ahead is necessary. Here is the easy 1-2-3 step to sprouting beans (okay, so there are more than three steps to doing this. But it is still easy).
I used 3 cups of water to soak 1/2 cups of moong beans
4. Forget about it for 24 – 30 hours.
You may be tempted to ask, “Why go through the trouble of sprouting the beans?” and here’s my answer. The benefits of sprouting beans are many. The sprouting process not only doubles the volume of the beans it also increases the vitamin, mineral and protein content of beans and decreases the calories and carbohydrate content. Plus they taste good even raw. So go ahead and sprout some beans today and cook them the usal way.
The usal is just a simple sauté of onions, garlic and tomatoes with some garam masala thrown in for good measure. For the purist in search of the authentic, adding a little grated coconut will achieve the desired result. I usually omit it in pursuit of retaining the earthy flavor of the moong beans.
Supriya of Red Chilies recently posted this version of cooking moong beans which is also super easy and tastes delicious.
1/2 cup moong beans, sprouted
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped fine
2-4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
1 small potato, chopped into cubes (optional)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 green chili, chopped fine
1 tsp garam masala
Cilantro for garnish
Grind the onion, coconut (if using), tomato and garlic cloves.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in the small, 3 liter pressure cooker. Alternatively, use a pan with a tight fitting lid. Add the mustard seeds and lower the heat when they start popping.
Add the cumin seeds, green chilli, turmeric powder and garam masala. Let it cook for 30 sec before adding the onion-tomato paste.
Cook till the raw smell of onions turns fragrant and the watery paste turns thick. This should take about 10 min on medium flame.
Add the sprouted moong beans, adjust the water and put the cooker lid on. Turn off the heat after one whistle.
If using, add the cubed potato before adding the onion-tomato paste. Coat it with the spices and cook for a few minutes.
The sprouted moong bean usal goes to Susan's MLLA-17, currently hosted by Sra of When My Soup came Alive.