Nov 26, 2009

Sprouted whole Moong Usal

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).

1. Soak in plenty of water for 8 – 10 hours or overnight.
I used 3 cups of water to soak 1/2 cups of moong beans

2. Drain all the water. The beans will have doubled in volume and become plump and soft.

3. Take a damp cotton towel/ dish cloth and dump the moong beans in the center. Loosely wrap the ends around, put it in a covered pot and keep it in a dark, warm place (ex. under the stove top, in the oven or covered by a bigger pot).
4. Forget about it for 24 – 30 hours.

5. Take out the bean pot, open the dish cloth and behold glorious sprouted moong or any other beans of your choice.

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 a pan, add the tight fitting lid and cook for about 20 minutes or till the beans are cooked through but not mushy.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro. The usal can be eaten as a side with dal and rotis or as a main dish with rotis.

Notes: If cooking in a pressure cooker, make sure to turn the heat off after one whistle. If not the beans will still taste good but will not hold their shape and will be mushy.

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.


  1. The sprouted moong bean usal looks healthy and appetising.

  2. Ah Jaya, I see what you mean by the plugging each other's idea :-) Thanks for the mention. You know I did not know that we had to keep the moong in dark, warm place for sprouting. I will use the tip the next time I make it.
    DS loves snacking on sprouted moong.

    Loved the variation of the ural, reminds me of Mooga Ghashi. Hope you are having a relaxed long weekend.

  3. I personally do not like moong as they taste bland when we make it the family way(the way its cooked in family) but I love to eat moong sprouts with some curd and salad veggies .Haven't tried moong with coconut though...hmm seems I need to experiment .Thanks for the recipe !

  4. These days we get sprouted grams in the super market. Makes the job easier. They taste good in a salad, as a 'sundal or usal' and with a coconut gravy, or improvise the chole recipe. And as you mentioned, nutritious too. The pictures are great and I have a box of sprouted mung too!

  5. though we never make sprout mung this way n eat it raw mostly...sometimes in khichri or tahiri too , it's good to eat this any which way , apart from being healthy n low cal , it is a good detox food according to ayurveda especially if it is cooked like this or in a soup or khichri.
    winters are my wt. loss days n i am back on my soup and salad days n this green mung is my staple....i'll cook it this way for a change sometime..

  6. Hi girl;)
    Hope all is well with you and school:)
    Get that A:)
    have a great day Jaya.

  7. Thank you Kitchen Queen.

    RC, I did not know for the longest time either about sprouting the beans in the dark. Your son snacks on the sprouted beans!? I am so jealous.

    Radha, we too get sprouted beans in the store here, but they are way too expensive.

    Sangeeta, I too eat them raw sometimes or in khichari but T prefers it this way. Am curious to see your wt. lose diet.

    SP, I did get an A, so yay! You have a great day too :)

  8. Oh I love sprouted beans...of any kind. I like to stuff them into my whole wheat pita with tomatoes and plain greek yougurt! YUMM! This recipe looks like another great one for the trying!

  9. Hi:)
    i am happy for you, truly:)

  10. hey girl! I know I have been hiding under a rock. I need to try this, I thought sprouting mung beans was a scientific process reserved for Ph.Ds.

  11. One of my favorite thing in salads. I have rarely cooked sprouted moong. Interesting recipes to try.

  12. Hi girl:)
    Well done, it really is a wonderful feature.
    Have a good day, SP

  13. Oh okay, I've never really done this myself. I buy it and do want to make it at home. Will make sprouts soon from here :)

  14. I have never sprouted moong before, but your post makes me want to try that now :) very good info about benefits of sprouting.. one more reason to like usal!

  15. Nice illustrations!! I love sprouted moong.. They are tasty and healthy... My maid used to make it for me and my friends almost every week. I guess she was so fond of this one..


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