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Sprouts make a nutritious and crunchy snack and are a great addition to salads. With the sprouting method illustrated in our video and described below, you can easily sprout any pulse at home. We decided to use moong dal since it's one of the most popular dals to sprout but you can use any other whole skin on pulse-like kala chana, chickpeas, whole masoor dal, or even rajma or kidney beans.
We love eating these sprouts raw because of their wonderful crunch. If you have trouble digesting lentils and pulses though, then we recommend steaming them slightly as that makes them easier to digest. There are many ways to incorporate sprouts into your diet, you can add them to your salads and sandwiches. With a squeeze of lemon, olive oil and salt, they make a healthy and crunchy snack and they can also be added to omelettes, stir-fries and curries.
The salad recipe we share is a classic desi style salad recipe. Feel free to adapt it and be more creative. We added the three classic Indian salad vegetables - tomatoes, cucumber and red onion, but you can also add bell peppers, radish, pomegranate, or any other vegetables that you like. India isn't too big on salad dressings either, lime juice and chaat masala is usually the classic north Indian salad flavouring. However, the addition of some olive oil to the salad would perhaps also help increase nutrient absorption, so feel free to add that in.
This sprouts salad holds up really well and is thus great for packed lunches and picnics. It's our go-to food to take to the park in the summers. We hope that we've inspired you to sprout pulses at home and that you give our desi style salad recipe a try!
- 1/4 cup whole moong dal or mung beans
- 1 small red onion
- 1 mini cucumber
- 1 medium tomato
- 10-15 sprigs fresh coriander
- 1/2 lime
- 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp chaat masala (optional)
- 1/4 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (or gochugaru)
To make sprouts at home:
With this technique, you can sprout any kind of pulse at home, as long as it's whole and has its skin on.
- Wash and soak the moong dal in plenty of drinking water overnight or for at least 8 hours
- Once soaked and softened, drain the moong dal of its soaking water and rinse the dal.
- Put the rinsed dal in a bowl and cover it with a wet kitchen cloth. The sprouts need a warm and wet environment to germinate. Set aside in a warm place in your kitchen for 1-2 days till the sprouts are ready. You might need to dampen the kitchen cloth again in case it has tried out.
- Once the moong dal has 3-4 cm long roots, the sprouts are ready to eat. Wash the sprouts well before consuming and enjoy!
These fresh and crunchy sprouts can be eaten raw and added to slaws and salads. If you find it difficult to digest pulses, you can also stem the sprouts before consuming which makes them easier on the stomach. They can also be cooked of course and added to curries, stir-fries and other dishes.
To make sprouts salad:
- Peel and finely dice the cucumber and red onion. Deseed and chop the tomato. Finely chop the coriander
- Rinse the moong dal sprouts and add them to a bowl. Add the chopped vegetables to the sprouts and mix.
- To season add the juice of 1/2 lime followed but the salt, chaat masala and red chilli powder.
- Mix well and your salad is ready to enjoy!
We only sprout 1/4 cup of moong dal which might seem like a really small amount at first but do not that once soaked and sprouted, pulses increase considerably in volume. These moong dal sprouts, once done were 5 times their original volume for example.