Growing up in India, our diet was primarily vegetarian, with the occasional indulgence in meat. Our diet however, was never lacking in protein. Everyone that eats a plant-based vegetarian diet gets asked that question "... but where do you get your protein?" - the answer is quite simple: Vegetables, Leafy Greens, Grains, Lentils, Beans ... all have wonderful amounts of protein. And we don't need to eat 600% of the RDA of protein like most people on a Standard Western Omnivorous diet.
Prep Time: 2 days for sprouting the beans; 10 min of actual dish prep time.
- 1/2 cup Mung Beans
- 1 medium Cucumber, Seedless, diced
- 1 medium Red Onion, diced
- 2-3 tbsp minced, mixed, fresh herbs
- 1 lemon/lime (juice of).
- 1-2 tsp Chunky Chaat Masala, to taste (optional).
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
The first step of this recipe requires some patience. Rinse mung beans and transfer to a large bowl. Soak overnight in ample amounts of water:
|Time = 0 hours|
|Time = 12 hours|
Line the bottom of a colander with a folded paper towel or cheese cloth. transfer the beans and allow the excess water to drain out the bottom:
Soak another large piece folder paper towel, or cheese cloth with tap water and cover the beans completely. Place the colander in the same bowl, and cover the whole set up with saran-wrap or aluminum foil. This will prevent the beans from drying out. Leave the bowl on the kitchen counter.
|Time = 24 hours|
After another 12 hours, remove the top cover, run a gentle stream of tap water over the beans. By this time most beans should have a small seedling (2-3 mm). Once the water drains out, replace the wet cover and saran wrap.
|Time = 36 hours|
After another 12 hours, repeat the steps above. Most beans at this stage should have a 8-10 mm sprout.
|Time = 48 hours|
On the second day, the sprouts should be close to 15mm long and that is when we typically stopped growing them further. After sitting for 2 days at room temperature, despite repeated washes in between, there is a chance for fungus etc. so I didn't want to risk it anymore. A lot of oriental dishes have sprouts that are far longer. I soaked the beans at this stage in a fresh bowl with a lot of tap water, and picked up the floating sprouts and transferred them to a fresh colander. Once well drained, I kept them overnight in the fridge.
This evening, I transferred the sprouts to a pressure cooker and steamed them for less than 2 minutes. Bring 1/2 cup water to boil, add the sprouts and close the lid. Start the timer and as soon as 2 minutes is up, whether or not full pressure has been achieved, take the cooker off the stove and release the steam and drain immediately (mine were a little over-done today!).
And then in a large bowl, toss everything together. For fresh herbs, I used basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, thyme and spearmint, all chopped finely. I used Chunky Chaat Masala in my recipe, but if you don't have it, this is equally as enjoyable with just salt, pepper, and lemon/lime juice.
My Assessment: This is comfort food for me ... miss you Bade dad!