Sprouts are often glorified as ‘live foods’ and rightly so, because they are seeds germinating into baby plants. Sprouting impacts the nutritional quality of the seed tremendously and transforms it into a super food. The soaking step, kick starts the metabolic activity of the seed and brings about many advantageous changes. On sprouting,
- The enzymatic activity in the seed increases.
- Complex nutrients are broken down into simpler forms, viz., starch into simpler sugars by amylase, proteins into aminoacids by protease and fats into fatty acids by lipase. The end product is in fact a predigested food.
- The aminoacid profile improves.
- The vitamins A, B and C, fibre and mineral contents escalate.
- Anti-nutrients (phytates and protease inhibitors) plummet.
Those who have attempted sprouting would understand that these changes are so much in return for the little effort we throw in! Moong or green gram is the most commonly sprouted pulse, as is ragi among cereals. Let’s get acquainted with the process of sprouting and making moong sprouts sundal (Mulaikattiya Pachai Payaru Sundal in Tamil).
- Take a cup of moong in a bowl.
- Wash thoroughly with water till it is free of dust, grit and all impurities.
- Soak moong in water, overnight (about 8-12 hrs).
- Make sure that the pulses have swollen enough due to hydration.
- Drain water using a strainer.
- Rinse moong in water and drain again.
- Transfer moong in to an insulated hot box and close it using the lid. This is a very convenient method compared to the traditional muslin cloth procedure (and this is the best use I have ever put my smallest of hot boxes to).
- It takes about 24 hrs for the sprouts to grow adequately (I still remember how excited and curious I was the first time I tried sprouting. I used to open the box every 4-5 hrs to steal a glance of how much the sprouts had grown :-)).
- Extend the time of sprouting to 36-48 hrs, if you wish longer sprouts.
This is not much of a work at all – it is easy and fun too. So next time, don’t hunt for sprouts in supermarkets. Just DIY.
Preparation of Moong Sprouts Sundal:
- Heat 2 tsp of oil.
- Add a pinch of asafoetida to the oil.
- Follow it up with a tsp of mustard seeds; wait till they splutter.
- Add a tsp of black gram dhal, a slit green chili or dry red chili and a few curry leaves and stir.
- Add chopped onion (1 medium-sized) and sauté for a few minutes.
- Now incorporate the moong sprouts, sprinkle desired salt and toss it for 5-10 min on low heat, before turning off the stove. A healthy, predigested snack is all yours.
Other Simple Ways to Use Moong Sprouts:
- Mix the sprouts with yoghurt, required salt and relish.
- Drizzle a dressing of lime juice, pepper and salt over the sprouts, mix and consume.
- Kids would love a sweet twist to this dish. Add some coconut gratings and a tad of powdered jaggery to the sprouts and convert it into a crunchy delight.
I usually use half of the soaked moong to make normal sundal (which requires pressure cooking for 1 whistle and immediately releasing the pressure, before proceeding to the other steps) and leave the rest to sprout, to use another day. That takes care of snacks for 2 days – smart planning, eh?