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Moong Sprouts Sundal

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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).

 Sprouting: 

  • 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.

Insulated hot box used for sprouting

Insulated hot box used for sprouting

 

Close-up of moong sprouts

Close-up of moong sprouts

Preparation of Moong Sprouts Sundal:

  1. Heat 2 tsp of oil.
  2. Add a pinch of asafoetida to the oil.
  3. Follow it up with a tsp of mustard seeds; wait till they splutter.
  4. Add a tsp of black gram dhal, a slit green chili or dry red chili and a few curry leaves and stir.
  5. Add chopped onion (1 medium-sized) and sauté for a few minutes.
  6. 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.
Moong sprouts sundal

Moong sprouts sundal

Servings: 4

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?

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Falafel or Chickpea Patty

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Few things that comfort us when we stay abroad are friends, secure job and good food. Speaking about food, experimenting with new foods may be exciting only when it is occasional. But, if situations impose it on us on a daily basis, it becomes a frustrating issue. Availability of our local foods in a foreign land may give us a tremendous sense of relief. Strangely enough, foods of an alien country which bear streaks of similarity to our native food also bring us so much happiness. Perhaps, the thought that they eat like us, makes us feel that those people are not so different from us. It, in a way, helps to reduce the gap between us. Falafel or Chickpea patty is one such Middle Eastern food that is so much like our South Indian Masal Vadai.

The clear cut instructions and video tutorial at videojug.com inspired me to try my hand at making falafels. I tried following the recipe to the T. I strayed away from the original, in adding finely chopped onions to the mix and flattening the patty mix instead of rounding them as spheres. The result, as you see below, was very good.

Falafels or Chickpea Patties

Falafels or Chickpea Patties

The fact that it does not require water during grinding makes it safe play. As you all know, this is where many go wrong while preparing masal vadai – add more water to the batter and subsequently face problems while shaping the vadai; more water in the batter also absorbs more oil during deep frying. The all purpose flour acts as a binding agent and makes it easier to mould the falafel into shape and keep it intact.

If you are intent upon pointing some setbacks of falafel in comparison with masal vadai, then you could state: the longer soaking time required for chickpeas than the Bengalgram dhal; the longer list of ingredients for falafel; the baking salt in it amounting to more sodium.

But on the whole, it is a tasty snack and would remain healthy, if portion control is taken care of – restrict to 2. In the Middle East, falafel is either served with tahini sauce or in Mushakel.  Mushakel is a sandwich made by stuffing falafels in pita along with salad, pickled vegetables and tahini sauce.

It is now your turn to try this Middle Eastern Dish.

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