Ever looked at your child and felt like she's grown so much and so suddenly? Then you look at the other kids in the neighborhood and they have turned into giants, too? Because you are now looking up at them? It turns me into a mess because I start worrying whether she is getting the nutrition she needs to see her through this growth spurt. That always sends me in the direction of the energy store: sprouts.
This time I sprouted masoor or lentils. I had several friends who would bring sprouted masoorichi usal for lunch and I willingly traded my lunch for theirs. We never sprouted masoor in our family and I am not entirely sure why - even though masoor was and is always a staple in our pantry. They are not toxic when sprouted, for sure. I threw all inhibition aside and went ahead. Now, I am even more flummoxed because these are the easiest to sprout! Easier than green beans, matki and vaal. They also cook very quickly and are a delight to discerning taste buds.
To sprout whole masoor or whole lentils:
- Soak overnight, 2 cups of masoor in 4 cups of water. Or for 6-8 hours.
- Drain the water and rinse them well.
- Keep them in a colander or even the inner basket of your salad spinner and cover.
- A warm and dark environment helps.
- Check them after another 8-10 hours and you should see small sprouts already.
- Rinse them again and cover for another 8-10 hours. They should be ready by then.
- If not, repeat #6.
Sprouted Masoor Usal
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2tsp mustard seeds
- a pinch asafetida
- 7-8 curry leaves
- 2 dried red chillies, broken into 2-3 pieces each
- 1 large clove of garlic, julienned
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 cups of masoor
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
- lemon wedges, finely chopped onions and cilantro for garnish
- Sprout the masoor according to the directions above.
- Heat the oil in a kadhai.
- Add mustard seeds and when they pop, add asafetida, red chillies, curry leaves.
- Add the garlic and toast it gently.
- Add the turmeric powder.
- Add the sprouted masoor, brown sugar, salt and mix well.
- Add water, cover and cook on medium-low flame for about 20 minutes until the masoor has cooked. Do not overcook the sprouts.
- Garnish with chopped onions and cilantro and wedges of lime.
- This is a meal that must be planned ahead as the masoor takes 2 days to sprout well.
- Medha likes to add Khatta Meetha to hers while her Dad prefers the spicier Bhujia Sev or Hot Mix. (These can be found at your friendly neighborhood Indian grocery store.)
- I don't eat oily fried stuff - except to celebrate blogversaries - so instead I douse my usal with yogurt and also add a splash of cilantro-mint-ginger chutney. Mine is then more of a misal. Nupur has an excellent post on misal, with updates from her Mom.
- I usually add julienned ginger with the garlic or just ginger and skip the garlic.
- My recipe is a very basic usal and this can be made with any other type of sprouted bean, too. Matki is one of our favorites.
Oh and this is not my entry to Bee's Grow Your Own event. Just saying. Especially since most of you will be wondering.
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