Sprouted

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:

  1. Soak overnight, 2 cups of masoor in 4 cups of water. Or for 6-8 hours.
  2. Drain the water and rinse them well.
  3. Keep them in a colander or even the inner basket of your salad spinner and cover.
  4. A warm and dark environment helps.
  5. Check them after another 8-10 hours and you should see small sprouts already.
  6. Rinse them again and cover for another 8-10 hours. They should be ready by then.
  7. 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


  1. Sprout the masoor according to the directions above.
  2. Heat the oil in a kadhai.
  3. Add mustard seeds and when they pop, add asafetida, red chillies, curry leaves.
  4. Add the garlic and toast it gently.
  5. Add the turmeric powder.
  6. Add the sprouted masoor, brown sugar, salt and mix well.
  7. Add water, cover and cook on medium-low flame for about 20 minutes until the masoor has cooked. Do not overcook the sprouts.
  8. Garnish with chopped onions and cilantro and wedges of lime.

Notes:
  • 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.
What have you sprouted this summer? Not in the ground but in your kitchen?

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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22 comments:

Anita said...

I like usal the misal way! The crunchy onion, crispy sev, and tart tomatoes, and the yoghurt, add the perfect texture to this healthy dish.

I sprouted matki and mung last week. The matki was cooked, similar you your usal (with some goda masala), with green beans, while the mung didn't sprout (aged seed I guess) and was steamed and served like you have served these.

What's going on?! What else have you been growing on your own?! Looking forward to more recipes! ;-)

Pelicano said...

This isn't it either?! The suspense is killing me...will it be creamy lavender-garlic soup? :-D

Anita said...

Pel, do you know something I don't?

Pelicano said...

About what?

Kitt said...

That looks tasty! I can't say I've ever sprouted anything on purpose. (Let's see, not on purpose I've sprouted potatoes, onions and garlic.)

Oh wait, I do sprout sweet potatoes and then plant them in window boxes. Much cheaper than paying for sweet potato vines at the garden center. They're a wonderful chartreuse color.

This may require a shopping trip!

Manisha said...

Hey, you two! Anita and Pel! Go put notes on each other's photos. No chitchat allowed here.

Kitt, sprouts are a powerhouse and very healthy. Try these! They are really easy to make.

How do you sprout sweet potatoes? I thought they last forever. I had sweet potatoes in my basement for over a year before I used them. No sprouts. They didn't even rot! They were gorgeous in color and the flavor did not seem to have changed.

Pelicano said...

For my reckless behavior I humply apologize madame, but I am astounded at the little harvests popping up on here from someone who insists that they are so agriculturally challenged. Now you just have to get past the next hurdle: leaves. ;-)

Sia said...

so what u gonna post for GYO???? ;) I am all ears and eyes!!!
i love sporouts and usli is my all time fv dish to make using any sprouts. i like to cook or rather stri fry for a while (i like it better than uncooked ones) with very few ingredients. lovely pics manisha.

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

The masoor dal sold commonly in the stores is the split orange lentil, and this will not sprout. You have to ask for whole masoor or chilkawali masoor, or as we used to call it in our childhood, bedbug dal. Thanks for the recipe.

Priya said...

The name that Subhorup last quoted is enough to put me off this for the rest of my life! thats why they say, never read others comments :(

Shilpa said...

I am going to try this. Never tried to sprout masoor. Will give it a try...I am sure it is very very tasty.

See..I love all your recipes..thats why I keep pestering you for recipes :).

Waiting for your GYO entry.

Manisha said...

Pel, who knew that sprouts would be considered being agriculturally savvy? My yard is a harsh environment, remember?

Sia, you mean I have to post something for GYO? I think I might be out of time.

Subhorup, when you use the word dal, it means that the dried beans have been hulled and split. Anything that is split will not sprout.

You will notice that I have not used the word dal at all. I have instead called it whole masoor or whole lentils or just masoor. Whole lentils are easily available in regular grocery stores as well.

And, please, no talk of bed bugs on this blog!


Priya, back to childhood lessons: just because they call you something, it does not make you that.

Same with masoor. Besides, this is not dal. Just sprout the darned thing and eat it. It is healthy.


Shilpa, it is so much easier than green beans or matki. Notice that this recipe is also very simple. It is just phodni + sprouts. GYO? I have no idea what you are talking about.

Anita said...

Chitchat? Was she here? Yeah, you did a good thing by disallowing her comments - too cute for her own good. As is that Batcheat. And Pel has already apologised for his behaviour...I'd leave a note, as requested, but this is not on Flickr...

And, in these parts (N India), dal=lentil, in whatever form it may be, split, or not, skinned, or not; usually qualified by adding sabut for whole, chilka for "with skin" (un-hulled), and dhuli for skinned - no ambiguity.

bee said...

bee's GYO? it's jai's GYO. he's going to do the roundup.

Manisha said...

Anita, too much tequila? Again? The notes *are* on Flickr, sweetie, which is where I directed you.

We use the word dal only when it is split. Otherwise it is understood that it is not hulled or split. Less is more. No need for extra words. And no ambiguity either. And whoever wrote the wiki on it seems to agree. Although they do have a para just for you.
:-D

Bee, he is? Is he going to start doing memes also now? Did he leave a comment on every entry? It's part of the hosting and round-up duties as I am sure he knows.

Shilpa said...

I agree with you Manisha. Whenever it is mentioned as dal, I take it as split one....Anita's comment is a total eye opener. I did not know why many people on my blog kept asking if I meant whole or split when I mentioned moong or masoor. It never made sense to me when I read whole masoor dal :(.

musical said...

Yup, misal it is for me :). With extra mirchi and tikhat sev please :-D.

Yum, yum, yum :).

My other favorite is kulith usal (not sprouted, just cooked) and the saar made from the kulith broth, with some dahi mixed and a jeera-hing phodni. Total bliss. And usals work so well as a sandwich stuffing!!

Padma said...

The sprouts photo has been clicked beautifully!

Anita said...

Not too much - just a little, every now and then. Now that my bar is re-stocked..hic.

And how do you address mung chilka which is split but not hulled? That is dal, and then hulled one is also dal? Very confusing...ambiguous...unless you add another word...do you?

Manisha said...

Shilpa, well thank God there is at least one person who knows what I am talking about!

Musy, when are you posting recipes for all those yummies? Soon, I hope!

Padma, thank you! They were basking in the glow of the setting sun.

Anita, we don't address them at all. These were never in our list of staples. We only ever had whole green moog and moogachi dal. No in-betweens. I was introduced to the in-betweens at a Punjabi friend's house - in khichadi laced with major amounts of ghee.

Pelicano said...

In-betweens...hee hee. I remember I asked someone about this once...because M. Jaffrey would refer to "whole moong" and "moong dhal" or "moong dhal with skins" and then I visited some blogs where they were ALL dhal, and some not. Confusing. India. Gotta love it.

Shilpa said...

Tried this today Manisha. I love love this. Didn't have any trouble with sprouting masoor. Thank you :)