Years ago an Indian co-worker brought into work a dish that she called a mung bean salad. It was young sprouted mung beans seasoned with garlic and spices. I absolutely loved it but either forgot to ask for the recipe or never received it and promptly forgot about it for a decade or so.
I was recently browsing through Made in India by Meera Sodha and came across a picture and recipe of my co-worker’s bean salad. I, of course, made the recipe, loved it and added it to my collection. While the book isn’t exclusively vegan, there are a lot of great recipes that are worth a look and try.
This recipe isn’t difficult but it does require some time and effort since you’ll be sprouting your own beans; the whole process from beginning to end will take a couple of days. Mung beans are fairly easy to come by in health food stores or grocery stores with a decent bulk section. They’re a small bean (maybe half the size of a pea) and olive green in color.
You’ll need some type of vessel for sprouting the beans. I bought a sprouting jar which is basically a mason jar with a perforated lid. Sprouting lids can be purchased from amazon.com and attached to a wide-mouth mason jar but putting together a homemade jar with a towel or cheese cloth shouldn’t be too difficult.
This recipe calls for 1-¼ cups of dry mung beans. Place the beans in your sprouting jar and cover with 1-2 inches of water. Let them soak for 12 hours or overnight and the drain the water. Rinse and drain 1-2 times a day and allow to sprout in a dark place. I’ve read that allowing to sprout in the dark prevents them from tasting bitter. The beans will double in size as they sprout and will develop little tails in 2-3 days. I allowed mine to grow about an inch in length but they are ready for the recipe as soon as the tails appear.
The recipe comes together pretty quickly at this point. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustards seeds when oil is hot. Turn down when they begin to pop and stir in garlic and spices. Allow them to cook for a few minutes or until the garlic begins to brown. Stir in sprouted beans, tomatoes, salt and water. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat, cover, and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Season to taste and serve immediately. Eat it over rice or right out of the pan like I do!
- 1-¼ cups whole mung beans
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1-½ tsps. black mustard seeds
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
- ½ tsp. turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsps. lemon juice
- 1-¼ tsps. salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds once the oil is hot. Turn down the heat once the seeds begin to pop and add in garlic, ginger, turmeric and cayenne. Sauté until the garlic begins to brown.
- 2. Add the sprouted mung beans, tomatoes, salt and water to the pan. Stir ingredients together and bring to a boil before turning heat to low. Cover and allow beans to cook for 20 minutes.
- 3. Stir in lemon juice and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Eat alone or serve over rice.