Sprouting is a process of germinating seeds, beans, lentils and whole cereals, like wheat. Sprouts can be consumed either raw or cooked.
Sprouted lentils have multiple health benefits as they contain high fibre, proteins, minerals and vitamins. They are recommended to reduce weight and further It has a very positive impact on metabolic activities.
- According to nutritionists and health experts, the sprouts are a powerful source of antioxidants that has all the above mentioned vital components like vitamins, minerals, enzymes etc. needed to prevent cell damage in the body.
- Raw sprouts contain ample amount of oxygen, which is very healthy for the body.
- The sprouts have good amount of B group vitamins and vitamin C.
- It is also helpful to women with the onset of Menopause, as sprouted lentils consumption eases symptoms like hot flushes.
Sprouted lentils are very healthy and mostly eaten raw as a salad, with a dash of olive oil, and a squeeze of lime with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sliced cucumber, radish, carrot etc add to the taste. you can even make a sweet and cool salad by adding a dollop of honey to the sprout.
Eat it anyway, it is always very easy to make and very nutritious and healthy. Well, today we are making a sprouted lentils cooked dish.
1 Cup of Green gram (lentils, say 250 grams)
2 medium Tomatoes & 1 large Potato
4 No. Green chillies
2 table spoon of ginger garlic paste.
1 table spoon of turmeric, a pinch of asafoetida and salt to taste
1 garlic bulb.
2 tablespoon of Coconut oil to saute garlic
Wash a cup (about 250 grams) of lentils (whole green gram) thoroughly.
Pour 500 ML of water in a vessel and add the lentils and let it soak overnight (say 12 hours or so).
The grams absorb water and become soft and lighter in color. Drain the water and keep the lentils aside.
Take a clean piece of white cloth, dampen it a bit and spread it out.
Pour the lentils on the cloth and tie it up in a gentle knot.
Let it sit for some 6-8 hours.. Some sprout the lentils in a plastic bag or a box. A damp cloth is the best way to get awesome sprouts as it is porous and allows the moist lentils to breathe and sprout fast.
Take 2 medium size Tomato and 1 large potato, wash them thoroughly and chop them to medium size. Medium size chunks go well with lentils.
If they are chopped fine, then the whole dish loses its essence and flavour. So make it medium size. Keep them aside.
Take 4 No. Green chillies, wash them thoroughly and slit each chilli into 2 pieces. Keep them aside.
2 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste. Keep them aside.
Take a tablespoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of asafoetida and a tablespoon of salt. Keep them together with all other ingredients.
Place a cooking pot on the gas stove and add the sprouted lentils to it. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (you can use olive oil if you wish). Add the chopped Potato and the tomato pieces. Add the sliced green chillies, turmeric Asafoetida and salt. Add about 500 ML of water to it. Close the cooker lid and let it cook on low flame for about 10-15 minutes.
I always prefer to cook on low flame as the cooking process is slow and it really helps for the ingredients to blend together much more and the vegetables tend to get cooked more evenly throughout.
With sprouted lentils, it is very important NOT to overcook the dish. Overcooking will lose many of the nutrients and also the taste from the sprouts. So take care to cook it just right.
Of all the vegetables in the pot, Potato takes longest to boil. So if potato is boiled it is given that the dish is cooked right and done. Once you open the cooking pot, using a fork, poke into a potato chunk to see if it is properly boiled. If the fork pierces the potato chunk easily, potato is done and so is the dish.
Now finally for a dash for pungent garlic flavour to the dish
Take a garlic bulb and extract the cloves from the bulb. Remove the skin of each clove. Take a mortar and pestle (the kitchen device used since ancient times to crush / grind spices) and crush each clove. Let is sit for about 15 minutes.
Did you know that to maximize health benefits, garlic should be crushed and allowed to sit for 15 minutes? Letting it sit for 15 minutes, triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic .. well, Within garlic cells are alliin and alliinase, which when combined, form allicin, the potent anti-microbial component of garlic, that has the 'strong' flavour.
Further crushing releases the oils in the garlic which in turn infuses subtly different flavours to the dish than if you didn't crush and it also adapts to a range of high-heat techniques, cooking steadily and lending a mellow richness to the dish..
So next time do not mince or chop garlic, instead crush it when you use it in your dish.
Place a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the garlic and coconut oil until the garlic begins to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the garlic turns golden colour at places and the oil becomes very fragrant.
Pour the garlic in the dish, and close the lid of the vessel immediately so that the flavour and the aroma lingers inside the vessel longer. Let the dish sit for 5 minutes.
Now the hot sprouted lentils cooked with green chillies, potato and tomato, flavoured with turmeric and salt and sautéed with mellow richness of garlic is ready to be relished.
In south India, the sprouted lentils dish is relished with rice (a staple diet in these parts of the world). The dish is very healthy, tasty and very easy to prepare. It can also be enjoyed with bread, roti (Indian bread), pancakes or simply eaten as it is without any accompaniment.
Please do try it sometime. I am sure you will love it and keep asking for more
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I enjoyed cooking my cooked sprouted lentils