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Author Notes: Never have I eaten a bean or legume that I did not like; they are savory, versatile and fulfilling. However, it was the purchase of Madhur Jaffrey's "World of the East Vegetarian Cooking" cook book when we started experimenting with sprouting mung beans and then being inspired to make this dish, a variation of one of Jaffrey's dishes.
Do not be intimidated by sprouting mung beans. The technique is simply to soak them for 1/2 day and then keep them wrapped in a towel in a warm environment for another 1/2 day. After this day of preparation the beans will have sprouted and are ready for use. If you cannot prepare the sprouted mung beans right away then store them in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
We typically serve this particular dish over white basmati or brown rice for a quick weeknight meal. However, I'm sure other variations would work as well. —viblanco
- 1 1/4 cups whole mung beans
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
- 5 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- For sprouting the beans: Put the mung beans in a large bowl and add water that covers the beans by about 1 to 2 inches. Let soak for about 12 hours and then drain the water. Line a bowl with a clean, damp dish towel (or white t-shirt), put the beans in the towel and cover the top of the beans with the rest of the towel so that the beans are completely enveloped. Leave in a dark, warm place (such as an oven) for another 12 hours. The beans will have sprouted a bit at the end of 12 hours.
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, turn down the heat to medium and add garlic, ginger, turmeric and cayenne. Sauté for about one to two minutes until just before the garlic starts to brown.
- Add to the sauté pan the sprouted mung beans, tomatoes, salt and water. Mix and allow the mixture to come to a boil and then turn down the heat to low. Cover the sauté pan with a lid and cook the beans for 20 minutes. Add a little more water if the mixture gets dry.
- Mix in the lemon juice and season with black pepper to taste. Serve over rice, another grain, or with a dollop of yogurt.