Thursday, April 3, 2008
Sprouts (How To Make Sprouted Beans or Peas)
You don't need any special equipment for sprouting; just any bowl and a clean piece of cloth will do. I like using glass jars for my sprouts; I love watching the progression from seed to sprout. It is fun to have a few types going at the same time. I sprout and store the different types of beans in their own containers and mix them for specific dishes as needed. Sprouts make a nice addition to all types of dishes - salads, Chundal, Bajji, Adai, Corn Cakes, Molakootal, Kootu, stir-fries, curries, etc.
One word of caution: some beans such as kidney beans should not be eaten raw as they contain certain enzymes which need to be cooked well in order to make them digestible.
Here is how it goes:
1/2 cup of any of the following: Mung beans, lentils, brown chick peas, red chori beans (adzuki beans), or dried whole peas
Or use a few tbsp of 2 or 3 different kinds
Choose one kind of beans/peas or a few at a time; sprout the different kinds in separate containers as the sprouting time varies for the different types.
Sort the beans and remove discolored ones, stones, etc. Wash thoroughly in two or three changes of fresh water and soak in plenty of water to cover in the container of your choice.
Leave the beans/peas to soak overnight or even up to 24 hours at room temperature.
Rinse the soaked beans/peas and drain thoroughly. You will see that the well hydrated beans/peas will be plump and lighter in color than the dry.
Cover the container loosely with a clean piece of cloth or a dish towel.
Rinse the beans/peas with fresh water twice a day; once in the morning and again in the evening. Little white sprouts will emerge in a day or two.
When the white sprouts are visible in pretty much most of the beans/peas, wash and drain well and start using them in your favorite recipes.
Store the unused portion in a covered container in the refrigerator. Rinse the sprouts and drain thoroughly once daily to keep them fresh. The sprouts will stay fresh for about a week or up to 10 days.
Yields about 1 to 11/2 cups of sprouts - the larger the size of beans/peas, the more sprouts.
Caution: I find that some Mung beans do not sprout or even hydrate and remain hard; so I check to make sure all the beans have sprouted before adding to dishes.
There is a very easy way to remove the hard beans: just place all the beans/peas in a large bowl with plenty of fresh water; the hard ones stay sunk at the bottom while the sprouts float. I just remove the top layers of the sprouts for salads and snacks and save the hard ones on the bottom for soaking longer or cooking.