Friday, March 17, 2017

Sprouted methi seeds

Seeds, grains, beans and nuts are all filled with beneficial nutrients. Soaking and sprouting these seeds and beans replicates the germination process. This helps activate and multiply its micro-nutrients (particularly Vitamins A, B, and C), and makes them more bio-available by promoting the growth of vital digestive enzymes. Sprouting at home is an easy and inexpensive process, and requires minimal equipment. The process to sprout seeds, nuts, grains and beans is the same. Only the time required for germination changes. Here are some of the things you can sprout.
Pulses and beans - Moong beans, green lentils, adzuki beans, black eye beans, whole Bengal gram
Seeds - Alfalfa seeds, mustard seeds, methi seeds, chia, arugula, flaxseeds
Nuts - Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, sunflower seeds

Here is the procedure I use for sprouting methi seeds. A little intro to these tiny golden seeds.
Fenugreek or methi (as its called in India) is the seed of the Trigonella foenum-graecum plant species, commonly used as a dried spice in East Indian cuisine. These golden seeds of the fenugreek plant are known for their fragrant aroma and a slightly bitter taste. Used in small quantity as a spice in stir fries and curries, methi seeds enhance the flavor of the food. In its fresh form methi leaves are consumed as stir fried leafy greens.

Fenugreek seeds
Sprouting Methi Seeds (Fenugreek seeds)
1/2 cup methi seeds
Strainer/Colander with a large diameter
Paper towel
Cheese cloth
  1. Soak methi seeds in water overnight.
  2. Rinse and wash the slime off the seeds. 
  3. Line the colander with some paper towel and spread the seeds on it. Place the colander on a mixing bowl and cover with a breathable mesh or cheese cloth.
  4. This arrangement is necessary so that air can circulate, and the water can drain off. Allow to sit in a well lit warm area.
  5. Repeat the rinsing process and spread fresh paper towel twice a day.
  6. The seeds will sprout and be ready to consume within 2-4 days depending on the temperature. In 5-6 days tiny leave will appear as well. 
  7. At any stage you can rinse well and store in a jar in the refrigerator. Consume within 2-3 days. 
  8. These beautiful sprouts make for a nutrient rich addition to salads, wraps and sandwiches. 
  9. The picture above is methi sprouts, red onion, cucumber and fresh coriander all tossed together with fresh lime juice and a hint of salt and pepper.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Black gram chaat

Kala chana, also known as black Bengal gram is a fave of mine. Apart from being delicious and versatile, it has an impressive nutritional profile. It contains a good amount of iron, sodium and selenium and small doses of manganese, copper and zinc besides being a very good source of fiber and folic acid. It is the richest source of proteins in legumes. Soak them overnight and then pressure cook in salted water. Sprout them to enhance their protein and vitamin content.

This dish here is sooo delicious and basically just a mix of flavors and textures. Just like a salad, throw in any fruit and vegetable you fancy and flavor as per your taste. I have mixed this one like a chaat with sweet, sour, salty and tangy flavors and soft and crunchy textures all in one. Try it. Guaranteed delicious.

Dry Bengal Gram
1 cup whole black gram (soaked overnight)
2 small potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 large tomato
1 medium red onion
1/2 cucumber
2 large green chilies
1 inch ginger
1 sprig fresh mint leaves (or 1 tsp dry mint)
Handful fresh coriander
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp cumin seeds
Black salt to taste
1/2-1 tsp fine sugar
1/2 tsp amchur (dry mango powder)
Red chilli powder (to taste)
To serve
Seviyan and boondi
Raw mango (optional)
Pomegranate (optional)

  1. Place the soaked chana with a little water and a 1/4 tsp salt in a pressure cooker. Cook on high till the first whistle. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. 
  2. While the beans are boiling, chop and dice boiled potatoes, onion, tomato, cucumber, green chilies, coriander, mint and ginger.
  3. If the cooked chana has some water left over, strain it and use the water for curry or soup. 
  4. Placed the boiled chana in a large bowl. Add all the chopped veggies and herbs. Add all the spices to taste. Add lime juice and zest and flavor with the mint and tamarind chutney. As you add all these spices and sauces, taste every so often to check the sweet, salty and sour ratio.
  5. Add chopped sour raw mango and/or pomegranate seeds, if using. Mix well.
  6. Serve cold or at room temperature as a starter. We have even had this for lunch as a salad.
  7. Just before serving sprinkle seviyan and fried boondi on top for the crunch.