Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sprouted Brown lentils

In India lentils form a big portion of our diet. We eat various kinds of lentils - either whole with skin, split without skin or sprouted with skin. Moong dal or green lentils with skin is the most common form of sprouted lentils. Masoor dal or pink lentils with skin is also great sprouted. When they are with the skin they are brown - the pink color appears only after the skin is removed.

The process of sprouting is very simple. The lentils need to be soaked in 2 inches of water overnight. Then drain all the water and cover the lentils with cling wrap and keep in a warm place for about 8 to 12 hours. They should start sprouting as in the picture below. Once they start to sprout they are ready to cook. If you are not cooking them the same day, then they should be refrigerated.

Sprouted Brown Lentils

Sprouted Brown Lentils with tomatoes and onions
1/2 cup dry brown lentils
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1.  Soak the lentils in cold water overnight. Drain the water and cover the container with cling wrap and keep in a warm place to sprout. Check after about 8 to 10 hours. Once it starts to sprout, they are ready to cook. Depending on the temperature they may take a longer time to sprout.

2. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat with canola oil. Add the cumin seeds. When the seeds pop, add the chopped onion and the minced jalapeno pepper and  saute over medium heat till they are light brown. Add the sprouted lentils and turmeric powder to the pan and saute for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomato and mix well. Add salt and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook over medium low heat at a simmer, till the lentils are soft but still retain their shape. If the water is drying out and lentils are still hard, add a couple of more tablespoons of water and continue to cover the cook till the lentils are soft. Remove the cover and toss well and cook till there is not much water left and the mixture is glossy.

3.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Serves 4

Serving suggestions:
1. For an Indian meal, serve it along with a vegetable or meat curry and chapati's
2. It is great served over pasta. If you are going to serve over pasta, then you might want to leave the mixture wet so that it forms a sauce. Orrechiette or fusili make a good combination.
3. You could serve it as a side with roasted potatoes and pan fried fish.

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