Sunday, February 23, 2014


In Gujarati cuisine, there are so many ways to eat fangavela (sprouted) mag (mung beans): stir fried, cooked in a sweet and sour sauce, raw in salads, as a filling in various snacks, lightly steamed and mixed with other things including yogurt, the variations are endless.

I grow sprouts very often because I love them and it's so easy. And this is a pretty standard Gujarati way of making mung bean sprouts. I added sprouted peanuts just because I saw raw peanuts in the cupboard and thought, "Why not?!"

I usually make this without the onions, garlic, and ginger, which is the Jain way.

Asafoetida is a gum from a tree, and is used for it's digestive properties. It's also a flavour enhancer, especially in Gujarati cuisine where the use of onions and garlic is sparse at best. Asafoetida is quite de rigeur in Gujarati cooking but you can skip it if you don't have it. 

Jaggery is another very ubiquitous ingredient, a concentrate of cane juice, coconut palm sap, or date palm sap (also known as palm sugar, and a common ingredient in Thai cooking) among others. Jaggery has a softer, rounder sweetness than sugar and it's what we typically use but it's not indispensible so use sugar if that's what you've got at hand.

Serve this dish with rice and ghee - or rotlis (Gujarati version of roti) and ghee like I did - but please, no tortillas, naan, leavened bread, pita, quinoa, barley, brown rice, etc. Save those for something else.

Mung Bean and Peanut Sprouts

Makes: 4 - 5 cups

- 4 cups home-grown mung bean sprouts

- 1 cup peanut sprouts
- 1 medium white onion, chopped into a fine dice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. minced ginger (~ a 1 in. piece)
- 1 chile de arbol, serrano, or jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. powdered asafoetida
- 1 tsp. each powdered: turmeric, cumin, coriander
- 1 - 2 tsp. powdered red pepper
- 2 tbsp. jaggery
- 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, to garnish (optional)
  1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large pan (use a pan that has a lid), and add asafoetida. Let it sizzle for a few seconds, then add cumin and mustard seeds.
  2. When the mustard seeds pop, add the chopped onion and green chile, minced garlic and ginger. Saute till the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the powdered spices: turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper. Give everything a quick stir to mix and add a 1/4 cup of water.
  4. Add the bean and peanut sprouts, and stir everything to mix well. Turn the heat to low if things are sticking to the pan.
  5. Add enough water to fully cover the sprouts. Add jaggery (or sugar), give everything a quick stir.
  6. Turn the heat to high until the water starts boiling, then turn it down to medium-low and cover the pan.
  7. Cook for 20 - 25 minutes, then check the bean sprouts. They should be soft and cooked - if not, cover the pan and cook for 7 - 10 minutes longer. The peanut sprouts will be a bit crunchy.
  8. Add salt and adjust sweetness to taste. Add the lemon juice.
  9. Stir well and garnish with cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges for those who like it a bit more tangy.

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