Friday, June 29, 2012

Sprouted Moong (Green Gram) Usal (without the green husk)

I am sure you all are aware that sprouted green grams are full of protein and are good to include it in our daily diet.

Initially I used to consider it a pain to sprout the moong thinking that it is a long drawn process. Moreover, the process of separating the husks from the gram appears to be a daunting task. But it is not so. I actually found the process to be quite simple and not cumbersome at all. Of course, it does take more than a day to sprout (especially during cold seasons) and another day to remove the husks. So you will have to plan it accordingly. Or, the easiest way would be to get it from the supermarket! Now, Sprout makers are also available in the supermarket.

Please note, the husks need not be removed at all. You can prepare the “usal” skipping this procedure. Infact, the husks are a good source of fibre.

Frankly speaking, I have no idea why we remove the husks but we (Amchis) do, especially for making “Mooga Ghashi” – maybe for its aesthetics !

 Sprouted green gram Usal 29


Whole Moong (Green gram)
1 cup
Onion (Chopped)
1 large
Green chillies (chopped or slit)
Ginger (chopped)
1 inch piece
Garlic (chopped)
6-8 pods
As per taste
1 tsp
1 (Juice of  1 lime)
About half a cup
Seasoning ingredients:

1-2 tbsps
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
¼ tsp
Curry leaves
1 sprig
For Garnish:

Corriander leaves (chopped)
2 tbsps
Grated fresh coconut (optional)
2 tbsps
Grated carrots (optional)
1 tbsp

How to sprout the Moong/Green Gram

  • Wash and soak the moong/green gram in water overnight and the following morning drain the water completely and cover the vessel with a lid and keep it in a warm place for the moong to sprout.
  • By night of the same day (if it is summer season) the moong will have sprouted (small ones).  If not, keep it covered till it sprouts.
How to remove the green husk from the gram

  • Once it has sprouted, transfer the sprouts to a larger vessel and fill the vessel with water almost up to the brim. Cover it with a lid and keep it overnight.
  • Next morning, almost all the green husk (90% of it) will float on the surface of water.
  • Remove the green husks and drain away all the water and what remains is the white sprouted green gram with a few husks still clinging on to the gram.
  • Now you are ready to prepare the "Usal".

Sprouted green gram Usal 7
Sprouted Green Gram with the husks removed

Method for preparing the usal:

  1. Place a pan/wok on medium fire with the oil in it.
  2. When the oil is heated, season it with the seasoning ingredients (mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves).
  3. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add in the green chilies, ginger and garlic. Fry for few minutes and then add the chopped onions.
  4. Cook till onions are translucent (soft) but not browned.
  5. Add the sprouted Moong, turmeric, salt and sugar. Add a little water, mix well and cover it and allow it to cook on low flame till the moongs are tender. This should take about 10-15 mins. Switch off the gas.
  6. Squeeze out the juice of one lime and garnish it with freshly grated coconut (optional) and chopped coriander leaves & finally grated carrots (optional) for decoration purpose.

"Usal" getting ready

Serves: 3-4 persons


  • This is a very tasty "usal" and goes well with phulkas, chapattis or parathas. It also tastes delicious with rice and rasam or dal too.
  • Once the moong has sprouted, it almost doubles in quantity.
  • I have omitted the freshly grated coconut in this recipe.
  • Fenugreek seeds can also be sprouted in the same manner and its "Usli" tastes delicious too.

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Bimbul" Pickle (Bimbla Nonche)

“Bimbul” is a konkani word for this wonderful small, green coloured tangy fruit. In southern parts of India, they are found in the backyards of most homes.
Local people eat this sour fruit, raw with salt and chilly powder. We "Amchis" (konkani speaking people) generally use them in curries in place of tamarind. The other options are to make pickles and “gojjus” and “pacchadi” out of it.

I did some research on the net to find the English and Hindi equivalent names. I found out that its botanical name is Averrhoa Bilimbi and is known as “cucumber tree” or “tree sorrel” in English and “Bilimbi” in Hindi.

I got these home-grown "bimbuls from a friend of mine and the recipe from my neighbour ! It turned out so delicious, that I thought of sharing it.

 BimBul Pickle 14


15 Nos
3 tsps
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Methi (fenugreek) seeds
¾ tsp
Curry leaves
1 sprig
Chilly powder
1-2 tsps
Hing (asafetida) water
1 tsp
Jaggery powder/Sugar
1 tsp
As per taste



  1. Wash the Bimbuls and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
  2. Cut these Bimbuls into fairly thick (about 3/4 inch) slices and keep aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add to it mustard seeds and methi seeds.
  4. As soon as the mustards seeds start spluttering, lower the heat and add curry leaves and chilly powder. Stir it well and immediately add the cut bimbul slices.
  5. Stir it till the bimbul leaves its water and shows slight discolourtion.
  6. Now add hing/asafetida water, salt and jaggery powder. Give it a good stir. At this point, bimbul slices would have slightly wilted. Switch off the gas.
  7. Allow it to cool and then store it in an air-tight glass bottle and refrigerate it.

Pickle being stir fried
Ingredients kept ready

 Makes: One small bowl


  • It goes well with curd rice, dal-rice and also with chapattis. It goes well with “pej” (Konkani word for hot rice-congee/kanji).
  • This pickle will last for a month when refrigerated and stored in an air-tight glass container.
  • The amount of chilly powder used is as per one’s taste. I used 11/2 tsp in this recipe.
  • Hing water is hing paste dissolved in water. You may also use Hing powder.
For more info on Bimbul, see here:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mango Lassi

Everybody is familiar with mango milkshake. But “Mango Lassi” ? Well, this is what I tasted recently at a mall and it was so delicious, that I had to make this at home. I love mango and I love lassi – so naturally (according to my opinion), the combination of these two ingredients can only be heavenly!

Any ripened and sweet mango will do. Personally, I would prefer Alphonso mango. However, at the time of making this I had Mallika (a very large, sweet and fleshy variety available locally in Bangalore). The curds too should be preferably sweet not sour.
So, try this out before the mango season ends!

Mango Lassi 12


Ripe Mango
1 cup
Sugar (optional)
As per taste
As required


  1. Wash the mango, slice it and remove the pulp. Or peel the mango, discard the seed and cut it into chunks - whichever way you prefer. (Keep a tablespoon of this pulp aside for garnishing – this is optional.)
  2. Place the rest of the pulp in a blender along with the curds and run it for a few minutes till it is well blended. Add a little water to get the desired consistency.
  3. Pour this mixture into glasses and top it with a tsp of the mango pulp kept aside for garnishing.
  4. Serve chilled.

Mango Lassi 14

Makes: 3 Glasses


  • The addition of sugar and water depends upon once preference.
  • I have added a little water and omitted sugar.
  • If the curd is a little watery, it does not matter – in which case just omit adding water and if the curd is slightly sour, add some sugar.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Raw Papaya Paratha

Raw Papaya is used in salads, curries or stuffing for parathas – either way it is a great way to eat it as it is very nutritive. This vegetable is used very often in Thai cuisine.

The raw papaya that is shown here, did not have a single seed inside and made my job that much easier. I just had to peel off the skin and grate it. This recipe is from the famous chef Sanjeev Kapoor of Khaana Khazana fame.  It turned out so delicious that I did it a second time and was highly pleased to see it disappear from the serving plates before I could churn out another one!

See here also for the Raw Papaya Salad recipe.

Raw Papaya Paratha 15

For the stuffing :
Raw Papaya

Raw Papaya (grated)
About 2 cups
Green chilies (chopped)
1 or 2
Red chilly powder
½ tsp
Jeera/Cumin powder
½ tsp
Garam Masala
1 tsp
Amchur (Dry mango) powder
1 tsp
As per taste
Coriander leaves (chopped)

You will also need the following:
  • Prepared chapatti dough from wheat flour
  • And oil for shallow frying


  • Prepare the dough with whole wheat flour as you normally do for making chapattis. It should be soft and pliable.
  • Make fairly large sized balls from the dough and keep them aside.

For the Stuffing:

  1. First squeeze out the juice as much as possible from the grated raw papaya and place it in a bowl.
  2. Roughly crush chopped green chilies and salt together and add this in the bowl.
  3. Next add all the powders (red chilly, jeera, garam masala and amchur) and the chopped coriander leaves.
  4. Use your hands and mix them well.
  5. Take each dough ball, flatten them using your hands or the rolling pin and take a small quantity of the above mixture and place in it (as shown in the pic) and seal it well. 
  6. Now using the rolling pin, and dusting the board with wheat flour, lightly roll them into the required size parathas.
  7. In the meantime, heat a tawa or a griddle. Wait till the tawa is hot enough and then lower the flame to "low" and place the prepared paratha on it. After a minute, flip it on the other side.
  8. Dribble a little oil on the edges and fry them on either side till brown spots appear.
  9. Remove and serve hot with plain curds.

Raw Papaya Paratha 8
Grated Raw Papaya mixture being stuffed in the paratha base

    • The above stuffing is enough for 3 medium size parathas.
    • A dollop of home made butter (white butter) placed on this hot paratha tastes excellent. Watch out for the extra calories though. 

Paratha being fried on one side

Paratha almost ready