How to make lentil sprouts at home? It's just a matter of 2 days.
I have been getting requests regarding sprouting lentils at home. Many of you wrote that they get smelly and slimy after a day and nothing seems to work to keep them fresh . Someone asked if they are safe for the pregnant women in the last post of mine. I have never faced such a situation of my sprouts getting contaminated and would try to explain what could be the reasons why the sprouts get contaminated with bacteria or yeast.
Yes, sprouts are a store house of easily absorbable nutrients, broken down by the enzyme rich environment of the growing seed and that is precisely the reason why it is so prone to bacterial contamination. Most common is E. coli and this one can give you serious trouble if you eat contaminated food.
Some of my tips to make good sprouts are listed in the procedure....
- Wash the lentils or chickpeas or any beans you want to sprout. Red Kidney beans are a bad idea to sprout and eat raw as they contain some toxins that are destroyed only after discarding the soaking water and cooking it for a certain amount of time. Check out my post on it.
- After washing, soak the lentils/beans in fresh water overnight or at least for 4-4 hours. Smaller lentils like Green mung and Brown lentils take lesser time. Two hours is enough for these smaller lentils.
- Drain the water when the lentils/beans have swelled up totally. Keep this drained lentils in a covered clean container, preferably perforated or the lid just fixed loosely. You would notice white sprouting of the roots within 3-4 hours in Indian summers and may be 10-12 hours in Indian winters.
- Wash the sprouting lentils once again under direct tap water, holding them in a colander.Drain water, wash the container with washing detergent or change the container to keep the washed and drained sprouts. Cover the container loosely again at room temperature.
- Cover the container with a wet cloth napkin and tie up the margins if you doubt any cockroaches or ants in your kitchen They carry a lot of contamination.
- Let it rest again for another 10-12 hours. The sprouting appears longer now, almost as long as shown in the picture above. Now is the time to rinse it again, drain well and refrigerate for a week in an airtight container..
- The sprouts keep growing in the fridge as well but very slowly, so you would get a continuous supply of fresh sprouts through the week. If they look dehydrated in the fridge, just rinse them once more, drain and place back into the fridge.
- Never cook sprouts as the enzymes are lost at high temperature. The broken down nutrients are available to the system well in raw form. Adding them to pulaos and subzis/curries at the last stage of cooking will be smart.
Make the fenugreek sprouts the same way.
Here I am sharing a Fenugreek (Methi) sprouts recipe for a subzi.This is a great dry subzi to pack in your lunch box and I actually did the same. The husband is carrying his lunch to office these days and sometimes he demands potatoes. His favorite vegetable. This one is tasty and nutritious both. Gets ready within 10 minutes time starting from scratch.
Aloo methi made with methi sprouts....
(2 servings as a side dish)
one large Potato, boiled or microwaved till done (boiled plantain would be great too)
a cup of Fenugreek sprouts
half a cup of diced onion
2 tsp of chopped ginger
chopped green chilly to taste
salt n pepper to taste
red chilly powder to taste
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of amchoor powder or lime juice to taste
1 tbsp or more Kasoori methi crushed
1-2 tsp mustard oil or any other oil you prefer for your curries and subzis
(the quantity depends upon what kind of pan you are using and how quick you want to rustle up the subzi)
Heat oil in the pan and tip in the ginger first, let them fry for a few seconds and then add the green chillies and diced onions. Stir therm well to cook a little, till translucent.
Add the peeled and cubed potatoes as well, followed by all the powdered spices except amchoor powder and kasoori methi. Toss well to cook it all till everything gets aromatic and a bhuna aroma is apparent.
Add the Fenugreek sprouts, kasoori methi and the amchoor powder, toss well to incorporate everything. The subzi comes together quickly.
It tastes much like regular Aloo methi cooked with fresh Fenugreek leaves, the texture is very different and yes there is a nice earthy aroma of the sprouts too.
Would you make some sprouts at home now?
The methi sprouts can be eaten raw mixed with other sprouts as well. A nice tangy lemony dressing would ensure they taste yummy and the nutrients are available better.