This Healthy Sprouted Salad Is Inspired By The Street Food Of Mumbai
In Mumbai, shoppers, students, office-goers, families, and people in a rush frequent the thousands of street vendors selling all kinds of amazing, lip-smacking street foods at every nook and corner. You will see all kinds of crowds at the street vendors varying in age, economic class, culture, and religion. That is the beauty of the street food stalls—they welcome all and break down those barriers.
I have the fondest memories of Mumbai street foods with my mum, my family, my friends, and my relatives. Even my mum would give in sometimes to her cravings and we would go to a stall to get all the snacks as dinner: sev puri, ragda pattice, pani puri, sprouted moong chaat, and more. We would order a bunch of stuff and share it among the four of us. And when accompanied by masala lemon soda and ending with malai kulfi, kesar pista ice cream, or paan, it would make for a very satisfying dinner!
One of my favorite street foods, which is healthy and filling, is the sprouted moong chaat, made with sprouted and boiled green moong and kala channa (black garbanzo beans) and served with fresh vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, boiled potatoes, and raw mango. The vendors make it within a minute, quickly putting each ingredient into a steel pot and mixing everything with all the masalas. Then they put the contents in magazine paper (so it doesn't get soggy) shaped into a cone and folded at the bottom. They give you a little spoon and you eat it immediately while it is still warm.
Sprouted moong has a lot of benefits. The high content of fiber in sprouts helps with digestion and good gut health. It is also great for hair and skin. Sprouts have innumerable benefits. Sprouted moong can be used to make salads, daals, and sandwiches.
Sprouted Moong Salad
- 4 cups sprouted moong or sprouted green moong daal
- 1 small red onion, diced into small cubes
- 1 Persian cucumber, diced into small cubes
- 2 small tomatoes, diced into small cubes
- 3 small boiled potatoes, diced into small cubes
- ½ raw mango, diced into small cubes
- 2 green chilies, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 teaspoons chaat masala
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder)
- 1 to 1½ teaspoons table salt or rock salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Date Tamarind Chutney (recipe below)
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro (to garnish)
- To Sprout Green Moong Daal: In the evening, place 1 cup (200 g) green moong daal in a large bowl and wash it three to four times with warm water. After washing, add water about 1 inch (2½ cm) above the level of the green moong daal. Cover and set it aside overnight. By morning, the moong should have grown from all the water it absorbed.
- Add 2 tablespoons of water and use a rubber spatula to wet the daal, cover, and set it aside. Check on the moong every 6 to 8 hours. You will see sprouts coming out slowly. Add 2 tablespoons of water again, and stir every 6 to 8 hours that day.
- Repeat Step 2 on the second day if you want longer sprouts. Your sprouts should have come out pretty well by the second day, especially if the weather is warm. In colder weather, the sprouts may be ready by Day 3. The sprouts should have tripled or quadrupled in quantity from the original 1 cup of dried green moong daal.
- You can eat the sprouts as is, in this salad, or you can steam them, boil them, or make a soup out of them. The sprouted moong will keep in an airtight container, stored in the fridge, for up to a week.
- To Prepare the Salad: Bring 4 cups (360 g) water to a boil in a steamer. Add the sprouts to the steamer. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let the steamed sprouts cool completely.
- In a large bowl, add the finely chopped red onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, mango, green chilies, and all the remaining ingredients. Using two salad spoons, mix the salad gently until everything is incorporated well.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with additional cilantro.
Date Tamarind Chutney
Makes a little over three 8-ounce bottles
- 2½ cups medjool pitted dates
- 1⅓ cups dried tamarind (deseeded)
- 80 grams jaggery or ⅓ cup brown sugar (mbg note: coconut sugar can be a good swap for brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 4 cups + 1 cup water
- In a medium saucepan, on medium to high heat, combine all the ingredients except the 1 cup of water together. Let the mixture boil and cook for 20 to 22 minutes. The dates and tamarind will soften and the jaggery or sugar will dissolve into the water with the heat. After 20 minutes, switch off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Put the cooked ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Keep a medium-size bowl with a medium sieve ready. Add the ingredients through the sieve, using a rubber spatula; clean up the bottom of the sieve with the spatula. The chutney will be thick.
- Add 1 cup of water to loosen the consistency of the chutney. Stir to combine.
- Ladle the Date Tamarind Chutney into clean, sterilized jars and close the lids tightly.
- The jars can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Amisha Dodhia Gurbani is a computer engineer, recipe developer, photographer, food blogger, and the creator of The Jam Lab. Born in Mumbai, she moved to the United States in 1999. She lives in the Bay Area with her family.