Sprouts Usal

Sprouts must be one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and so easy to make at home. You can sprout any whole lentil from your Indian shop and most from your supermarket – also some spices like fenugreek which makes lovely sprouts.

The sprouts are added to oil and spices, and are quickly tossed. Then water is added and the sprouts are left to steam until soft. This is quite different to the Chinese/Asian treatment of sprouts, which is to stirfry them. It is a reflection of the different style of sprouts used in the two areas. In India, sprouts are short, barely 1 cm long. Lentils and beans are sprouted until the tiny sprout has shown its face, and then they are cooked. In Chinese cuisines, the sprouts are left to grow until 5 or 6 cm long to add crunchy, fresh, textural elements to a dish.

In India, there is a difference between Usal and Misal dishes – sometimes the two dishes are confused. Usal is a spiced sprouts dish made with one or more sprouted lentils and beans. Traditionally Usal is made with sprouts of moth beans (matki). Usal can be eaten as is, or Misal is made. For Misal, the cooked sprouts are immersed in a spicy thin gravy and topped with farsan, sev, onion, coriander and lemon wedges. Both Misal and Usal can be eaten with Pav – Indian bread buns.

Usually people mix elements of both dishes, according to their taste and preferences – here the Usal is topped with coriander, coconut, onion and lemon.

The book Tiffin by Srinivas is not only a terrific read, it has many recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. This recipe is one for a mix of sprouts, cooked over low heat with spices.ย  Delicious.

Similar recipes include Masoor Sprouts Rice, Pudla with Mung Sprouts, and Sprouts Sundal.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our Usal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Not Quite Fried Rice Salad

Are you like me and always cook too much rice? Here is your solution. An easy salad to put together using last night’s left over rice. How simple is that? It is a bit like fried rice – without the frying! Delicious.

This is a Bittman Salad – we are making all of his 101 Salads, all of the vegetarian ones at least. We are on the home-run now, with less than 7 more to make.

Are you after other Rice dishes? Try our Coconut Rice and Peas Salad, Carrot Rice, Zucchini Rice, and all of our Risottos.

All of our Rice dishes are here and all of the Bittman Salads we have made are here. Or browse all of our Early Winter recipes.

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Mung Sprout and Edamame Salad

Sometimes I prepare to post a recipe and realise that it is for an ingredient that does not feature often in our collection of recipes over 12 years of posting on this blog (including some recipes from our blog that ran from 1995 to 2006). It is a surprise to find an ingredient not covered much in all of that time.

We do use Indian-style sprouts in some recipes – that is, the type of sprouts that are only just sprouted, with small little tails. But Mung Sprouts with long tails, Chinese style, feature hardly at all! So today we begin to remedy that.

The recipe is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More and takes long Mung Sprouts and pairs them with, of all things, Umeboshi puree, edamame beans and radishes!! It really works, and is a terrific combination. This recipe is part of our project to cook more dishes from our Ottolenghi collection of books, and we are beginning with Plenty More.

The salty-sour Umeboshi puree, made from pickled plums, can be found in the Japanese section of larger supermarkets, in Japanese groceries and in health shops. If you can’t find Umeboshi puree, substitute pomegranate molasses.

Make more of the dressing, if you want: it’s so tangy and good that you’ll be tempted to douse this salad; failing that, it’ll keep in the fridge for other dishes inย the days ahead.

Similar recipes include Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Sprouts, Bean Sprout Stir Fry, and How to Grow Sprouts.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our recipes from Plenty More. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here.

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