Sautéed sprouted mung beans with julienne ginger root

by Yamuna Devi (from The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking)

This Gujarati specialty requires home-sprouted mung or aduki beans in order to be authentic, because the market variety, with 2–3" (5–8cm) tails, is waterlogged. Ideally, the sprouted beans should barely measure 0.5" (1.5cm). Sprouting increases the vitamin and mineral content of mung or aduki beans and does not take much effort: a little water, up to 2 days' sprouting time, and only a few moments of attention. The sprouts are dressed with complementary flavors: fried spices, lemon juice, shredded mint sleaves and a hint of heat. Health enthusiasts may prefer to cook the sprouts only slightly, for a crunchy texture and full food value, while others may prefer to stir-fry them until they are tender-crisp.

Cut the ginger root into paper-thin slices, stack and cut again into paper-thin julienne strips.

Place all of the strips in a small bowl, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp (1 ml) of the salt and 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) of lemon juice and set aside for 30 minutes.

Mix the asafetida, coriander, cayenne, and turmeric in a small bowl.

Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy 3–4 quart/liter casserole over moderate to moderately high heat. When it is hot, stir in the cumin seeds and black mustard seeds. Fry until the cumin seeds turn brown. Toss in the powdered spices, and 2 or 3 seconds later stir in the sprouts. Add the water and cover. Cook for a few minutes if you want your sprouts crunchy, or up to 10 minutes if you want them tender-crisp.

Stir in the sweetener, lemon juice, and salt. Pour onto a warmed platter or individual plates. Sprinkle with the marinated ginger strips, mint, and a drizzle of melted butter or ghee and serve immediately. If you like, garnish each serving with a crisp radish rose and celery curl.