I hate doing dishes. I have friends who find standing in front of the kitchen sink, rinsing one plate after the other, gently rubbing the edges of spoons and forks with a dish scrub and then arranging them neatly in the dish washer, “therapeutic”. I don’t. I love those friends and wish they would come home more often, but I do not like washing those dishes. If I wasn’t mother of a four year old girl who I desperately wanted to impress everyday, secretly hoping she would “wanna be like mommy”, I would not look at that kitchen sink for weeks. I would keep throwing dirty dishes in there one after the other until they begin to fall off. But I cannot do that for given reasons, so I do my dishes, on time. It was one of those mornings when all these thoughts were cluttering my mind. While I was clearing up the kitchen sink and rubbing the inside of my stainless steel sauce pan with all the aggression I had in me, my phone beeped. Another beep after a few seconds and then a few more. By the time my sink was squeaky clean I had several tweets, Facebook messages and emails congratulating me of Indian Simmer making a cut at the Best Food Blog Awards 2014 hosted by Saveur Magazine. I was in utter disbelief for a while! But now I feel honored and thankful and I need your help. See that new shiny badge on the right? Please click on that and help Indian Simmer with your votes. It will only take a couple minutes but will mean the world to me. Thank you!
Not sure if its my honest effort to change things or just a general interest to follow the “trend” but we have been trying to eat healthier lately. Well, we never liked frequenting the fast-food joints or ever drowned our diet in sugar but I guess it just sounds cool to say “eating healthy” so we are doing more of that. Anyway there’s a lot of smoothie, raw food and sprouts business going on around here. In the same spirit a couple months back I did a 3 day cleanse (another cool word people have been slapping around lately) and was blown away with what it did to my tummy, brain and skin. Mainly skin! That gave me a kick. Carrying that on to the blog, today I am sharing with you a rather basic recipe along with a very common practice in Indian kitchen, soaking your own beans and making your own sprouts at home. We Indians have to put a little chili and masala in everything so I had to do the same with my sprouts too. So I picked a world famous Indian street food, Dahi Papdi Chaat and filled the crispy fried balls with spicy sprouts mix and kicking it up a few more notches with some tangy chutneys. But lets begin with the basics first:
I used dried mung bean. You can use any dried bean of your choice. Soak the beans in water for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain soaking water. Then in order to sprout the beans I use two methods:
a) Transfer soaked beans into a mason jar. Cover it with a cloth. Lie it down on a plate and place in dark for up to a day. b) Transfer soaked beans into a damp clean cloth. Bring all the corners of the cloth together. Tie. Place in a bowl or dish. Cover the bowl and place in dark for up to a day.
Open next day and enjoy your sprouts.
Longer you keep them away, longer the sprouts will get. Although I’d suggest not doing it for more than 2 days.
For my Chaat Papdi I mixed the sprouts with onion, tomato, chili, a couple herbs and spices.
1 cup sprouts (follow the instructions above or just used store bought)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup cherry tomato, chopped (optional)
2 thai green chili or jalapeno pepper, minced (optional although recommended)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chaat masala
12-15 crispy puri (find any local Indian or ethnic store)
tamarind chutney, per taste (recipe follows)
Spiced yogurt, per taste (recipe follows)
Hot green cilantro chutney, per taste
For Tamarind Chutney:
4 tablespoon seedless tamarind
1 1/2 cups water
3-4 tablespoon jaggery (can substitute with dark brown sugar)
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 teaspoon nigella
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
Soak tamarind in water for a couple hours. Use warm water to speed up the process.
Once soft mash tamarind in water and then strain through a strainer. Collect pulp in a bowl.
Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add dry spices. As they sputter add tamarind pulp. Stir. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low. Add jaggery. Let the mixture reduce for 8-10 minutes until jaggery dissolves in the tamarind chutney and thickens it in the process.
Turn heat off. Let cool. Store in an airtight jar in a cool dry place for upto a week.
For Spiced Yogurt:
1/2 cup thick plain yogurt
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together.
Assembling Sprouts Chaat Papdi:
In a bowl mix together sprouts, onion, tomato, chili, salt, cilantro, mint and chaat masala. Set aside.
Poke holes on one side of the crispy puri. Make sure not to poke through the other side.
Fill with sprouts salad. Drizzle the chutneys per taste. Serve as an appetizer with choice of drink. Makes a great hot day snack.