How do you make basic pantry veggies and lentil sprouts taste like that gravy that’s been simmering all day long? This particular combination of readily available spices and herbs! Ginger and garlic infuse it with lots of flavor; cumin, coriander and turmeric adds that earthy warm feeling and the key ingredient here that transforms this masala to an incredible sauce is mint! Read along for the full recipe.
Sprouted lentils and beans are my favorite, especially in curries. Their firm crunchiness add so much texture, and of course their healthy goodness is a bonus! I found some fresh mung bean sprouts and cooked them down with some onions, tomatoes, and my homemade masala blend into this incredibly tasty bowl of goodness that’s delish with your grain or bread of choice. My personal recommendation would be to serve them with rotis and/or millets. Hope you enjoy!
4 small tomatoes
1 handful or ~1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
4 cloves garlic
1″ piece ginger
3 indian/thai green chillies (optional, or use 1 for a very mild version)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
1 tsp garam masala powder
4 cups mung bean sprouts
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup green peas (I use frozen, thawed to room temperature)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro + 1 tsp for garnish
juice of 1/2 lemon
In a blender, add a few tbsps of water along with tomatoes, mint, garlic, ginger, and green chillies. Blend into a smooth mixture and set aside.
Heat a large bottomed non stick pan over medium heat with the measured canola oil. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf. Wait until the cumin seeds start toasting and turning golden brown.
Add the measured spices; turmeric, cumin, coriander, and red chilli powders. Also add garam masala. Mix everything together and let the spices toast for 10 seconds.
Now add the chopped onions and toss thoroughly with the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions soften and start turning golden brown.
Add green peas, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well.
Once the peas turn bright green, pour in the blended tomato-mint sauce and mix together. Let this mixture simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce reduces, and thickens a bit. Also, the rawness of garlic and ginger disappears and makes a well blended masala with the tomatoes and mint.
Once you see a mixture like the fourth picture above, we’re ready to move on.
Add chopped green bell peppers and mung bean sprouts. Also add the remaining teaspoon of salt along with the chopped cilantro. Add about 1/2 cup water and mix this all together.
Increase the heat to medium high. Cover and simmer for about 10-12 minutes, making sure to toss gently every 5 minutes or so ensuring the veggies don’t settle in the bottom or stick to the pan.
Once the cooking time is done, when you uncover, the masala should look something like the below picture.
The veggies should be tender, the sprouts should be cooked through but still firm. The easiest way to test is to grab one sprout and squeeze it with your fingers. It should fall apart easily but not turn to mush.
Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon once it is off the heat.
Serve hot with your choice of bread and/or grains.
Garnish more fresh cilantro on top and it’s ready to devour!