Friday, August 20, 2010

Sprouted Green Gram Soup (Mugaa Saaru)

There are times when you want to eat simple, delicious and sobre food with oil and spice within tolerable limits or less (Saatvikk food as known in Ayurveda parlance). Mugaa Saaru or Bengal Gram Soup is one such recipe which I relish.

The second day after Ekadashi (a holy day observed in Hindu calendar for fasting and symbolic of sacrifice and penance) is Duadashi. Amongst Konkanis (atleast the ones I know), its a common practice to make dishes using Green Gram or Moong Bean on this day. The common quote in our house on Duadashi day as propounded by my Pop till we get bugged to no end was Duadashi - Mooga Ghashi. Mooga Ghashi is another delicious common recipe for cooking Green Gram sprouts in Coconut and Chilli paste. The scientific rationale behind this practice, in my opinion is that post all the fasting, human body needs nourishment after the wear and tear. Sprouted Green Gram have tremendous cooling and healing properties within them. Green Gram in sprouted form carries lot of nourishment and nutrition value so much that one cup of Green Gram easily gives rise to 5 cups or more of sprouted ones. Some retain the green skin, some prefer to discard it. I remove them as much as I can, rest I just use for my recipes as per choice. Since I am miles away from the prospect of a fast, leave alone a lame attempt, I thought of making this Soup to remember the day and celebrate the spirit of sacrifice!

This recipe is tweaked from my mother's original one. I added tiny helping of Rasam powder to zap up the flavour. Much better is you pick the vegetable stock fresh from the pressure cooker after boiling sprouted beans for a whistle. The taste is very subtle and nutritious. The taste of this soup is an acquired one; if bland soup with a subtle flavour and minimal seasoning appeals you, then try out this recipe.

Preparation time: 2 days (includes sprouting)

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Green Gram Stock - 3 cups
Green Gram (sprouted and boiled) - 1/2 cup
Tomatoes (chopped) - 1/2 cup
Rasam powder (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic (crushed) - 4-5 pods
Coriander leaves (optional) [chopped] - 1/4 cup

Wash the Green Gram and soak to enable sprouting. Once done, remove the green skin to expose the sprouted green gram. Pressure cook for a single whistle. Extract the stock and bring to boil along with the cooked beans. Simmer and Rasam powder, salt as per taste and chopped coriander leaves.
In a separate pan, heat a spoon of oil. Add crushed Garlic pods and saute till get reddish brown hue. Turn off flame and pour this seasoning on the soup. Close the lid. Mix while serving either on its own or with rice and pappad on the side to spruce up the flavour.

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