Sprouted Mung Salad (Moong Usal)

Mung Bean Salad I have for you today a very simple, very nutritious and very delicious sprouted mung bean salad that, in my part of India, goes by the name of Moong Usal.

There’s something about sprouting beans that brings out the poet in me. Watching those tiny little white squiggles shoot out of the legume and grow, like magic, over a period of days and sometimes just hours makes my jaw drop in wonder to this day, no matter how many times I do it. And as a cook and an eater, I love just how delicious and nutritious these little nuggets are. Not to mention versatile. You can pile them into a sandwich, cook them into a curry like this classic Moogache Molay Gathi, turn them into an eggless omelet, or just saute them a little, add a dash of salt and pepper, squeeze on some lemon, and you’ve got a dish to die for.

Mung Bean Usal Of all the legumes you can sprout, moong or mung beans are probably the  quickest and the easiest. Even in my winter kitchen, with temperatures dipping below freezing outside, the sprouts I used in this salad were ready in about two days with the minimal care and attention. So if you haven’t sprouted beans before — and you really should — mung beans are a great place to start. Here’s a quick tutorial on sprouting beans:

Moong beans — Measure the beans, pick over them for any stones, then wash them thoroughly by placing them in a colander and rinsing in cold water.

–Place the beans in a container and cover with three inches of water. Set aside for eight hours or overnight.

–After the beans have soaked overnight or for 8 hours, strain them in the colander, preferably one large enough to hold the beans. Rinse the beans under cold, running water.

–Cover the colander with a kitchen towel and set aside. Twice a day, rinse the legumes, let the water run out, and then set them aside again, covered with the kitchen towel.

–After a day you should see tiny little white shoots developing. I usually let my beans sit another day, continuing to rinse and drain, until the shoots are a little bigger.

And that’s it, really. You don’t need any fancy equipment to sprout beans. You don’t even need a large colander if you don’t have one– just make sure that you drain out all the water from the container every time you rinse the beans. Easy peasy.

Sprouted Moong Beans

Sprouting beans is an exercise worth the small amount of work because it makes an already healthy superfood even healthier– imagine that! The quantities of proteins, vitamins and minerals in legumes soar when they are sprouted, and even better, the legume becomes more easily digestible. Now why would you argue with that?

Once you have your sprouted beans all set to go, my Moong Usal comes together in minutes with a minimal number of ingredients that you should already have in your pantry. Usal is a classic Maharashtrian dish– food from my mother’s land. Maharashtrians use a special kind of spice blend– goda masala, which includes coconut– to make usal and you can look up my recipe for goda masala in my DIY spice blends list, if you have a mind to make it. But because this is a minimalist, easy version I used garam masala which you likely already have in your spice box.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Sprouted Mung Salad

4.0 from 1 reviews
Sprouted Mung Salad (Moong Usal)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Vegan, gluten-free
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup dry mung beans or moong, sprouted (see tutorial above)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, finely diced
  • 2 green chillies, slit through the middle
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala (use goda masala if you have this)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a large wok or kadhai or saucepan
  2. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until the onions start to turn golden-brown.
  3. Add the garlic and green chillies and saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin powders and cook until the tomato starts to break down but isn't quite mushy.
  5. Add the sprouted mung beans and mix well. Cover and let the beans cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Stir every once in a while and, if needed, add a couple of tablespoons of water to prevent sticking. You can let the beans cook longer if you want them to be softer. I like mine a little al dente with some crunch to them.
  6. Add salt to taste, sugar and the lemon juice. Mix in the coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 40 Fat: 0.8 grams Sugar: 4.5 grams Fiber: 1.9 grams Protein: 2.7 grams

Moong bean Usal


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  1. Anusha says

    Nice and healthy. I want to tell you an easier way to sprout and much faster too if you own a casserole… The Indian kind…. Wash the beans and soak it as soon as you wake up. Before you go to sleep, drain the water completely…. Thoroughly… But Do not pat dry. Put the beans in the casserole and lock it airtight the usual way. Viola…. When you wake up in the morning, they have already started sprouting. There have been a couple of times when the sprouting happened a little later by a few hours… But it is usually fool proof..Just make you use a good quality indian casserole.

    • says

      Wow, that’s a great tip. I used to have one of those casseroles when I lived in India, but not anymore. Gotta get my hands on one the next time I go. I am all for quick sprouting. :)
      Thanks for sharing! I am sure lots of readers will find this useful.

      • Anusha says

        Welcome… But please make sure it is a good brand indian type casserole…it makes all the difference… :)

  2. kum says

    I love this salad. I like to eat raw sprouted moong salad, with grated coconut, finely chopped onion and a dash of lime juice. I’m waiting for summer to make raw salads.

  3. says

    I am a fan of Moogachi usal, in fact i like it with some yogurt on the side.I like how filling Moong is and also easy to digest ( as compared to other beans)
    When I want to indulge, I like to make sprouted moong stuffed cutlets..

  4. Ellen Lederman says

    Will definitely try this. Have mung beans sprouting right now.

    Am surprised that homemade sprouts aren’t nearly as big as what you buy in the Asian stores. Felt bad about this…until I read why the commercial sprouts are so big: it’s chemicals and gasses! So I’ll stick with my smallish ones.

    I avoided mung beans/sprouts for years because I have heard that there is some risk of e-coli and salmonella in the actual beans….but I’ve never gotten sick nor do I know someone who has, so I am going to mung bean on!

      • Ellen Lederman says

        Loved this! Flavorful and easy. Will definitely make again. Thanks so much.

        I’ve been reading about sprouting other things (like quinoa, sunflower/pumpkin seeds, etc.) but I do think the mung bean sprouts are the way to go with this.

  5. Adam says

    What happened to the garamond masala? It is listed in the ingredient list, but not called for in the instructions.

  6. Tuhina says

    Wondered what garamond was! 😉
    I have mung beans sprouting and I am going to try this recipe tonight! Sounds wonderful.

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