All this summer, I’ve been into sprouts. So much so that every time I bring out a jar of beans and a cup measure, Desi rolls his eyes and says, “More? What about these?” He’s pointing at two colanders already sitting on the kitchen platform, containing sprouts in various stages of germination.
To which I sagely respond, “You’re eating that one tonight, darling. And that one’s for tomorrow. And these,” — here, with a flourish, I pour out the beans, rattling and rolling, into the bowl I am planning to soak them in — “are for another day.”
At this point he throws in the towel and goes back to doing whatever he was doing, like rearranging the dishwasher all over again after I’ve already done it. Because Desi knows by now that no one — and I mean no one — comes between me and my sprouts.
So what is it about sprouts that has gotten me to this stage of near-obsession? Well, what’s not to love about food that is, quite simply, perfect? I have waxed on this blog before about sprouted beans, so all I will say this time is that if you’re not sprouting, you are pretty much missing out on an easy — and even fun — way to make an already healthy food even healthier. And more delicious, if that’s even possible.
Besides, sprouts are easy to incorporate into any healthy diet, vegan or not. If you are a healthy eater, you no doubt already consume a good amount of beans which are high in protein and fiber. Sprouting beans makes them even more easily digestible, and results in astronomic increases in their vitamin content, especially their B vitamin content, and you can use the sprouted beans in any recipe, just like you would the unsprouted beans. Want to give your Chana Masala some extra zip? Sprout the garbanzo beans. In the mood for a simple bean salad? Mung beans are among the easiest beans to sprout, and they’re easily available too. Or, do as I did and sprout some beans to use them in an easy — but fabulous — dosa.
My Sprouted Bean and Brown Rice Dosa came about as a last-minute experiment. And– get this– I sprouted the brown rice too and added a bunch of methi leaves to the batter. Methi is one of the healthiest greens you can eat and with all this goodness inside my belly, I am pretty sure I was walking around with a halo around my head all day. In fact, if you have kids who detest their greens, this is a great way to get some inside them. Trust me, they’ll never know– although they might want to know how you made the dosas look so pretty and green.
Sprouting brown rice, if you haven’t done it before, is very much like sprouting beans– soak the rice overnight, strain in a colander, wash, and leave it sitting in the colander, covered with cheesecloth, for 2-3 days until tiny sprouts appear. How long it takes depends on your climate (warmer is better) and you do need to do some minimal maintenance: rinse the rice, or beans, twice a day, morning and night.
Easy, right? Now make this recipe.
- 1 cup brown rice, sprouted (if you'd rather not sprout, just soak the rice overnight, or use my quick-soak method described in this Brown Rice Dosa post.)
- 1 cup navy beans, sprouted
- ½ tsp paprika or cayenne
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 2 cups methi leaves (use another green like spinach or even kale, if you'd rather)
- Salt to taste
- Oil for spraying
- Blend all the ingredients in a high-powered blender, adding enough water to make a smooth batter, with a consistency that falls right between a crepe batter and a pancake batter.
- Heat a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron griddle.
- When the griddle is hot enough that a drop of water skitters off and evaporates immediately, pour the batter (about ½ cup) in the center of the griddle, using a round-bottomed ladle.
- Using the bottom of the ladle, start spreading the dosa, moving from the center and outward in a spiraling motion. You want a fairly thin crepe. Don't worry too much if you mess it up before you get it right. No one mastered a dosa the first time they made it. No one.
- If you wish, spray some oil on the dosa and its sides. This is not absolutely essential if you're using a non-stick pan, but it's advisable if you want crispy edges.
- Let the dosa cook until the underside is golden-brown. Flip over and cook for a few seconds.
- Serve hot with some cauliflower subzi, like I did, or with some good, old-fashioned sambar and chutney.