Sprouts can be finicky. They don’t always want to sprout, they can go icky and moldy before they sprout. These issues are almost always due to expired seeds, so make sure you buy your supplies from good suppliers (your local coop or SproutPeople) and use them in a timely manner. But mung bean sprouts are easier. They are robustly sized, don’t have coverings that have to be rinsed off – they’re just convenient. And quick – 24 hours from dry bean to tasty sprout. Just soak for 12 hours then drain and keep moist for another 12 and you have fool-proof sprouts. And like the other recipes I’m sharing this week, neither the beans nor the sprouting beans, nor any of the other ingredients require refrigeration in this recipe for Sprouted Mung Bean Curry.
So when I found a recipe for a curry made from these magic beans, well, it’s like free food. No refrigeration needed and a robust filling meal. This recipe is based on Madjur Jaffrey’s Mung Bean Sprout and Potato Curry recipe.
Madjur Jaffrey is one of my cooking heroes. Buy her cook books if you haven’t discovered her already. The early ones are complex but by the later ones she has figured out how to distill wonderful Indian flavor with fairly simple recipes using ingredients we can find in the grocery store. This one is simple and pretty quick. And because the beans are sprouted it doesn’t require long cooking times or a pressure cooker for those dried beans. You do have to plan ahead for sprouting the beans – but that’s pretty easy and just takes a minute the day before.
A Note on Ginger
I don’t bother to peel my ginger. I just get out the grater and grate the whole thing. So sue me. If you do feel finicky, just scrape off the brown part with the edge of the knife so as not to waste the root. Another note – I always use about 3 times the amount of ginger called for. I love ginger. If you’re not a ginger fan you can cut down the ginger in the recipe below to 1 teaspoon which is what the original recipe called for. But 1 tablespoon is better!
Mung Bean Sprout Curry
- 3 tbsp oil (coconut or olive)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seed
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger fresh, grated
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 tsp tumeric
- 3 cups mung bean sprouts (see instructions for making your own)
- 8 ounces potato chopped in 1/2" dice (about 2 medium)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice
24 hours ahead: Place one cup of mung beans (whole, not split) in several cups of water. Leave for 12 hours then rinse and drain. Place in a container with lid and cover with wet cloth or paper towel and then close lid. After 12 hours the beans will have sprouted and are ready for use in a recipe.
Put the oil into a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 5 seconds.
Add the onions and fry for 6– 7 minutes or until just starting to brown at the edges.
Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a minute. Now add the tomato paste and turmeric and stir for another minute.
Pour 2 cups water into the pan and mix well. Add the bean sprouts, potatoes, mushrooms, salt, and chili powder, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover and cook very gently for 25 minutes.
Stir in the lime or lemon juice.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as Jon does!