I love brightly colored dishes and this one is among the most colorful things I have ever made. The green from the sprouted beans, fresh cilantro leaves and green chili contrast so well with the deep red of the cranberries, the saturated yellow of the dried apricots and the bright white of the Tofu chunks! It wasn’t just the prettiest dish, it was also the healthiest and the easiest to make (took all of 10-12 minutes to make). Clearly the ingredients are such that they pack loads of protein (from the tofu and the beans), vitamins, micro nutrients and also fiber! The varied texture from the sprouts, the dried fruit, peanuts and tofu gave the salad an added dimension and it tasted sweet (from the dried fruit), sour (from the lemon juice) and spicy (chopped chili) – a great balance of flavor and taste. And this is a great vegetarian/vegan side-dish or a light meal in itself. I had it for lunch and found it to be quite filling – so it would be a great option for those trying to eat a healthy diet or those trying to lose weight.
A lot of health-food stores in US sell sprouted Mung/Moong beans but if you can’t find any near you, you can always sprout your own. I made my own sprouts by following this process – wash the dried beans several times in warm to hot water. Then soak the beans in warm water for a couple of hours. When the beans get plumped up from the soaking process (usually takes 2-3 hours), drain most of the water out but not entirely (so the beans have some moisture for the germination process). Pour the wet beans on a flat container (I used a baking dish) and place them in a warm place overnight. They next morning the beans will have sprouted and you can use them in a variety of ways – cooked or uncooked!
1. Two cups of sprouted Moong/Mung beans
2. 1/3 cup of raw peanuts
3. Two tablespoons of yellow raisins (a handful will do)
4. 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries (a handful will do)
5. 2-3 ounces of extra firm Tofu (I use organic Tofu from Whole Foods)
6. 5-6 dried apricots
7. One green chili
8. A small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
9. 2-3 small shallots (or an onion will do)
10. 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
11. Juice of half a lemon
12. 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
13. Salt to taste
1. In a heavy bottomed pan, pour the olive oil and over low heat lightly brown the raw peanuts in the hot oil. If you are using roasted peanuts, please skip this step.
2. Take the peanuts out of the pan and set them aside.