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Confession: I dislike fruits, vegetables, greens and the category. Give me some fresh fruit juice or a stir fry and I will gobble up the goodness in seconds. Hand me the raw and they will remain untouched.
Which means all the greens and veggies in my salads have to be hidden under the egg, the pasta or, perhaps the chicken? “It’s like trying to cheat a finicky five-year-old into eating her vegetables,” grumbles my mother who belongs to the ‘eat fresh, eat greens’ school of thoughts.
The elder sister Raka has managed to strike the perfect balance in this scheme of things. But I continue to struggle in this battle of foods. Or did.
Until, of all the things, a strangely hot English summer has put me off balance. I find myself reaching out more for fresh juices and examining the salads rather than ordering the fish & chips and steaks. And then there is the uncanny way in which my Instagram and Facebook feeds are suddenly filled with articles about ‘summer-friendly diets’ and ‘gut-friendly diets’.
Mentioned all of this to Maa a few days ago and I got that knowing, I-told-you-so look from her. “Green does not always have to be boring,” she said.
I guess its time then to bow down before the knowledge that all mothers are blessed with and find my way in the world of salads and greens. But the initiation has to be with something upbeat, colourful and yummy. Maa to the rescue – as always – with this simple hare mung ka salad that is healthy, looks good and can be done in seconds.
Hare mung are green gram/mung beans and can be cooked for a tasty dal or soaked overnight (or more) for some beautiful sprouts.
There are no fixed rules to this salad. Consider this your base and play around. Use different combinations of vegetables and fruits, skip the seasoning completely or just squeeze in some lemon. I would advise against using any liquid dressing other than lemon juice – why mess with the freshness of the ingredients?
And if you do find a combination that works well, don’t forget to tell me. Share in the comments section below. Or click a photo of your salad, post it on Facebook or Instagram and tag me. Assuming you are already following me and if you are not, please do. That’s From The Corner Table on Facebook and @fromthecornertable on Instagram.
- 2 cups sprouted hare mung/mung beans
- ½ cup Apricot (chopped)
- ½ cup Pear (chopped)
- ½ cup Tomato (chopped)
- ½ cup Carrots (chopped)
- ½ cup Pomegranate seeds
- 1 Green chilli (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons Coriander leaves (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon Chaat masala
- Rock salt/Sea salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoon Peanuts (roasted/optional)
- 1 Lemon (optional)
Pour the sprouted mung beans in a large salad bowl.
Add the chopped apricots, pear, tomato, carrots, pomegranate seeds, green chilli and coriander leaves.
Sprinkle some chaat masala and sea salt to this bowl. Mix thoroughly but with a gentle hand.
Check the seasoning. Add a dash of salt or masala if needed. Squeeze in a dash of lemon juice if you are feeling adventurous.
Throw in the peanuts, whole or broken, into the salad for a added crunch.
Serve – chilled or at room temperature – immediately.
How to get those mung beans to sprout? Soak 1 cup of mung beans in 2 cups of water. Cover with a tight lid and keep watch. Once the beans of soaked all the water, shake them up a bit and soak completely in water again. Keep repeating the process until you see those little sprouts peeping out and they’ve grown to the desired length.
I say ‘serve immediately’ because salt tends to draw out water of some fruits and vegetables. An option is to finish your prep, cover the ingredients and refrigerate them. Add the seasoning right before you serve.
You can buy chaat masala at an Indian store or the Indian aisle in your supermarket. Wondering what to do with the rest of the masala? Sprinkle it over chopped fruits for the added tang. Or try making this Tongue-tickling Chatpata Chicken.
Photos: Rapti Bhaumick