beluga lentil

easy sprouting & a recipe

16th June 2009


Lettuce goes to seed so quickly in the Summer heat here in Israel.  So during this season, I need to get creative as to what I can put into my salads.  This is where sprouting comes in. I usually sprout mung beans by themselves, but a few weeks ago, I experimented with this combination; equal amounts of mung beans and the small, dark brown Beluga lentil.

Sprouting increases the nutrient value, vitamin and enzyme content of grains, beans and seeds,                  making them more digestible.  They have a cooling, cleansing, and detoxifying effect on the body. After an overnight soak, the sprouts are ready in just two to three days.

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easy sprouting

It is always best to purchase organic lentils, beans and seeds, as the conventionally grown ones have often been irradiated prior to storage, making them unable to sprout.


½ cup mung beans

½ cup dark brown beluga lentils


1.  Rinse and soak the mung beans and lentils in a bowl overnight.


2.  The next morning, drain, rinse again and place back in the bowl, or alternatively you can leave in the strainer to drain over the bowl.

3.  Place the lentils in a dark area or cupboard. The sprouts should be rinsed 2 – 3 times a day and then drained well.  When they reach their required length, which takes 2 – 3 days, store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator; this helps to slow the growing process and preserve their freshness.  I like to keep the tails short and sprout them for 2 days. The shorter the sprouting time, the sweeter the sprout; the longer the tail grows, the more water it retains; the less flavour and tend to be watery.

In the warmer months, use them raw in salads, like this one or add them to a green smoothie.   They add a delicious crunch and freshness.  Because of their cooling quality in the colder months, it is better to lightly cook them for a softer and more digestible dish like in the recipe below or used in this lemon rice.


carrot & mung bean sprout palya

Serves 4, as a side dish

Can also be made with the addition of finely chopped cabbage and carrots and sprouts.


1 Tbsp ghee/oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

4 fresh curry leaves

3 medium carrots, grated

1 cup mung beans sprouts (see above)

1 Tbsp  fresh lemon juice

¼ cup dried shredded coconut

salt to taste

¼ cup coriander, chopped


1.  Heat a little ghee/oil in a deep skillet, add the mustard seeds, wait until they splutter and pop, then add the cumin seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves.

2.  Add the mung bean sprouts and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, continually stirring (not too long, as you want to keep some of the crunch to the sprouts.)

3. Add grated carrot and mix in with the sprouts.  Turn off the heat, add lemon juice, dried coconut, salt, and freshly chopped coriander.  Gently mix to combine.

Serve with your favourite grain dish and a simple dal or with an Indian dosa and slices of avocado.


If you would like to read more on sprouting, this is a great site –

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