sandhya’s lunch

sprouted mung bean cabbage & green pea curry

29th October 2010


Jonathan arrived back from India this morning with a suitcase full of surprises which my dear friend, Mary had organised for him.  It was wonderful as my whole kitchen oozed with the smells of India.  With him, arrived an amazing cookbook written by Sandhya.

Any Western staying in Mysore for long periods are very familiar with this amazing lady who opens up her home and kitchen to prepare, cook and serve delicious, home-cooked, non-spicy meals to Western students.  Whenever you arrive for lunch at Sandhya’s place, there is always an accumulating pile of sandals at the front door. Inside you would take retreat in the peaceful calmness of her house and the smells of the most delicious food cooking.  Sandhya and her girls would be dressed in their beautiful, bright sari, busy making chapatis and carrying bowls of freshly made steaming curries, palaya’s and chutney to the table all with big, beautiful smiles on their faces.  The food is always exceptionally delicious.! To finally have a book of my favourite recipes is like having a little bit of India and a little bit of Sandhya right here in my kitchen.

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Sandhya’s place, Mysore India

I spent the whole day saturating myself in reading through and marking all the recipes I am going to make.  Just what I needed to be, inspired again in the kitchen.  This is what I made today.  I used mung beans which I soaked, but did not sprout, as I was too impatient to try this first recipe.  The cooking time was slightly longer because of this and I added the cabbage and ground paste ingredients after I had simmered the mung beans for 20 minutes.  I also added a handful of frozen peas.  I only used half a chilli and it gave the dish just a hint of spice.  Perfect!!  If you don’t have the urad and chana dal, you can easily omit them.

cabbage, green peas & sprouted mung bean curry

Serves 4


250g green peas or mung bean sprouts (or a combination of both)

500g cabbage, chopped

500mL water

1 tsp fine rock salt

ingredients for ground paste 

1 green chilli

1 cup coconut, grated

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1-inch knob ginger root, grated

1 Tblsp coriander leaves, chopped


2 Tbsp oil/ghee

1 Tbsp mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split urad dal

1 Tbsp split channa dal

8 curry leaves

tsp asafoetida powder


1.  To prepare the ground paste – grind the five ingredients for the until smooth. Set aside.

2.  To prepare the voggarane, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over low heat and add the black mustard seeds; when they start to splutter and pop, add the urad and channa dal – fry until both dals turn golden-brown, then add curry leaves and asafoetida, fry for a few seconds.

3.  Add the green peas or mung bean sprouts, stir to combine in the spices, then add the chopped cabbage and ground paste and fry for a few more seconds.

4.  Pour in the water, add salt, bring to boil and mix well, then lower the heat, cover with the lid and cook for 10~20 minutes, or until the cabbage becomes soft and the gravy has thickened.

I served this with brown rice and a green garden salad.  I took two sweet potatoes and cut them into small cubes, drizzled them with oil, sprinkled with cumin and cayenne pepper and baked them until soft and then added to the salad when cool.  So delicious!!!  The sweet potato cubes go especially well and form the perfect marriage with the greenness of the curry.

Goodness shared from Stacey

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