One of my favorite salads from childhood is a green whole mung bean salad that my mom would serve as an evening snack sometimes, especially during the pleasant (not too hot or cold) months in Chennai. The warmth of the beans, the crunch of the vegetables, the tanginess of the lemon and 'chaat' masala are tastes that remind me of home and are very comforting and nourishing to my body and soul. I chose this salad for autumn because it is a season of transition from hot to cold. This salad represents that transition. It is a mix of hot and cold, and can be enjoyed in autumn.
What I love most about this salad is it's simple, delicious, tangy, nutritious, and wholesome. It can be served as a regular snack or as a post work-out snack. The mung beans are the star of this dish as they help clear excess heat and release toxins from the body. Autumn is a good time to detox the body so this salad works perfectly in this season! The spices in the salad are warming and good for the immune system. You can choose to sprout the beans or not. Either ways, the salad is healing! Here's the recipe:
1 cup green whole mung beans (soaked in enough water for 12 hours; washed, drained, and kept covered without water for another 12 hours)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup cucumbers
1 tsp. chaat masala (available in Indian grocery stores - optional)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
Sea salt to taste
1/2 cup water to cover the mung beans
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Juice of 1 lemon
Chopped coriander for garnishing
Bhujia sev for garnishing (available in Indian grocery stores - optional)
Rinse the sprouted beans and and put them into a pot. Add 1/2 a cup water, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, and 1/4 tsp. of salt.
Bring the mung beans and water to a boil on high heat. Cover the pot and let it cook on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
Turn off the gas, strain the beans (if there is any water left), and keep them aside.
After few minutes, combine the mung beans, chopped vegetables, salt, pepper, chaat masala (some brands that I use are Shaan, MDH, & Everest), and lemon juice. Garnish with coriander.
This recipe is for four people and takes about 30 minutes to make.
NOTE - If you are prone to gastric problems, avoid this salad.