Sprouting pulses and seeds
Historically, sprouted mung beans are mentioned in "Sri Caitanya Caritamrita", a sacred 16th-century Vaisanava text, as having been served with salt and ginger. In some traditional Indian dishes, mung beans sprouted overnight are used cooked.
Here are some of the sprouts I grow regularly:
- Alfalfa: Takes about 4-7 days to grow in England; they seem to speed up in warmer weather. Nothing can beat these feathery, mild-tasting sprouts combined with hummus or a bean pate in sandwiches or on crackers, and they bring new life to your standard lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad.
- Mung: Homegrown mung sprouts never seem to get as long and fat as the ones you get in the supermarket, but they have more flavour. Make sure you buy the larger-sized mung beans because the smaller ones have a high proportion of beans that won't germinate, leaving you with horrible, tooth-breaking, bullets hiding amongst the sprouts.
- Sunflower: My current favourite! This is because of their instantly revitalising properties and also because you can grow them into attractive little seedlings with proper leaves and they still taste great. They grow fast, too.
- Chickpeas: They don't get green leaves on them, are quite crunchy, and are probably best mixed with other sprouts. I have yet to succeed in making a decent raw hummus with them.