‘Moogachi Usal‘ is a vegan friendly Maharashtrian recipe using sprouted green gram lentils. Lentils are good for us and sprouting increases their nutritional values even more. Hence, in Indian cooking it is always advised to sprout them and then consume. You can make wonderful gravies with sprouted lentils or enjoy them in salad.
Sprouting process is very simple; Soak lentils overnight, next morning tie them in a clean cotton cloth. And then store for 7-8 hours in a warm, dry place to allow sprouting. Once lentils sprouted use them in your recipe. I have prepared my favourite recipe using sprouted green gram which I am sharing in this post.
In India, green gram are knowns as moog while usal means gravy typically prepared with lentils. Hence the name for this is recipe – ‘Moogachi Usal‘. This gravy is packed with deep flavours and makes wholesome meal when served with chapati or rice. It has got slight crunch of sprouted green gram while coconut-onion paste gives thickness and earthy taste to it. You can keep it dry or make gravy; either ways it tastes delicious. Gravy version is my personal favourite and like to relish it with hot chapati. Some drizzle of lime over the top tastes good.
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1/2 cup green gram/ moog
2 tbsp oil
2 small onions
3-4 tbsp shredded fresh coconut
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt as per taste
Water for cooking
Handful freshly chopped coriander
Start with washing and overnight soaking of green gram or moog in sufficient water. Soak for at least 7-8 hours.
Next, drain all the water and tie them in a clean cotton cloth. Store it in a dark, warm place for 7-8 hours. I usually keep them in oven for sprouting (and of course when oven is switched off 😛). Oven provides perfect environment to sprout these soaked green gram.
(TIP – Once lentils are sprouted, use them immediately or store in the refrigerator. If sprouts starting to turn brown, it might ruin the lentils and won’t be good to consume.)
Start with preparing coconut-onion curry base. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over a high heat.
Once oil is hot, add 1 sliced onion and fry until soft and starting to colour.
Then add shredded coconut into it and cook it along with onions, stirring every now and then. Once mixture starts to turn brown, switch off the heat.
Let this mixture cool down, blitz it into thick & fine paste.
Now our curry base is ready, rest of the recipe is pretty straight forward. Take the same pan on high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil.
Once oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add finely chopped onions and fry it on medium heat. Add ginger garlic paste and mix it together.
Once onions changes colour, add turmeric, kashmiri red chilli, coriander and chilli powders (basically all powdered spices listed above except garam masala).
Cook it on low-medium heat until raw smell goes away. Add little hot water to de-glaze the pan.
(TIP – I am using homemade raw ginger-garlic paste. Hence, I cooked it along with onions. Incase, store bought ginger-garlic paste is used, add it along with powdered spices. Store bought paste is already cooked so doesn’t need lot of cooking else it will lose its flavours.)
Add prepared coconut-onion paste into the pan. Mix it together with spices and allow it to cook. Add around 1 cup of water into the pan and let it cook on medium heat.
Once gravy starts bubbling and oil separates out from sides of the pan, add sprouted moog and garam masala into it.
At this point, add chopped coriander over the top if liked.
Season with salt and mix it gently to coat green gram in the spicy mixture. Cover the pan and Simmer for another 5 minutes. Adjust the consistency of gravy as desired. I usually keep it semi-thick gravy.
Moogachi usal or sprouted green gram curry is ready to serve. Enjoy it with hot chapati and some rice on side.
Incase want to try variations, add chopped tomatoes or boiled potatoes in the gravy, if liked.
Alternately, you can make it dry stir fry kind of recipe; in that case skip coconut-onion paste. Just add green gram with garam masala, once all spices are cooked. Then simmer it for 5 minutes. Serve hot, plus lime wedge to squeeze over.
I hope you find this recipe helpful and would love to give it a try. Do checkout my other vegan recipes here !!