Sprouting kachumbar salad

Most pulses, beans and lentils lend themselves to a good sprouting.

I haven’t had a garden for the last 10 years and so turning dull and hard seeds into crunchy, fresh food using just water is, to me, nothing short of magical in a sort of Jack and the Beanstalk way.

Not only does sprouting change the character of the seed, but its nutritional profile too. Because it effectively kick-starts the whole germination process, the seed quadruples in nutrients, especially potassium, protein and the B-vitamins, making them extraordinarily good for you.

Although sprouted beans are in fogue* and available in most supermarkets, they are an ancient food in India. We used to eat them often, laced with burnt garlic, fresh lemon juice and coriander (recipe in my book) but equally, you’ll see them eaten all over Indian in street-food dishes like bhel puri and aloo chaat where they add texture and crunch.

This salad is a massively pimped-up version of India’s favourite salad: kachumbar, which is traditionally made using tomatoes, onions and cucumber. I’ve added radishes and ginger for bite and zing and covered it in silky, sharp and sweet mustard dressing.

*um, food vogue (sorry)

Sprouting kachumbar salad

Serves 6

  • 250g baby plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 200g radishes, topped, tailed and finely sliced
  • ½ cucumber, gutted and finely diced
  • A bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
  • 40g coriander, finely chopped
  • 2cm ginger, peeled and diced into tiny 1mm dice
  • 250g sprouted mung beans mixed pulses (either grow your own, or buy these – available in Sainbury’s and Tesco)

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Chop chop chop all the vegetables: finely chop the tomatoes and coriander. Finely slice the radishes and spring onions. Finely dice the cucumber and very finely dice the ginger. Throw all the chopped vegetables into a bowl along with the sprouted beans.

In another bowl, mix together the oil, salt, sugar, mustard and lemon juice. Whisk with a fork and drizzle all over your salad just before serving.