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Friday, January 11, 2008

Red Lentil Sprouts Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette

Red Lentils ~ Masoor Dal (Hindi) is much popular in Northern India than in the southern parts is not much used in everyday cooking. They are sometimes combined with toor dal (yellow dal) in cooking to avoid the muddy taste in the red lentil. A variety of lentils exist with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. Red, white and yellow lentils are decorticated, i.e. they have their skins removed.

A large percentage of Indians are vegetarian and lentils have long been part of the indigenous diet as a common source of protein. Usually, lentils are boiled to a stew-like consistency with vegetables and then seasoned with a mixture of spices to make many side dishes such as sambhar, rasam and dal, which are usually served over rice and sometimes roti/flat bread. I am using red lentil sprouts in my salad to add more nutritional benefits to it. A half cup of raw lentils yields about 2 cups of lentil sprouts and double the nutritional value too.

sprouted red lentils~masoor dal

Nutritional value and benefits of lentil sprouts
: Lentils are a legume, and as such are high in protein and can be hard for some people to digest. The sprouting process should make digestion easier, but they may cause a lot of gas in certain people, who should probably avoid them.

The process of photosynthesis and germination changes the chemical composition of the lentil, increasing the amounts of the following substances: Vitamin A, C, E, Thiamin, Niacin, Carotene, Iron, Phosphorous, Potassium, most B vitamins.
Sprouts are rich in digestible energy, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, beneficial enzymes and phytochemicals.

Exact information on the chemical changes in sprouted lentils is hard to find, but most sources agree that almost every substance naturally present in the lentil increases during germination, and that existing substances, such as starch and protein, are broken down and effectively predigested by the activated enzymes, making them easier to assimilate. If you want to learn more about Lentils and their benefits click here here and here.
Source: Wikipedia

More on how to sprout lentils read Nupur's~A Primer on Sprouting Lentils or else check this video on Sprouting Beans ~ SBT team's blog.

Red Lentil Sprouts Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette

Source: My Own
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 10 mins
Serves: 4 people
1C sprouted red lentils/masoor dal
1 carrot, peeled and slices
1 plum tomato, cubes
1C/bunch of Watercress (avoid the hard stems)
handful of dried cranberries/cherries
2T toasted pine nuts
for spicy vinaigrette:
3T extra virgin olive oil
1T distilled vinegar or 1/2 lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 shallot, finely chopped
1T fresh parsley, finely chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Wash and rinse watercress and dry it in a salad spinner or over the kitchen towel and place it in a large bowl. Add carrot, tomato, sprouted red lentils, cranberries and toss well.
  2. In a small mixing bowl add all the ingredients of vinaigrette and mix thoroughly as the oil emulsifies with the acid.
  3. Pour the prepared vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. Top it with toasted pine nuts or any nuts of your choice.
Sending this entry to My Legume Love Affair event hosted by Susan of Well-Seasoned Cook.


Anonymous said...

Hey, lentils has to be one of the most underrated when it comes to serving nutrients. Great to see you explain in a succinct way. For those dieting, this recipe is going to be a God send. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vimmi said...

Looks yummy. never sproted masoor before. will try

Laavanya said...

Wow that looks great Padma and the vinaigrette sounds good.

TBC said...

Nice vinaigrette... I make something similar using balsamic vinegar.

DK said...

I love red lentils and I cook with it so often although I am a south indian! ( awe ok i dint know of it before when I was in India - but thats a different thing altogether )..dunno I dont find the taste muddy..Its tastes so heavenly even with minumum of ingredients added .I never had the sprouts though..will try :)

Pravs said...

good to see lentil in salad..looks like a great salad to try.

Susan said...

Watercress and cranberry must add a nice zing! Thank you, Padma, for your great entry. Happy New Year!

Lisa Turner said...


This is a beautiful salad! As a vegetarian, I cook with various types of legumes all of the time, including lentils. I am ashamed to admit that I have not yet made a dish with sprouted lentils though. This is one I will try for sure. I can't keep up to all of the wonderful recipes you share with your readers. Very glad that you are back to blogging.

Chef Jeena said...

Padma I usually sprout my own mung beans. Your sprouted red lentils look amazing, what a healthy salad too. It looks great and the vinaigrette sounds delicious. :-)

DEEPA said...

Wow!!!Must be really crunhy one ..esp the lentil sprouts ....awesome post

SBT said...

That sounds so delicious, good luck with your submission! I make a salad on my raw food days with sprouted brown lentils and sprouted red rice. I find lime is very nice with sprouted beans and pulses.

I'd also like to try your salad with a fruit after my own heart (instead of cranberries/cherries), dried seabuckthorn berries (my company's fruit). They are tart but very flavourful.

Archana Doshi said...

Wow, very nice recipe. I never tried sprouting masoor dal. The vinaigrette has a kick to it. Adding cranberries must have given that extra kick to the salad. Will try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing. I would think adding some walnuts to this can give that extra crunch as well.


Dori said...

The salad looks so good and colorful!

Red Chillies said...

Hey Padma, lovely idea. You know I brought some masoor daal from the grocery and did not like it much when pressure cooked. I did not know what to do with that. I will surely use your idea. Great going!

Cakespy said...

Mm, this looks like a great dish--filling but not too heavy. It sounds very flavorful too!

Roopa said...

wonderfull salad and a healthy one padma :)

Rajitha said...

have never sprouted masoor..looks great..should try!

Siri said...

Dear Padma, Thanks for ur sweet comment on my blog..:) The salad looks so yummO.. esp for a salad freak like me.. hehehe..

take care and I hope u had nice break.. now its my turn.. cya :)

~ Siri

Sig said...

Wow, I love that salad picture, great job Padma!

Sagari said...

very healthy and delecious salad recipe padma thaks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Hello Padma,

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Editorial Assistant,

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous recipe for a quick salad. I need to get started on this pronto!
Thank you for sharing;
and a very informative writeup!
Kudos to you!
Thanks for sharing!

Kribha said...

Yum... I love this salad. So colorful and healthy.

Nupur said...

Padma, that salad is so beautiful and colorful that I can't take my eyes off it! Gorgeous picture.

Usha said...

looks yummy..I will have to try it very soon..

Dazy said...

I'm making this today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

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