India has a range of cuisines as diverse as its cultures which can be best seen through the amazing array of street foods. Eating on the street is a way of life for Indians. Street vendors hawk a variety of freshly cooked food to hungry passers-by at all times of the day and the mouth watering sight and smell of crispy hot samosas, gol gappas, chaat, aloo tikkis, flaky khasta kaschoris, and sweets surrounds you at all times.
Local hawkers/vendors would gather around our school with just a small basket & step stool to create these tangy and spicy snacks within seconds. Sprouted Moong dal salad was incontestably my childhood favorite. Some how, it’s hard to re-create the exact taste and ambiance in a home kitchen, still I believe this is as good as it gets to bringing back nostalgic child memories.
Most Indian street snacks are fried for quick turnover. Another reason I am still addicted to this snack is as this sprouts salad is vibrant in color, refreshing, and crunchy in texture, hitting all the right taste buttons. It is a dish full of nutrients as lentils are a good source of protein and calcium.
Sprouted Moong Dal Salad
Even though this dish is considered a street snack in India. One can easily relish it as a salad or appetizer. It is sweet, tart, savory, spicy, and herbal all at the same time. Did I mention it is not only ‘good’ for your body, but it tastes fantastic too and it is so simple to make….
- 1.5 cups Whole Moong Dal or Kala Channa
- 1 Big Tomato, diced
- 1 Red Onion, diced
- 6-8 Green Chilis, diced
- 1/2 Cup chopped cilantro
- Chaat masala to taste (4-6 tsp)
- 1 big lemon, juiced
- Rinse and soak lentils overnight. Next day drain the dal and put it in a large bowl covered with damp cloth in the sun or shade for a day. Make sure the cloth or paper towel is damp. It should take around 1 to 1.5 days to sprout.
- Flash boil the sprouts in salted water and drain.
- Add rest of the ingredients, taste for seasoning and chill until served.
Note: You can buy the lentils and chaat masala at any Indian grocery store. You can also substitute lentils for chickpeas.
Do you have a childhood favorite snack which you still crave? I would love to hear about your most memorable street food experience.