I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this mung bean sprouts salad is spectacular.
It’s nourishing, light, bright, exciting—kind of like salsa—and perfect as a snack or side dish in spring and summer.
I’ve been on a personal mission to increase the nutritional quality of my diet by eating homemade seasonal foods, and this recipe is a rock star addition to the repertoire.
Considering how easy it is to make, and how well it keeps fresh in the refrigerator (unlike salad greens), I think you’ll find this mung bean sprouts salad is your new best friend.
If you enjoy eating fresh and light plant-based foods, this salad can add pizzaz to any plate, or even satisfy as a snack or light meal on its own.
A Hearty, Versatile Salad From India
In India, salads aren’t really a thing. Green salads are practically non-existent because it is too troublesome to refrigerate and keep greens fresh in the intense heat of the climate.
So imagine how hearty this salad is. It’s got both fresh lemon and hot tempered oil that act as preservatives to keep it fresh.
So I like that you can take this salad to work for lunch and not worry about refrigeration for a few hours. You can also store it for a few days and it won’t go bad.
After 1 or 2, or even 3 days, you can freshen it up before serving by adding an extra squeeze of lemon and a pinch of finishing salt.
How To Make Mung Bean Sprouts Salad
The star ingredients in this recipe are the sprouted mung beans and green mango.
Sprouted mung beans can be purchased at Asian grocery stores, but they are also really easy to make in less than two days.
All you need is the dried mung beans, which can be purchased at most grocery stores, and a bowl.
The process involves soaking the beans for 12 hours, and then rinsing 2-3 times a day until you get sprouts. The details are below in the recipe instructions.
Raw mango is another great ingredient. It is slightly sour, rather than sweet, and since it is firm, it stands up well in the salad.
You can purchase raw mango in any Asian grocery store. You may be able to find an unripe one in the regular mango section too, and you can use it, but it won’t be the same.
Carrots, cucumbers, tomato, and cilantro should all be familiar to you. For the coconut flakes, I just use a store-bought brand and make sure it tastes fresh.
In India they would grate up fresh coconut. If this is a process that’s familiar to you, then go for it!
The fresh lemon in this recipe is wonderful for bringing everything together. Its presence boosts digestion, as it enlivens the digestive juices.
The hot oil garnish, with black mustard seeds and asafetida sizzled into it, adds subtle, yet exciting flavors.
South Indian Spices
The black mustard seeds and asafetida in this mung bean sprouts salad recipe may be new to you, but they are worth getting to know. The two are basics in South Indian cooking.
Black mustard seeds add a complex nutty, slightly pungent and bitter flavor, to the salad. While asafetida, the resin of a root from a plant that’s a relative of fennel, adds a sophisticated onion-garlic flavor.
If you don’t have these spices, you can leave them out and the salad will still be tasty. You could try adding in a bit of minced shallots or red onion to compensate.
If you want to buy black mustard seeds and asafetida, see my recommendations below.
For more information about Indian spices, see my post on Indian Ingredients and Indian Ingredient Substitutions.
South Indian cuisine is very different from the Indian food most Americans are familiar with. I personally love its focus on aromatics and healthy spices, rather than heavy spices.
See the link for more South Indian recipes.
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Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté With Coconut (Upkari)
Mung Bean Sprouts Salad With Green Mango
For the salad
- 1/2 cup
green mung sprouts
- 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup carrot,
- 1/2 cup cucumber,
- 1/2 cup tomato,
- 1 green chilis (substitute with jalapeños),
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or coriander leaf, minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice,
(or more, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon
coconut flakes, (see notes)
- Himalayan pink salt, (to taste)
Make mung bean sprouts
- Soak 1 cup dried mung beans in a bowl of cold water for 12 hours. Drain off the water and leave the sprouts in the bowl. Rinse the sprouts 2 to 3 times a day, draining off the water each time. Leave the bowl covered with a clean tea towel, so the sprouts are in the dark. Within 24 hours, you’ll have sprouts. Once the mung sprouts are ready, they’ll keep in the fridge for a few days until you are ready to use them.
Make the green mango and mung sprouts salad
- In a large mixing bowl, add mung bean sprouts, green mango, grated carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, green chilies, and finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Add lemon juice, coconut, and salt to taste. Stir well.
- In a small saucepan, heat oil for the tempering. Add mustard seeds, and cook until they begin to pop. Add the asafetida and turn off the heat.
- Add the tempering to the salad and toss well. Chill before serving.
- Enjoy green mango and mung sprouts salad as a healthy snack, or add it as a side dish with lunch or dinner. It is light, bright, crunchy, sweet, and sour. It will stay fresh up to 2 to 3 days in the fridge because of the lemon juice.