Friday, July 18, 2014

Muga Ghashi ( Sprouted Moong beans in coconut sauce)

Muga ghashi is a favorite in konkani households. It is my mother's all-time favorite. She pretty much makes it every other week. So what exactly is this dish? "Mugu" is moong beans in konkani and "ghashi" refers to the kind of coconut sauce it is in. Mugu here spegifically refers to the sprouted moong beans that are so tiny to begin with. Think of the sheer amount of work that it takes to peel each single one if them! I know of only one person who diligently does it! Who?? My mother of course!! She will sit and patiently peel each and every one of them! Can you believe that?? Well she does! This is the deal with her. She does not like a single moong bean peel in her muga ghashi. You will never see a hint of green in her muga ghashi. Now are you wondering if I have taken over my mother's skills?? NO! I could not have such patience in a million years!! I have adopted my mother-in-law's policy. Cook the sprouted moong with the peel! Ha ha! And to think that I used to hesitate to make this favorite dish of mine just thinking about the sheer amount of work! Now I get some fiber too in my diet:). When you cook the sprouts in water, the peel floats up top. You can scoop the peel and remove it. Whatever peel is left, you eat. But the authentic way to make this dish is by removing the individual peel from all the moong beans. Remember, your mother is always right!

Now, for this dish you could add any of the following as an accompaniment: suran( yam), keerlu( tender bamboo shoots), bikand(jackfruit seed),kook( chinese potato), cauliflower, tendle( gherkin), simebadane( chayote) or even potato. Each one gives the dish a nice unique taste. My favorite is with the tender bamboo shoots and with Chinese potatoes. Today, I will share with you the dish I made by combining sprouted moong beans with tender bamboo shoots.

Servings: 4-6


Sprouted moong beans: 3 cups
Tender bamboo shoots: 1 cup, cleaned and chopped into medium pieces.
Salt to taste.
Water: 2 cups + 1 cup

For the coconut masala/gravy/ sauce:

Grated fresh coconut: 1 cup
Dry Red chillies:4-5 nos ( depends on the spice level of; the chilly).
Tamarind: marble sized if dry, 1/2tsp if pulp.
Water: 3/4 cup( can add more if needed)

For tempering:Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Coconut oil: 1 tsp ( any cooking oil can be used.)


Grind all the ingredients listed under coconut gravy and keep aside.

Cook sprouted moong beans with 2 cups water in a pot on medium flame until tender. Generally around 20-25 minutes. Keep aside.

Cook tender bamboo shoots with 1/2 cup water in a pot until tender.Around 8-10 minutes. Keep aside.

When all the above are ready, mix it all together in pot big enough to hold it all. Now place it on medium heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, switch of the flame. Temper with the ingredients listed under tempering.


In a small frying pan, heat coconut oil, add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves.Add it to the above pot.

Note: some people add 1/4 tsp jeera( cumin seeds) to the tempering.

Some people temper with fried chopped onions. I prefer the taste of mustard and curry leaves.

Serve hot with rice.


Cooking made easy:

One of the easy ways to peel the skin off the sprouted moong beans is by soaking it in water. Soak the sprouts in cold water for 3-4 hours. You will see the the peel separates from the seeds and floats up on top. Scoop it up. There might be a few stubborn ones that might be required to be manually peeled.

Tip for healthy living:

Sprouts are very nutrient-dense.Apparently the quality of the protein, the fiber content, essential fatty acid content  and vitamin content in the beans improves upon sprouting. There are 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than uncooked fruits and vegetables.They are easy to make at home, and are by far the best locally-grown food.

Food for thought:

Absence- that common cure of love. Lord Byron