Health benefits: Mung beans are helpful in lowering “LDL”(or bad cholesterol) and high blood pressure, have antioxidants that have cancer fighting capabilities, and prevent or are helpful in curing Type 2 diabetes. In addition, mung beans are a great source of protein, iron, magnesium and fibre.
Cooking tip: Soak overnight for improving digestion and shortening cooking time. Sprouting mung beans enhances their nutritional and medicinal benefits. Add a pinch of turmeric when boiling the mung beans to help retain the green color.
Among my lady friends there is one person who stands out every year. This year was no exception. She emailed a bunch of friends a month before her birthday to invite us for lunch. And like every year, I was very excited to celebrate her birthday because I love the fact that even as she is getting older, her zest for life is getting stronger.
When I arrived at the designated venue on her birthday, I was surprised to see that she had arranged for music, speakers, a singer, and karaoke equipment. And I was totally taken aback when she started dancing impromptu on a popular bollywood song with confidence, grace, and a smile on her face. I could notice the twinkle in her eyes to see that all her loved ones had come together to celebrate her birthday.
The zeal for life is often forgotten in our everyday mundane tasks. Rarely do we stand back and enjoy the present. As a mom of three, I have quite a hectic day - picking up and dropping, cooking meals, and all the myriad of errands that I am sure every mom runs throughout the day. My kids call me the most forgetful person, because in all this busyness, I often forget to breathe, to digest the flavors of life, and to remember the beautiful moments. I take inspiration from my friend to bring some positive vibes back into my life, and I hope I can also find the same twinkle in the eye that I saw in hers.
Green Goddess Salad
This recipe is from the same friend whose birthday I attended. Apart from being a great dancer, she is a fantastic cook as well! I love the ingredients that she combined in this dish...they are very unique with respect to their countries’ cuisines but come together beautifully in this recipe. The green color of this salad extends the freshness, crisp and spring/summer feel of this recipe.
½ cup Moong beans, soaked overnight and then par-boiled with salt and a pin of turmeric to retain green color. Cook for about 5 minutes only till “al dente” (they should have a bite to them). Do not overcook. Strain out the water and cool the mung beans to room temperature.
10-12 snow peas, blanched and shocked, and then cut half on a diagonal
½ green apple, quartered, deseeded, and sliced thinly in a mandoline. In a bowl, squeeze juice of ¼ lemon in a cup of water and soak the apples in it to prevent them from turning brown.
2 celery stalks, sliced thin on a mandoline
½ cup chopped cilantro
4 Tbsp roasted peanuts crushed
Extra cilantro for garnish
Ingredients for the dressing:
½ cup cilantro
½ cup peanuts
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp soya sauce
¼ cup jaggery (gur) dissolved in ½ cup water (or 11/2 spoons of sugar)
½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of quarter lime + 1 Tbsp
Water to adjust consistency
Salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients for the salad. Cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
In the meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Adjust the sweet, salty and lemony aspect of the dressing so that all are vibrant when you taste the dressing. Adjust the consistency of the dressing with water as needed. Add a few spoons of the dressing with the salad and mix well. Serve in the desired plate and garnish with some cilantro leaves. The dressing is more than what you will need for the salad so refrigerate the rest for later use.