THEME: #221 MOONG MAGIC
What is Paniyaram?
Paniyaram, Paddu, Guliyappa, Yeriappa, Ponganalu is simply a steamed batter made in a mould. Usually a batter of rice and urad dal is poured into the paniayaram pan or appe pan(aebleskiver), covered with a lid and allowed to steam till done. Made either sweet or savory, paniyaram is usually served as a snack any time of the day. The savory ones are served with some chutney and or sambhar.
Usually made from leftover idli/dosa batter,however these days a variety of lentils and other grains are used to make this lovely crispy on the outside and soft in the inside snack. My first time to enjoy painiyaram was at Farzi Cafe, Bangalore, where paniyaram was served in a mini Indian truck.
What is Moong Paniyaram?
Our theme for this week suggested by Swaty who blogs at Food – Trails suggested that we create magic by using moong. That resulted in me using moong to make the much craved for paniyaram. I was tempted to use up my left over idli batter and just add sprouted moong but thought of using the power packed beans in abundance to make the paniyaram. As a result, whole green moong and urad dal were used to make the batter. Added some spinach and sprouted moong along with the required spices. To go with the hot delicious crispy moong paniyaram I made a super yummy Ridge Gourd Chutney following my friend Archana’s recipe. Trust me, hot moong paniyaram will disappear in no time.
What is Moong?
Commonly known as Mung Bean, Green Gram or Moong, is considered as a superfood for vegetarians. An integral part of the Indian Cuisine its packed with protein and is low in carbohydrates, making it easy to digest and light on the stomach. Rich in potassium and iron it helps to regulate blood pressure. It contains folate which is vital for proper brain function and in production of DNA. Rich in dietary fibre its helps in digestion. Moong is an important part of our diet at home. I usually use whole moong to make curries like Khatta Moong or Dal Tadka. I love using the split moong dal to make Khichdi, Chila, Dhokla, and so many other snacks. Moong dal is also used to make a super yummy sweet dishes like Swaty’s Moong Dal Halwa and Paruppu Payasam.
Why include Sprouted Moong in your diet?
As I mentioned above Moong is considered a superfood particularly for vegetarians. Sprouted Moong multiples the benefits to even a larger extend.
- It is believed that sprouted beans have 100 times more enzymes than any other raw fruits or vegetables. These enzymes are proteins that aid over all body functions. Enzymes help to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids from the foods you eat and ensure that your body has the nutritional building blocks of life to ensure every process works more effectively.
- Protein present in the beans changes during the soaking and sprouting process, making it of a better quality. The amino acid lysine increases significantly during sprouting. Lysine is essential for a healthy immune system.
- The fibre content of sprouted increases making it a valuable ingredient for proper digestion. For this reason I prefer to include sprouted beans in salads, soups and sandwiches.
- Sprouting increases the vitamin contents of the beans up to 20 times the original amount. This makes its a super food especially for vegetarians. Moong sprouts are rich in Vitamin B1, B2 and niacin.
- Sprouts provide energy.
- Sprouts help to alkalize the body thus making it an important part of one’s diet especially for those suffering from illness like cancer.
- During sprouting minerals present in the beans have a tendency to bind themselves to the protein present making it more useable to the body when one eats sprouts. Bean Sprouts are rich in alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.
- Fatty Acid content is increased during the sprouting process and they are essential in our body for fat burning.
How to make Bean Sprouts at home?
These days ready made sprouted moong are easily available in stores and from vegetable sellers. However, I prefer to make sprouts at home as ready made ones tend to be sticky and slimy sometimes.
To make sprouts at home is very easy. 1 cup of moong beans can yield over 3 times the amount of sprouts.
- I usually soak the moong in warm water over night or for 7-8 hours.
- After that drain out the water, using a sieve or strainer.
- Wash the moong beans under running water. Let the excess water drain out.
- Put the beans in a container or bowl.
- Cover it with a damp cloth, not soaking wet. Cover with a lid. I usually use a tin with a cover.
- Place the container or bowl in a warm place but not in direct sunlight.
- After 6-8 hours, wash the beans again under running water so that they do not get sticky and slimy. Repeat steps 4- 6.
- Repeat step 7 till you get the desired length of sprouts.
- I find that in a warmer climate they sprout much faster than in a cold climate.
How to use beans sprouts?
Besides enjoying them raw on their own sprouts can be added to soups, salads, sandwiches. I love making Sprouted Moong Salad. Whenever I get fresh radish with fresh leaves I love to enjoy Bean Sprout and Radish Salad, using the raw leaves. Have you tried Xiao Mi Zhou which is millet porridge enjoyed in China? I love adding sprouts to it. Once in a while, beans sprouts find their way into these delicious Sprouted Moong Parathas and a lip smacking Chinese Bhel.
Including bean sprouts in your family’s diet right from kids to elders is important. While adults may enjoy them on their own, kids may not want to. Including them in their favorite foods like pancakes, tots, fritters, idlis, bhajia, paniyaram is a good suggestion.
Here’s one recipe of paniyaram that is enjoyed by all adults and kids with bean sprouts included in them.
- To make it gluten free, don’t add asafetida unless you have a pure form of it.
- Its vegan friendly
- For a satvik option, don’t add any garlic or onion
Makes about 35
1 cup whole moong (mung beans, green grams)
½ cup urad dal (split black gram lentils)
1 cup (tightly packed chopped spinach)
1 small onion finely chopped
1 cup sprouted moong beans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger paste
1-2 green chilis, finely chopped or 1-2 tsp green chili paste
1 cup water, (approx)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp urad dal
8-10 curry leaves, finely chopped
a generous pinch asafetida
- Soak moong and urad dal separately in warm water overnight or for 6-8 hours.
- Drain out the water from both moong and urad dal. Wash them under running water separately using a strainer.
- Using ¼ – ⅓ cup grind the urad dal into a fine paste. Remove the paste into a big mixing bowl.
- Next add the soaked moong and chopped spinach into the blender jug. Using ½ – ¾ cup of water grind to a coarse paste.
- Add the moong spinach paste to the urad dal paste.
- Add salt and mix well. Cover the bowl and let the batter ferment for 3 – 4 hours.
- Heat oil in a small pan over low to medium heat.
- Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and urad dal to it.
- Stir fry till the dal becomes pink in colour.
- Add asafetida, chopped curry leaves and chopped onion. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sprouted moong and mix. Take the pan off the heat. You don’t want to cook the sprouted moong.
- Add the tempering to the batter.
- Add ginger and chilli too. Mix the batter well.
- Heat a paniyaram pan over medium to low heat.
- Add about 2-3 drops of oil into each cavity or mould.
- Add about a tablespoon of the batter into each mould. Filling each mould ¾ of the way is a good guideline.
- Cover the lid and let the paniyaram steam for 2-3 minutes.
- Take the lid off the pan. If the top part of the paniyaram seems steamed, flip each one over to cook the top side using a spoon or a fork.
- Drop into each mould a drop or 2 of oil and let the other side of the paniyaram become golden brown.
- Repeat steps 16 to 20 with the remaining batter.
- Serve hot moong paniyaram with your favorite chutney and sambhar. Can be served alone with some chutney.
As I mentioned above, I made the delicious ridge gourd chutney following my friend Archana’s recipe. However, did alter a few things. For one I didn’t peel the ridge gourd, just got rid of some of the brownish parts. I also added mint and ginger for flavour as ridge gourd on its own is quite tasteless. Thank you so much Archana for the recipe. Some years back if someone were to tell me that ridge gourd and its peel can be used to make chutney, I would have not taken them seriously.
RIDGE GOURD CHUTNEY
Recipe Source: The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen
Makes about 1 cup
1½ cup (approx 170g) chopped ridge gourd
½ cup grated fresh coconut
1-2 green chillis
1 tsp ginger paste
4 – 6 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (til)
a generous pinch of asafetida (hing)
1 tbsp urad dal
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (dhania)
½ – ¾ tsp salt
10-12 fresh mint leaves
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Add mustard seeds, sesame seeds and cumin seeds.
- As soon as the seeds begin to sizzle add asafetida and urad dal.
- Stir fry till the dal becomes pink.
- Add garlic, onion and chilis.
- Stir fry them till the onion becomes a bit soft.
- Add chopped ridge gourd and coconut.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Lower the heat, cover the pan and let the ridge gourd cook till its a bit soft.
- Take the pan off the heat. Let the mixture cool.
- Add chopped coriander leaves and mint and grind the mixture to a paste.
- Can add finely chopped vegetables of your choice to the batter.
- Don’t try and turn the paniyaram if the top is not cooked. It becomes messy and the paniyaram does not retain its shape.
- As for the sprouting procedure it is important to clean the beans under running water frequently to prevent them from becoming slimy and smelly.
- When preparing the chutney, when you add salt to the ridge gourd, after a while the gourd will release its own water if it is fresh. If not then you may need to add about ¼ cup of water.
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