Last Updated : Oct 24,2017
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Also Known as
Sprouted Field Beans
Sprouted vaal has a robust flavour that complements a wide variety of dishes. This cream-coloured bean is available in various shapes and sizes and as dal too.
To sprout vaal, first sort and wash the beans. Soak the beans overnight (8 to 12 hours) in plenty of warm water. Once the beans swell up, drain the water, bundle them in a damp cheese cloth and leave to sprout, dampening the cloth by sprinkling water once in a while. It typically takes 36 to 48 hours for the vaal to sprout. Once done, wash the sprouts and inspect them. Discard any beans that are discoloured, and peel the rest if desired. You can do this by placing them in warm water and rubbing lightly with your fingers. The peel will pop off easily.
Boiled sprouted vaal
Bring enough water to a boil (2-3 cups of water per cup of sprouts) and add the sprouted vaal. Cover the pot and continue to cook. This helps to cook faster and also retain maximum nutrition. The sprouts might take 20-25 minutes to cook, as they are slightly harder than other sprouts. You can also pressure cook the sprouted vaal in salted or unsalted water, as per the requirement, for 2-3 whistles. Always allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Cook the sprouts till they are soft and can be mashed easily when pressed with your fingers. Boiled sprouted vaal can be used in a variety of dishes like kadhis, vegetables, khichdis etc.
How to Select
• Although homemade is the best alternative, sprouted vaal is also available pre-packaged in grocery stores.
• If purchasing in a packaged container, check to see if there is a "use-by" date on the package.
• Make sure the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness.
• Go for firm sprouts, which are green and yellow in colour. Avoid limp ones and those that have started turning brown.
• Use the sprouts soon after buying. Don't keep them for long hours; they might taste sour.
• On cooking, sprouted vaal acquires a strong, nutty aroma and the taste becomes creamy with a slight, but not unpleasant bitterness. This combines well with coconut, jaggery and ginger.
• The sprouted beans can be fried, causing the skin to split open, and then salted and/or spiced to produce a savoury, crunchy snack.
• You can add the sprouted vaal beans as such to soups, sandwiches and salads.
• Rice with Surti Vaal Dal (a Gujarati preparation) makes a nutrition-packed meal.
• It can also be used to make Sprouted Field Beans Pulao.
• Sprouted vaal can also be used to make the popular Maharashtrian dish, Usal. The combination of jaggery and kokum gives a sweet and tangy taste to the usal, making it a great accompaniment for roti as well as rice.
How to Store
• Use the sprouts within a few days, and rinse them before each use.
• Cooked sprouted vaal should be stored in the refrigerator and can be used for up to 3 or 4 days.
• Sprouts are living foods, and their nutrient content is enhanced as they grow, making them nutritionally very significant.
• They have a greater concentration of vitamins and minerals, proteins, enzymes, phytochemicals, antioxidants, nitrosamines, trace minerals, bioflavonoid and chemo-protectants such as sulphoraphane and isoflavone which work against toxins, resist cell mutation and invigorate the body's immune system better than at any other point in the plant's life, even when compared with the mature vegetable.
• They are rich in protein as well as vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, as well as various minerals and enzymes.
• They help protect against cancer and fatigue.
• Sprouts are also rich in fibre, which makes you feel full for longer, helping cut unnecessary food intake and weight gain.
• The fibre also aids digestion and helps prevent dreadful diseases like diabetes and heart problems.
• Beans also appear to have a blood sugar normalizing effect, and may be of benefit to diabetics.
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