Sprouted Fenugreek Salad
My phone says it's 4 am; I am wide away even though it's Sunday and I have nothing on my agenda this morning. My body has yet to sync with daylight savings I think. It's freezing outside - I am hesitant to get out of bed yet I am too restless to continue laying with my eyes closed. This is why I keep my phone closest to me; I nearly killed 3 hours catching up on reading, deleting emails, and realizing that I need to work on my pinterest board (it sucks)...Sprouted Fenugreek Salad has nothing to do with my inability to sleep longer but it's been on my mind ever since I visited my family in Houston a few weeks ago. Salad isn't particularly a hot item in winter months; I won't judge you if you've been eating nothing but soups and stews but sprouted fenugreek salad is unique - it's slightly bitter/tangy/refreshing/crunchy with tons of health benefits. In the past I have shared sprouted mung bean and cilantro salad; this or sliced cucumber/tomato/onion are two most common 'salads' you will find on my family's dinner table. My grandmother's sister, an enthusiastic cook takes a great pleasure in cooking and feeding everyone- I was touched when she said 'I made this 'Sprouted Fenugreek Salad' thinking of you because you like healthy things'..isn't that special or what? I did not know sprouting fenugreek seeds was even possible. From more than 10+ delicious things on table, I found this salad to be most memorable. I immediately asked her for the recipe when I returned home, and this is how Sprouted Fenugreek Salad was born. Fenugreek is a plant but it's seeds are a staple of the Indian Subcontinent cuisines particularly as a spice while fresh leaves are used for making curries. It is a power house of many B vitamins (thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine) and vitamin A and C as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium. Additionally, it is a good source of fiber (1 oz = 7 grams) and several polysaccharides that helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Fenugreek seeds have been used medicinally since ancient times to cure different glad problems, inflammatory diseases, digestive issues, and reproductive health. Some studies have shown taking fenugreek seeds help improve glycemic control and decrease insulin resistance in mild type 2 diabetic patients. It could be due to the presence of amino acid 4-hydroxy isoleucine in the seeds which helps lower the rate of glucose absorption in the intestines which in turn lowers blood sugar levels. For lactating mothers, fenugreek seeds is known for increasing milk flow due to a compound called diosgenin. However, it is advised to avoid it during pregnancy as it causes uterine contraction. Like most supplements, it is always best to check with your physician before starting anything new. Fenugreek naturally has a bitter taste by itself but sprouting will takes care of most of the bitterness which is why it needs acidity (lemon juice or tamarind pulp) to balance out the flavor. My grandmother used lemon juice but I am using tamarind pulp + water per her suggestion. Like most legumes and grains, sprouting will help activate enzymes, increase vitamin/mineral content, and is much easier on our digestive system. In this case, sprouted fenugreek makes a great sturdy salad that is more appropriate as a side salad rather than a meal ( I had it with leftovers as well as mughlai parathas). Shredded carrots, tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, onions, different fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley) are some add-ons that you can pick and choose depending upon what you have on hand. I would suggest buying fenugreek seeds as well as tamarind pulp at an Indian grocery store as its much cheaper. Fenugrek seeds will double once it is sprouted so plan accordingly. If you are not familiar with sprouting, follow the same guidelines as sprouting mung beans although fenugreek sprouts relatively quicker than mung beans.
- 1 cup sprouted fenugreek seeds
- 1 generous teaspoon tamarind pulp
- 3-4 tablespoon warm water
- pinch of cumin powder
- 2-3 green chili, chopped (use per taste)
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 1/8th cup shredded carrots
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- In a medium bowl, whisk together tamarind pulp, water, salt, cumin powder, and green chili.
- Pour sprouted fenugreek seeds into the bowl making sure it covers evenly.
- Toss chopped onions, shredded carrots, and chopped cilantro along with the remaining ingredients.
- Allow it to sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so before serving.