Sprouts are the cheapest and the most nutritious form of available food and an excellent substitute for expensive fruits. While the seed is already a treasure-house of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, its dormant enzymes become active during sprouting.
The starch stored in the seeds is converted into sugars like glucose, fructose, etc. Proteins are broken down into their constituent amino acids. Saturated fat is converted to fatty acids. The stored minerals in the seeds are set free so that they can be absorbed easily and water soluble nutrients such as Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C are also produced during sprouting. Simultaneously, vitamin A and vitamin E content also rises, and sprouts made in sunlight also show an increase in vitamin K.
Sprouting is very easy. Wash and rinse good variety fenugreek seeds to remove any toxic chemicals. Soak the seeds in sufficient water overnight. Drain the water the next day and tie the soaked seeds in a clean cloth. Hang the bundle in a warm place for a day or two, keeping it moist. Ensure that the sprouts are medium in size. Longer sprouting tends to make the pickle bitter. For instance, 1 1/2 tbsp of fenugreek seeds need to be soaked for about 8 hours, with water added twice a day. They take about three days to sprout one cup and the length of the shoot is usually 1cm.
SPROUTED FENUGREK PICKLE IN TAMARIND SAUCE
1,500g – Fenugreek sprouts (obtained from 500g seeds)
25g – Mustard seeds for seasoning
750g – Cleaned tamarind, obtain thick extract using water
125g – Jaggery, grated
400g – Chilli powder
25g – Turmeric powder
10g – Asafoetida, roast in oil and powder
500g – Salt
750ml – Oil
* Stir-fry the fenugreek sprouts over low heat for exactly 2 minutes, and set aside. Frying for longer makes the sprouts bitter.
* In the same pan, heat some more oil, add mustard seeds, and allow to crackle.
* Stir in the tamarind extract, jaggery and salt, and bring to a boil.
* Allow to thicken over a high flame.
* Lower the heat, stir in the chilli, turmeric, asafoetida powders and the remaining oil.
* Continue cooking for about 45 minutes until the mixture thickens.
* Add in the fried sprouts and cook for 15 minutes until the mixture becomes jam-like and the oil separates.
* The pickle is ready for use. It lasts for six months.
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