How to make a Sri Lankan sprouted mung bean sambol
Do you know how to make sprouted mung beans? And when you’ve sprouted them do you know what to do with them? How about making a sprouted mung bean sambol.
Sambols are a big deal when it comes to eating Sri Lankan food. They provide a shot of spice, colour, texture and flavour when paired with your favourite Sri Lankan curry. The sprouted mung bean sambol is the perfect companion for any Sri Lankan curry you make.
I got into mung bean sambol over the summer. I was eating it as a sambol alongside my favourite curries. Then I had a transformative experience and started to bulk out my mung bean recipe. I’d make up a load of sprouted mung beans and then start loading up my sambol and suddenly my sambol had transformed itself into a salad.
How to eat a sambol
Treat a sambol like a side to complement to your favourite plateful of curries. They can also be eaten more simply, alongside a roti, with a hopper, even spread onto bread and butter (that’s how my mum eats her seeni sambol). That’s the thing about a sambol, they are versatile.
Sprouting your beans takes a little forward planning
I’ll admit, this Sri Lankan recipe for sprouted mung bean sambol isn’t an off the cuff dish. It takes a little forethought and planning. Because you have to hatch and grow your mung beans.
If you can grow a chia seed, you can nurture a mung bean sprout.
How to make sprouted mung beans
This isn’t difficult, but just takes a little planning.
Take your dried mung beans and pop them in a bowl top up the bowl with water and leave to soak overnight. I pop a tea towel over the bowl and leave them to soak.
Line a baking dish with some kitchen towel. Drain the mung beans in a sieve, give them a shake to get rid of the excess water. Scatter them evenly onto the kitchen towel-lined baking dish. Cover the baking dish with a tea towel and pop into an oven with the light on (no heat). And leave overnight.
Take your mung beans out of the oven, and you’ll see they’ll have started to sprout. Now it’s time to make your sambol.
Ingredients for making your sprouted mung bean sambol
The great thing about this recipe for sprouted mung bean sambol is there is no cooking. Yes you heard me right, no cooking.
You only need a handful of ingredients which are chopped and thrown together, and then you’ll have it, your ready-to-eat sambol.
I like to use red onions in this dish, they are sweeter and milder than yellow onions. The red onion adds pops of colour to the dish making it spectacular on your plate.
My tip here is to leave the skins on and finely chop your cucumber into small cubes. The salt you’ll add later will draw out the flavour from the cucumber.
The cherry tomatoes are my addition to this dish. Smaller and sweeter, and intense flavour helps to make this sambol sing.
This adds a little heat to the mix. I use the green bird’s eye chilli. If you’re worried about the heat, slit the chilli down the middle and scrape out the seeds before finely slicing and scattering over the sambol.
Desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
I use this in the absence of freshly scraped coconut. I use a tablespoon of unsweetened desiccated coconut. Make sure you get hold of unsweetened coconut. If you can get hold of fresh coconut, even better.
The squeeze of lime is an essential part of this recipe, please don’t omit this. Lime is preferred to lemons, it brings the flavours of the onion, chilli and coriander together.
This is more than just a garnish, the coriander pulls all the flavours of this dish together. Roughly chop or tear a few leaves and scatter through your sambol. If you can’t abide fresh coriander, you can always leave it out.
This is the final touch to your sprouted mung bean sambol. Once you have assembled your sambol, add a sprinkling of salt, leave your sambol to rest and let the salt draw out the flavours of your sambol.
Additional ingredientsto go with your sprouted mung beans
I like to play around with flavours. I love to add a few pomegranate seeds to this sambol. The sweetness of the pomegranate complements the freshness of the cucumber and the sharpness of the red onion.
Finely chopped watermelon is a great addition to this sambol, however, it does make this sambol more of a salad.