Chef Julia had the pleasure of spending a couple of weeks last month in Kochi and Mysore, both cities in south India.
While it wasn't quite summer yet, temperatures were high, so food tended to be full of raw or just-cooked vegetable content paired with fermented starches, with fried foods and wheat making a rare appearance. Fresh juices and fruit were also prevalent. One of her favorite places to eat was a cafe called Depth n Green, who served a version of this salad.
This particular recipe involves Mung Bean Sprouts - a favorite of an accomplished cook Sandyha with whom Chef J had the pleasure of studying her last week in Mysore. They don't take long to sprout and are packed with protein, fiber and phytonutrients. If making this salad ahead, only keep it in the fridge 3 or 4 days.
Mysore-Inspired Sprout Salad
Serves 4 1 cup sprouted mung beans (see note) 2 medium tomatoes, cored, diced 1 medium carrot, peeled, grated 6-8 mint leaves, chopped 1 handful cilantro, destemmed, chopped 2 tbsp freshly grated (or frozen, grated) coconut (see note) Juice of one medium lemon Black pepper and salt to taste
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat and add mustard, cumin and asafeoetida. Once mustard seeds start to sputter, remove from heat and cool. Once cool, add to salad, toss and serve immediately topped with pomegranate arils.
Note: mung beans can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores. Soak 8-10 hours, rinse, and hold in a small bowl in a dark place. Sprouts should take no longer than 8 hours - if longer, rinse every 6-8 hours until they do.
Frozen grated coconut is available at most Indian grocery stores. Or, grate your own from brown coconuts!