Ever since I had to up my liquid intake to supplement my fitness routine to 3 litres a day, I have been struggling with options for hot, low cal and non caffeinated beverages, especially on cold winter days or damp, monsoon afternoons. I mean, seriously, there is only that much green tea one can drink, you know! Or spice and floral infusions, for that matter. Jeez.
The moong sprout soup is quite simple, really, or as my brother calls it, ‘sick people’s food’. Well, I do agree it is the chicken soup equivalent for a fever but it is flavourful, fragrant and a comforting cup of healthy goodness. For the recipe, I had to call my mother to make sure I had the ingredients right in my head. “Ma, do you remember that yucky moong soup you used to make for Daadu? How do you make it?” Luckily, I always have sprouts at hand so in this case it really was instant gratification.
Isn’t it strange how so many of our childhoods ‘yucky’ recipes become favourite staples in our own kitchens as we grow older…. I smiled to myself when I scribbled down the recipe my mom incredulously listed out for me. Yes, Ma. I’m all grown up now and I love my moong sprout soup.
4 cups moong sprouts, (mung bean sprouts) raw
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch asasafoetida
4-5 fresh curry leaves
2 fresh green/red chillies, slit
2tsp lemon juice
Salt, to taste
1. Wash the raw sprouts and drain. In a vessel, add 6 cups of water and the sprouts and bring to a boil. As soon as it reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat and strain the sprouts, reserving the liquid.
2. Plunge the sprouts in ice water and drain for use in other recipes. The reserved liquid forms the base for the soup.
3. In a fresh pan, heat oil. Add the cumin seeds. Let them pop and turn the heat low.
4. Add in quick succession the asafoetida, the curry leaves and the reserved liquid. Bring up the heat and add the chillies, sugar, salt and lemon juice.
5. Add 1 cup of water and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes till the chillies have cooked and all the flavours have developed. Serve hot.
I like to grab my hot cuppa and curl up in the window so I just strain the soup directly into a mug. Soup uninterrupted.