A sensible diet does not mean fasting for most part of the day. Rather it means eating smart, deriving maximum nutrition for every bite, making the right food choices. For vegetarians, a healthy diet also means an intelligent blend of cereals and proteins. You may ask why?
Egg is called a complete protein source because it contains all the 20 amino acids needed by the body.
Does that mean you lose out on the proteins if you follow a vegetarian or a vegan diet? NO!!
Nature has provided so much variety that we can easily make every meal a complete protein meal simply by smart pairing of a cereal and a legume. This is because, cereals and legumes have complementary amino acid profiles. In simple speak, cereals will supply the amino acids found missing in legumes and vice versa. By consuming both at the same meal, every time, we can compensate for the amino acids missing in each of these grains and make the meal a nourishing and strengthening one.
Enter - a favourite South Indian breakfast. Rava Idlis are made with wheat semolina unlike usual idlis which are made from a rice based batter. Rava Idlis are always paired with Potato Sagu in homes and restaurants in Bangalore. In Tamil Nadu or other Southern states, the dish is usually paired with a mixed vegetable ‘kurma’, or chutney. All these dishes are great spicy accompaniments to the bland, soft rava idli.
However, I wanted to take this meal a notch up in the nutrition ladder. Looking for a protein ingredient to accompany the ‘rava’, I felt the best one would be mung bean sprouts. Several reasons for this – mung beans are a pantry staple in most homes, they sprout with little effort, are quick cooking, and lend character to any meal. Still, with great trepidation, I waited to see the reaction on my family’s faces when I served this up for breakfast. One look at them all, and I was satisfied we have a winner at hand.
I urge all of you to try this out too. Enjoy it for breakfast, brunch or even dinner. And let me know your thoughts. Here is how I made our weekend breakfast.
- Contains gluten from rava. NOT suitable for celiacs, or people with gluten sensitivity.
- Contains buttermilk. Usually suitable for people with lactose intolerance.
- Does NOT contain egg, corn, soya, nuts. Suitable for people with nut allergy.
Preparation Time – 30 minutes, Cooking Time – 30 minutes, Serves – 4-6.
Cookware – Idli steamer, Pressure Cooker, Mixer Grinder, Sauce Pan
For the Rava Idlis – I used an Instant Mix of Soulfull Rava Idli Mix. This was part of the goodies we received at the IFBM. Quite fresh and convenient. Mix the contents of the packet with enough sour buttermilk to make a thick pouring batter. Grease idli moulds, pour in batter and steam in a pressure cooker/idli steamer for 10-12 minutes until done.
For the Mung Bean Sprout Sagu
- 1 heaped cup Mung Bean Sprouts
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Onions
- 1/2 cup diced Tomatoes
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic Paste OR make a paste of a thumb size ginger piece and 2 cloves garlic
- 2-4 green chillies depending on your heat preference
- 1 tbsp khus khus (poppy seeds) soaked in hot water for half an hour
- 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped green coriander leaves with stem
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Cooking Oil
- 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
- Set the khus khus to soak in 1/4 cup very hot water.
- Rinse the sprouts, place in bowl, add 1/2 cup water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
- Rinse, dice, prepare all vegetables as mentioned in ingredient list.
- Grind these ingredients into a smooth paste – khus, fresh coconut, green chillies, fresh coriander leaves, ginger and garlic. You can add some water to help grind too.
- Set a sauce pan over heat, add oil, tip in mustard and cumin to season.
- When they crackle, add the onions, fry till soft, then add tomatoes. Add salt, fry till tomatoes are pulpy.
- Pour in the cooked sprouts, add the ground paste, mix well, and simmer for 5 minutes. Do not boil on high heat. Add 1/2cup water to thin down if needed. We want a liquid dipping consistency. Check for salt. When the sagu is well blended, remove to serving bowl and enjoy with hot steaming rava idlis.