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Mode aleli Chawli chi Bhaji with Coconut and Onion (Sprouted Black-eyed Beans Curry with Coconut and Onion)

The coconut masala in this dish adds fiber and fat keeping you satiated for a long time. Sprouted beans are more nutritious and they require much less cooking time. Sprouts are rich in digestible energy, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and phytochemicals, as these are necessary for a germinating plant to grow and are also essential to human health. Sprouting breaks down complex compounds into a simpler form which is why sprouts are also called pre-digested foods. Sprouts provide a good supply of Vitamins A, E & C plus B complex which help in digestion and the release of energy. They are also essential for the healing and repair of cells. However, vitamins are very perishable and so fresh sprouts have a higher vitamin content. Some sprouts can yield vitamin contents 30 times higher than the dry bean.

Recipe Credit: Darshana Muzumdar

Serves 4-6 as part of an Indian meal

This style of cooking can be used for sprouted green moong or vaal (field beans). The sprouted beans are usually immersed completely in water with about 2 inches of water above it for around 15-20 minutes for the skins to rise to the surface and then removed. The skins are not removed for the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version. The variety of chawli used for this recipe is the very small sized one.


  • 1/2 cup dried beans sprouted to make 2 cups (black eyed peas/cow peas/rongi)
  • 1/2 fresh coconut, grated or chopped into pieces
  • 4-5 red chillies (this will vary according to the spiciness of the chilies)
  • 1/4 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • a ball of tamarind the size of a small lime (increase this if you like the sour taste like I do)
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut or groundnut oil
  • Salt to taste


SPROUTING: This dish needs a day or two pre-preparation to sprout the beans. Clean, wash and soak the chawli beans overnight or for three to four hours. Rinse and drain the water. Keep covered in a steel pot in a warm place for 8-12 hours. The sprouts become longer and thicker if no light is allowed to enter the pot. You can rinse the beans and keep covered for 8-12 hours more if the beans haven’t sprouted well. Once ready these beans will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Wash and rinse the sprouted beans and drain in a colander ready to use. When sprouted, the beans will become four times the size of the dry beans, so you will have 2 cups of beans for this recipe.

Boil and cook the sprouted beans with a little water and salt till soft. While the sprouts are cooking, fry the chopped onions in 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil till soft and slightly golden in color. Soak the tamarind in a little water for 10-15 minutes and remove any fibrous parts. Roast the red chilies and methi seeds in 1/4 tsp oil.Grind the coconut, tamarind, red chilies, methi seeds, and turmeric powder till fine. Add the ground masala and salt to the cooked sprouts. Bring it to a boil. Add the fried onions and mix well. Serve hot with rotis, bhakri, or rice.

NOTE: This gravy will thicken with time so add more water if it is going to be served after some time.

For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:

As mentioned above do not remove the skins.

Use rock salt instead of refined salt.

Do not use oil to fry the spices or onions:

Heat an iron tempering ladle and dry roast the methi seeds. Transfer them to the grated coconut in the blender jar. Dry roast the red chilies in the ladle and transfer them to the coconut too.

Add a little salt to the chopped onions and allow to rest for 15 minutes. The onions will release moisture. Cook the onion in a thick bottomed steel pot till dry and soft. Add a little water if it needs to cook more. Sauté the onions till they start becoming slightly golden brown. Alternatively, pressure cook the chopped onion with very little water for one whistle. Cook till the water evaporates and sauté till they start turning slightly golden brown. For crisp onions, slice onions thinly and add very little salt to them and keep aside for 15 minutes for them to release moisture. Line a baking sheet with parchment/baking paper and spread them thinly. Bake them in an oven at 180°C for half an hour turning them in between so they crisp evenly. You can keep them in an airtight jar for a couple of weeks.

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