I ate this dish outside Amber Fort, one of Rajasthan’s most breathtakingly beautiful palaces, but perhaps it was memorable because it was very nearly my last meal before I got caught between a fort wall and an elephant. There’s a small possibility that the lively, cooling flavors in the salad quickened my senses enough for me to get away in the nick of time, in which case there’s a toothless old man chopping tomatoes just outside the palace I still need to thank.
I like to eat this for lunch with bread, but it’s also a lovely accompaniment to eggplant curries, or the zucchini kofta here. The sprouted lentils can be bought from most big supermarkets, or you can make your own.
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 Indian green chiles, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ pound ripe baby tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 pound sprouted lentils or mung beans
a large handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Put the oil into a frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the red onion. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the lemon juice and fry for another 5 minutes.
Next, add the green chiles and garlic and fry for 3 minutes, until the raw smell of the garlic disappears. Then add the tomatoes and 6 tablespoons of water and fry for 5 minutes until jammy, stirring frequently. Add the ground cumin and salt, followed by the sprouts, and mix well. Fry for 3 minutes, until the sprouts have warmed through, then add the chopped cilantro. Stir and take off the heat.
Delicious with buttery naan and yogurt as a simple meal for two, or as part of a bigger spread.