Mung bean sprouts and paneer curry

18 Oct
Mung bean sprouts and paneer curry

Mung bean sprouts and paneer curry

We recently met a health conscious family where the elderly matriarch walked for miles each day, the parents played sports daily and even the kids were athletic both in lifestyle and body structure. There was no ghee, jaggery or samosa in sight within their Gujarati kitchen.

They told us that they started each day with steamed sprouts, karela or vegetable juices and seeds. Now, I am not stereotyping, but….it’s not often I see people of Indian ethnicity omitting gulab jamuns, rasmalai or jalebbi sweets. And what about the pakora, puri’s and cassava chips? What about paneer pizza and chilli cheese chips?

The thing that I find most impressive with the mentioned family is the constant awareness is that we are not immortal. We get damaged if we neglect ourselves. Hair falls, eyes weaken , teeth chip, break fall or rot and ears deafen. Skin shrivels and organs deteriorate. I know it sounds miserable, but life is quite fragile.

14 weeks after having had my baby I was having a brief period of relaxation during the weekend, soaking in a hot bath tub whilst the baby was sleeping and husband was tidying. I wash washing my hair to the tunes of 1970’s Bollywood music and experiencing a bit of escapism. Then I slid my hand through my hair and a found lumps of hair on my hand. It just kept coming away. I called for my husband with blurry eyed confusion and heart racing, I thought I had some sort of illness, my poor baby.

Husband frantically googled away. It turns out (after a visit to the docs) it was postpartum hair loss and I was anaemic. I had no warning or preparation about this post-baby hair loss stuff, but it seems that it just happens. The reason is that hair is dormant in pregnancy and doesn’t go through the natural growth and shedding cycle, so a few months after pregnancy it sheds.

Anyway, I focused quite heavily on eating foods that were rich in iron and had growth properties (protein). I ate dried apricots, kale, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, soy beans, kidney beans and tofu…amongst other stuff. I, like the healthy family, ate mung bean sprouts which are a good source of protein and vitamin B6, but particularly good for vitamin K and C, as well as good source of fibre and folate. For a while I stayed diligent and I think it helped. Nature is forgiving and the body does recover.

I’m not so diligent now, I kind of swing back into eating whatever I fancy and whatever tastes good, but I chipped a tooth today so I think for the next few weeks I want to look after myself. I’m using paneer because it tastes great and gives the dish a contrasting texture to the crunchy and filling mung bean shoots and we all need some fat don’t we. It’s a source of protein too.

Nutritious food tasting brilliant, that sounds like a good deal to me. This curry is dense, has a bite, is a lovely and juicy. The contrasting textures play well with the sense and you know that I enjoy that. I bought the mung bean shoots during a visit to the indian grocers, in fact my toddler picked them out. You can make them at home by soaking them in water overnight until they swell and then draining the water and leaving them covered, in sunlight until the they shoot. It normally takes a day in the summer, but seeing as we don’t have much day light now, I just bought them. Easy, I like easy…do you?


400g mung bean sprouts
200g paneer
One red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red chilli, finely diced
3/4 cup chopped tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp ground nut oil
1/2 cup water

The spices; 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 3/4 tsp garam masala, salt to taste (go easy, soy sauce is salty), 1/4 tsp, brown mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


1. Grate the paneer and leave it to a side for a couple of minutes
2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once they sizzle add the onion and sauté with the salt and turmeric for a couple of minutes. Introduce the garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes
3. Stir in the paneer and add the cumin powder, coriander powder and black pepper.
4. Mix the spices and the paneer together and then mix in the mung bean sprouts. Add the lemon juice, garam masala, soy sauce and tomatoes. Mix again before adding the water and cook on a low to medium flame for about 12 minutes.

Serve with hot chappatis and yoghurt. Don’t forget the salad!

14 Responses to “Mung bean sprouts and paneer curry”

  1. Dipti October 19, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Hi Deena, I read this at 3.00am in the morning after putting my baby girl back to bed. I just switched on my phone to check the time & saw this & couldn’t resist a quick read as your recipes & stories behind them are always enticing to read! I too can relate to the horror of loosing lots of hair following my pregnancy. Thankfully it’s got much better now. Thank you for sharing. As it turns out, my mother in law gave me some home grown Mung beans the other day & I wasn’t sure what to do with them other than stick them into a salad. Have a good day! Dipti

    • Deena Kakaya October 19, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      Hi Dipti, thank you so much for leaving a message, I am smiling as I read your lovely words! I really appreciate you getting in touch.

      Congratulations on having a baby girl in your life, I hope you are enjoying being a mummy! Although maybe not the 3am bit!

      Giving life and the changes that occur really made me think of my body and health in a whole new way, I still like to eat food that tastes great though! I hope you’ll try this easy and quick recipe out and let me know how you like it. If you take a pic I would love to share it on my Facebook group.

      Many thanks again
      Deena x

      • Dipti October 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

        Thanks Deena. Motherhood is hard work but a precious gift I always count my blessings for! 🙂 Getting up at 3.00am isn’t great but it’s amazing how the body some how gears you into coping with the sleepless nights!

        I am so eager to get back into cooking interesting meals other than our standard rotli, shaak, when I get more time. 🙂

        • Deena Kakaya October 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

          Hi Dipti, thanks for stopping by! I know what you mean, motherhood has brought me more joy than anything else in life. I’m so tired right now that I fell asleep with my fork poking into my hair! Says it all.

          I couldn’t wait to start cooking again after my boy was born, it was like therapy and I independence for me. At the same time rest is so important, I think I over did it. I hope you enjoy getting back into the kitchen x

  2. Choclette October 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Oh you are so right. I have periods of eating really healthily and looking after myself then I relapse big time. We haven’t grown our own bean sprouts for years now, and yet they are so easy. Maybe this curry will inspire me to start again, it does sound very good and I do like paneer.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog last week 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya October 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

      Hello! It’s do good to hear from you, thank you for taking the time to comment.

      I find it even harder to behave myself with food during Diwali and Christmas, So I’ve devised some tempting recipes like the courgette rolls I posted a few days ago.

      Oh I really you enjoy this light and nutty curry, please do let me know how you like it!

      You are very welcome, I’m enjoying your recipes xxx

  3. Lisa October 27, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Paneer and mung pair so well together and sprouts make it even better. Lovely.

    • Deena Kakaya October 27, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      Hi LiSa, thanks so much for stopping by! I’d never paired paneer and mung shoots together but the nutty and smooth textures do work well together! I hope you’ll try this recipe out x

  4. Ami October 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    this looks delicious. how many cups is 400g? thanks

  5. Ami October 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    hi, also, when do you add the soy sauce? with the tomatoes? thanks!

    • Deena Kakaya October 28, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      Hi Ami, that’s right, with the tomatoes. I’ve updated the recipe.

  6. Jagruti October 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Hi Deena
    Thank you for stopping by my place..and lovely comment. with Sprouted beans you can do so much. Never added panner with beans..double dose of Protein..:)

    • Deena Kakaya October 28, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      Hi Jagruti, great to see you in here and it’s wonderful to connect with you. Your post is lovely and helpful. For anyone reading this who wants a tutorial on sprouting mung beans , please check out Jagruti’s tutorial on her site.

      I’m glad that you liked much recipe, I hop


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