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Hello! I would like to introduce you to the soothing and comforting sprouted legume stew called misal — it’s a traditional dish from Maharashtra – where Bombay / Mumbai (my home city) lies. I ate it recently at the cafe Food for Thought (it’s in the bookstore Kitab Khana in Fountain, Mumbai) and thought it was so delicious, full of flavors and textures. The stew itself is made with a spicy base of onion and tomato. Traditionally either sprouted moth beans, mung beans and green or brown chickpeas are added, but the idea is that they are sprouted.
Sprouting unlocks the nutrients from all seeds. The process, observed generally after 48 hours, releases enzymes, makes the product easier to absorb and better for digestion, therefore richer in nutrients. I like to sprout and freeze lentils, beans and chickpeas (pulses) for later, that way, I always have them on hand.
I know this recipe calls for unusual pulses that you may not have on hand, but I encourage you to seek them out at your local Indian or other ethnic grocery store. What all nutritionists will tell you is that food diversity is very important for overall health because different foods are packed with different nutrients.
This dish is traditionally eaten with a soft dinner roll called pav. I have the recipe on my website but it also tastes great on its own.
I think we need different alternatives to avocado toast. I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy eating avocado toast at Plenty in Mumbai with their beet puree, avocado, goat cheese and radish concoction, and Pom och Flora here in Stockholm, because they jazz it up with chermoula (North African spicing agent) but the rest of them are downright boring, expensive and often with very little avocado, and not to mention pretty bad for the environment what with the amount of water they require to grow and how far they travel to reach us.
I’ve been thinking about how to eat more sustainably lately, because we can all be a bit better. So for me living in Sweden, I could make a toast with beets and carrots, or even butternut squash because you can squirrel them up from the farmers market and they last for months. In fact, the longer you keep them, the higher the carotenoid in them! Carotenoids are the pigmented antioxidants that convert into vitamin A/retinol in the body, which is great for eye health. They require fat to do the work, so don’t skimp on the fat in this recipe.
Squashes are famous for sucking up pesticides from the ground, which is why it is especially important to buy organic squash. This way, you can even eat the skin, which means more fiber. I like to cut them in half-inch slices and drizzle with a heat-safe oil (like coconut oil) and roast the seeds on the same tray because they get nice and crunchy and are a great snack; I stash the leftover squash in a freezer container and make this toast whenever I want. This also means that there’s like zero waste of this extremely large vegetable.
I love this butternut squash toast, kind of obsessed with it. It’s one of those things that I will make for my family when I meet them next. You know, something to write home about. (I always think about the meal, whether it’s something to write home about? In this case, yes!). If you like this recipe, please let me know!
Butternut Squash Toast
1 butternut squash
Melted coconut oil
For the toast:
1 slice of sourdough walnut bread
2-3 sliced roasted butternut squash
1/2 tbs red onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper
A sprinkling of chili powder
1 tbs miso paste
1. Prepare the squash: Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Cut the squash into half-inch rounds and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Place the seeds under some of the squash so that they don’t burn in the oven. Brush each squash with oil on both sides. Roast until tender. Cool and place extra in a freezer-safe container in the freezer and enjoy whenever. Save the seeds in a jar and leave on the counter to snack on whenever it strikes your fancy.
2. Toast the bread and spread a layer of miso on. In a bowl, mash the squash with a fork and mix in onion, coriander, salt, pepper and chili powder. Layer it on top of the miso and garnish with pumpkin seeds and nutritional yeast. Makes the best breakfast!]]>
My name is Divya, I hail from India and America and have a passion for pulses. ‘Shoots and tendrils’ are parts of the pea plant and I think they’re so ethereal; and climbing upwards, isn’t that everyone’s goal?
I was born in Bombay, (now called Mumbai), India and moved to Florida, USA when I was 8 years old. I learnt to appreciate my Indian food especially when I became vegetarian at age 16 as there is an endless variety of foods to eat that don’t revolve around meat in India. I was a dreamer and reveled in all the literature books at university, earning a degree in English literature and communication from Rutgers University. I was enjoying life in Brooklyn, New York when I lost my job in the recession in 2008 and used it as an opportunity to start all over again in Sweden. I started learning Swedish in 2010, joined university again, this time in SWEEEEDISH, and earned a degree in food science and nutrition from Uppsala University since I realized I cannot get away from my obsession with food. Along the way, I realized that people don’t really eat pulses in Sweden and thought that I need to fix that. I joined the non-profit Baljväxtakademin and have continued to spread the gospel of pulses ever since, becoming the chairwoman in 2014.
I have developed recipes and product prototypes with various companies in Sweden and currently work as a consultant in plant-based matters. You can contact me at email@example.com if you want to work with me.
I am very inspired by The Waves We Make and am honored to contribute as we all need to think about sustainability.