Mung Bean Quinoa Crepes – flavored with ginger, green chillies and cumin, they make the most exquisite protein-rich meal.
It was my room mate who introduced me to the magic of Pesarattu – a South Indian savory crepe/dosa made with rice and mung beans. 25 and yet unwise to the importance of a balanced diet and unskilled in the ways of making healthy taste delicious, I was apprehensive when she shoved a plate of green stuff in front of me. ‘It’s good for you, try it’ she said. I braved a taste, for the sake of politeness, but soon, found myself asking for another. She also was the one who made me fall in love with oats dosa and a few other ‘good for you’ things, but I’m going to save them for another day.
Today, we talk about the magic of lentil crepes. Since the beginning of time, the humble dosa has been a staple for South Indians, who are quite adept at having survived this long on a largely plant-based diet, a feat the meat-eating world today largely thinks impossible. But it’s not. Trust me.
There is also a prevalent prejudice among the global community that plant-based food is gross. I grew up on Indian food, where every dish has a minimum of 5-10 different spices. Flavor is paramount and I am a big proponent of dishes that tingle and tantalize your taste buds. Salt and pepper just doesn’t cut it for me, unless it’s french fries. Oh yeah, ground black pepper on french fries; if you haven’t tried that, you gotta get on that flavor train. Not only is it delicious , the pepper helps process the grease better.
So, when I tell you that these Savory Mung Bean Quinoa crepes (inspired by the traditional Pesarattu) are flavor bombs, you better believe me! The crepe by itself is delicious – ground with fresh ginger, green chillies and cumin, it’s quite aromatic. Then you slather it with the most glorious and my favorite – peanut chutney. Everything else you put into it is largely upto you and what’s in your fridge, but here’s what I’ve thrown in:
- Turmeric and Cumin roasted potatoes – Heat sesame oil in a heavy bottomed (cast iron, preferably) pan. Temper mustard seeds until it crackles, then add cumin seeds, sliced onions, asafoetida, cubed potatoes, turmeric, paprika and roast until crisp on the outside and molten soft on the inside. Season with salt.
- Sprouted black chickpeas (or any other sprouted lentil) – raw or slightly steamed, according to your preference and taste. I steamed mine. You could also add flavor to it like this.
- Greens – I used a store-bought mix of baby kale, arugula, mizuna and radichio.
- Nasturtium leaves and flower petals – a little fancy, tastes peppery, but it grows like a weed on my deck and I always have them at hand. Plus, look how pretty it makes everything!
- Fresh Cilantro – because I would rather die than eat a savory meal that doesn’t have some form of cilantro in it. If you’re a parsley person, be my guest and throw that in instead.
See, I wasn’t kidding about the flavor bomb.
It feels a little too snooty to eat these Mung Bean Quinoa Crepes a.k.a. dosa with a fork and knife (on par criminally with pizza and cutlery), but maybe it’s the nature of the fillings, or the overall feeling of being superior (health-wise), but this dish makes you want to be a little more refined than probably necessary. So, I steered into the skid and set the table and everything – candles, flowers, linen tablecloth, the works.
And you know what I realized as I was sitting at a grown-up table of my own choosing and making? I am no longer the girl that was appalled at a plate of green stuff shoved in her face. I seem to have finally matured. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing to be.
When you make this delicious Mung Bean Quinoa Crepes (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’d love to see what you cook from here!