‘Lentil Bites’ – allergy-friendly protein punch!

I have been feeling like a kid in a candy store all week. In my quest for allergy friendly dishes through the lanes of international cusine, I came across some amazing dishes from the state of Gujarat in western India. Without any substitutions – so many of their dishes are naturally allergy friendly and high on nutrition. At such moments I am reminded of a line from the song  – I hope you dance…’Promise me that you will give faith a fighting chance.’ To thrive with food allergies, one must always keep this song very close to their heart 🙂

‘Lentil bites’  – mmmm’ilicious’…what more can I say 🙂 The essential ingredient is mung beans! This bean has always been one of my favorites – high in protein, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, low fat but still manages to feel light on the stomach…go figure! 

The following measure will yield approximately 75 bite sized pieces. Ideal as finger food for a small group of 6 – 8 people.

1. 1 cup  split, husked mung bean (available at stores like Whole Foods and also in regular grocery stores in the International Foods aisle)

2.  1 tbsp. Eno’s fruit salt (available in Indian grocery stores) : This ingredient is optional
3.  Salt and pepper to taste
4.  ½ cup of vegetables like grated carrot, finely chopped fresh spinach
5. ½ tsp mustard seeds (black)
6. ½ tsp.  cumin seeds
7. 2 tsp. oil (any oil like vegetable, corn, canola or olive oil)

1. Soak the mung bean in 3 cups of water for 4-6 hours. It should be soft to bite. Drain the water.

2. Grind the soaked mung bean to form a coarse batter with about ¼ cup of water.

3. If you have the fruit salt, add it at this point along with the salt  and vegetables and continue with step 5.                                                                                                         4. If you dont have fruit salt, let the batter ferment overnight and then follow the same steps below.
5. To prepare seasoning – heat the oil on medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

6. In about a minute the mustard seeds will crackle. Remove from fire and add the tempering to the ground batter. Be watchful else the seasoning will burn.

7. Mix the batter thoroughly.

7. If you have a steamer, add 2 inches of water to it. and bring it to a boil. A big pot can be used instead of a steamer.

8. Grease a flat stainless steel dish/plate that can go into the steamer and put 1 tsp.  of the ground batter at 1 inch intervals on the plate. Place it carefully inside the steamer.
9. Cover the steamer/ pot and let it steam for 10 minutes.

If you have an idli mould – it can be effectively used for steaming.