Friday, October 13, 2006

SoyBean Sprouts diye Mochar Ghonto

For the uninitiated that's a Vegetable dish with SoyBean Sprouts and Potato.
Ok so every person on the face of this earth , know why soy bean is good for you, that it contains plenty of vitamins and blah, blah, blah. If you still want to enrich your mind with all the good facts about soy, go here , soybean in wiki.
What many don't know is, Mocha(ch pronounced as in charm and not as in choir) or Banana Blossom/Banana Flower is deep purplish-crimson-coloured and is used as a vegetable from South East Asia.
Mocha holds a much esteemed position in Bengali Vegetarian cooking, and though the mocha preparation is delicious, the act of peeling the outer bracts and extracting the inner flowers is a pretty tedious job according to me. I have never attempted it but watched my Ma, Dida go through the process.
Some pretty brilliant person had this idea to make mochar ghanto using SoyBean Sprouts, because I guess in the days of yore, Mocha was not a vegetable easily available in the US. I on my part, learnt it from a friend, and found it tastes pretty well, is easy to prepare and also a pretty healthy dish. Even my epicurean hubby, who being a Bangal(ancestors going back to East Bengal now Bangladesh), is more tuned to the finer points of these delicacies, agreed that it comes pretty close.

What You Need

SoyBean Sprouts (fresh Soy Bean sprouts in your local Chinese store) ~ 1/2 or 3/4 lb
2 medium sized Potatoes
2/3 Green Chillies
Grated Coconut ~ fresh or from the frozen section of your indian/asian grocery store
Ginger Paste ~ 1tbsp
Jeera/Cumin Seeds
Tej Pata/Bay Leaves
Red Chilli Powder (Optional)
Jeera Powder
Turmeric Powder
Garam Masala Powder

How I do it

Chop the Bean Sprouts in small pieces, you can use your blender to chop them, if you don’t have the patience. Don’t make a paste though, just chop
Cut potato in cubes
Heat oil in Kadai/Frying Pan
Add the whole Jeera/Cumin seeds and Tej Pata/Bay Leaves, wait till they sputter.
Add the potato cubes in the oil with a pinch of haldi/turmeric powder
Saute the potato lightly till they develop a golden tinge. Do not over or deep fry them.
Add the ginger paste
Add Jeera Powder, chopped green chillies and red chilli powder
Sprinkle water as needed and fry till the masala is cooked, you see the oil separate from the masala.
Add the chopped bean sprouts.
Continue cooking/frying in medium heat till the masala has mixed nicely with the sprouts

Add salt and sugar. At this point if you find the sprouts a little pungent in taste, add sugar/splenda to overcome that
Add a little water, cover and cook till the Potatoes & Sprouts are done and the water has dried up.
Add grated coconut, garam masala powder and mix well.
Add a dollop of ghee to get the authentic taste.
I like to have this dish with white rice, but it would go well with roti too.

Trivia :Banana flower helps increase progesterone hormone in women. Soybeans contain isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen, that are considered by some nutritionists and physicians to be useful in the prevention of cancer and by others to be carcinogenic and endocrine disruptive.


  1. hi Sandeepa,

    Welcome to the blogworld. It is fun being here and you seem to have a nice blog going. I cant help but ask you where you bought the plantain leaf shaped plate from. I was looking for a stainless steel one when I went to India this time

  2. hi Shankari,
    Hey you are the first one to comment on my blog. so a big thanks & welcome !!!
    The plate, I bought from a store called "Home Goods", I think it's a home store chain for Marshall's. But I don't know whether you have these stores in the West Coast.
    Shall visit your blog soon.

  3. Hi Sandeepa, Neat blog, nice pix. Welcome (from another newbie).

  4. Hi Sandeepa,

    Welcome to the world of blogging. I am a relatively new blogger too. You have a nice blog here and the best part is we get to see dishes from the east! Most of the food bloggers are south indians (including me). And guess what? I visited 'home goods' for the first time yesterday and loved the store! And today I see your comment to Shankari. Will drop by again soon.

  5. @Hi sra, thanks for stopping by. Shall check out your blog soon. Just took a sneak-peek while at work

    @Hi Hema, thanks to you too. All you guys from the southern part of India have such nice & yummy food blogs going, I decided to stick to my east :) Though I like food from the South, having spent some of my working years there, I am not much good at cooking them. So your food is always a great visual treat for me.
    About "HomeGoods", I love that store

  6. Never tried soya before!! Nice didh though!! Welcome to blogging world!!:))Happy Diwali!!

  7. My boss used to bring this dish in his lunch box !

  8. Hi Sandeepa, thanks, of course you can link to my blog.

  9. sandeepa, what a wonderful recipe. I haven't had mochar gonto is such a long time :) welcome to the world of food blogging. Looking forward to more delicious recipes from you.

  10. Hi
    Thanks to everyone for their comments and making me feel so much at home.
    @Asha -- Happy Diwali to you too and to everyone
    @cyberkitty -- Is your boss a bong ?
    @Mandira -- Thanks for dropping in. Yeah this dish is really great. The fact that it is easy & healthy makes it better.It's amazing how people came up with such innovations.

  11. Really? I didnt know that banana flower increases progestrone in women! Love tidbits like these! We in Kerala make lot of dishes with banana flowers.

  12. Hi Sandeepa,

    You have got a very nice blog. I want to try a couple of vegetarian dishes from here, especially this soy bean sprouts dish. I didn't know that chinese stores had them, will check it definitely next time.

  13. Sandeepa Auntie,

    I tried this recipe out the other day, and boy, it was a fantastic super hit! You mentioned something about a bitter taste. I boiled the chopped sprouts for 4-5 minutes and drained the water before cooking them. I also rinsed the boiled sprouts under cold running water. There was no bitterness and the taste was just amazingly authentic! My Maa told me that she does the same with mocha (i.e. boiling, draining and rinsing under cold water) to get rid of the bitter taste. Thanks for the recipe and I look forward to more such epicurean delights :-)


  14. I also added some mung dal-er bora to the mochar ghonto. Those went really well with the mocha!

  15. There are no measurements for few of the ingredients in the recipes. Would be great if could be updated.


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