Sprouted Red Cow Peas Salad

We get a wide variety of pulses in India and I try to incorporate them in our diet in different ways on a daily basis. Of late I have been sprouting most beans because though they are all just ‘beans’ each one has a flavour and texture that sets it apart from the rest and sprouting brings out their goodness.  I also find that while some are suited to sprouting, some are not, even though their appearance may be the same.  One such is ‘lal chowli’ or ‘red cow peas’.  Though it looks very similar to ‘black eyed peas’, lal chowli has less bean-y flavour than lobia (chowli / payaru / roongi).

The photographs for this recipe are pretty old, but I make it quite often. Especially on those rare occasions when I am alone for lunch or dinner. A sprout salad is not only healthy, but feels fresh and is filling by itself, and it is quick. I don’t like to spend time cooking when I am alone. You need to think ahead, however, because you want to sprout them.

Recipe: Lal Chowli Salad | Sprouted Red Cow Peas Salad
Yield: Serves 1 person

Red cow peas | Lal chowli – 1/2 cup
Onions, chopped fine – 2 tbsp.
Tomatoes, firm, chopped rough – 2-3 tbsp.
Lime juice (freshly squeezed) – 1 tbsp..
Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp.
Freshly crushed black pepper – As per taste
Fine ground sea salt – To taste
Garlic, crushed – 1 pod
Basil / coriander leaves – cut/torn into strips, 1 tsp. OR a 1/2 tsp of thyme


Soak cow peas covering it with enough water and leave aside for 1 hour. Drain and place in a colander with a tight fitting sieve on top. Leave for a day till you see small sprouts. I check after 4-5 hours and give it a shake in between.

Steam the sprouts for five minutes, and place it in a bowl. These take longer than most other beans to steam. I always rinse the sprouts before using.

In a bottle pour lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, adding pepper, and minced garlic. Put the lid on tightly and give it a vigorous shake to form an emulsion.  Remove the garlic.

Add half the emulsion to the salad. Add herbs if using. Add chopped onions, and tomatoes. Mix well with a spoon. Taste and add more dressing if needed. I like the salad tangy and crush a lot of pepper on top.

If you need some sweetness in your salad, add date slivers as an option. One date should be enough.  Dates go well with sprouts.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • sapthanaa

    very colourful and healthy!

  • arundati

    looks fantastic! i always see red chouli but have never bought it…. i love the pairing of basil with sprouts! am definitely making this

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