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varupayaru – A Trail Mix of Southern India May 4, 2007

Posted by live2cook in Sprouts! Sprouts!, What we call it....

I Believe cooking is an art, that involves lots of exploration. The more we explore, the more we learn. It is an ever evolving field with no boundaries. I love exploring for new cuisines and recipes, doing so, I come across the similarities among various cuisines. Either the concept or the method or the tools or the ingredients match at some point or the other.

Varupayaru is one of those recipes in which I saw that similarity compared to trail mix.

Varupayaru is a recipe of Tamilnadu. It has lots of names like Varagarisi, pori kollu, mulai kollu. Varupayaru is a combination of two tamil words. “Varuththal” means Dry Roast. “Payaru” is a common name for all Legumes or dried beans. This recipe has a combination of sprouted legumes. If we translate “Varupayaru” to Engish, we can aptly call it “Dry roasted Legumes”.

Varupayaru is not a daily snack. It is made on the occasion of “Baby shower”. In India, we do the baby shower, “seemandham” as we call it, on the seventh month of pregnency. While helping the Cravings during the pregnancy, it gives the fiber and vitamins to both the mother and the baby. A handful will give the essential vitamins and minerals.

Each family has its own way of preparing varupayaru . The process is an elaborate and time consuming one. But with a little planning, we can come out with a energy and fibre rich snack.

My Mix contains:

  • 1 cup of Green Mung beans
  • 1 cup of Red Mung Beans or Red chori
  • 1/2 cup of Dried green peas
  • 1/2 cup of chick peas
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts
  • 1/4 cup of cashew nuts
  • 1/4 cup of dried coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup of fennel candies (Search in Indian/Asian groceries)
  • 1 cup of puffed rice
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of asafetida

Here’s what we have to do:

  • Wash and soak the Mung Beans, chick peas, and dried greens peas separately in lots of water for more than 12 hours. Change the water once or twice during the soaking period, if possible.
  • Drain well and tie in damp cheese cloth separately. Allow them to sprout. Rinse once or twice during the sprouting period. For chick peas this is very necessary. Otherwise they will rot.
  • When the legumes sprout, spread them in a cookie sheet and keep them near a sunny window. If there is no such window, keep the cookie sheet in a warm place. The legumes will air dry.
  • The dried legumes will look shriveled. There won’t be any moisture in them. But they will be softer than the initial ones.

dried sprouts

  • After the legumes are ready, we have to dry roast them on small amounts in a heavy bottomed pan, till they turn light brown in color.
  • Now, we have to mix them together along with peanuts,cashew nuts and dried coconut.
  • Take the salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and asafetida in a small cup and moisten it with 1/2 teaspoon of water.
  • Add the spice mixture to the legumes mixture and mix well till the legumes mixture is well coated with spice mixture.
  • Spread the mixture in a cookie sheet and keep in warm place or near sunny window again for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Add puffed rice, raisins and fennel candy and mix well. Store in air tight container.

trail mix

How I made it happen:

If we follow the method of making Varupayaru, it is very time consuming. In between our busy schedules, it is very difficult to do the recipe from start to finish. I would like to share the secrets that I followed.

In our house, we eat legume based dishes twice a week. I sprout legumes in large quantity for those recipes. Varupayaru is one way that I use the leftover sprouts after making the recipes. Now, Sprouting more legumes than what I need, has become a habit. 🙂

I store the dried sprouts in freezer bags and put them in the freezer. Whenever I find time and if there are 3 or more kinds of dried spouts in my freezer, I dry roast them. If I do not have enough time to finish the entire process, I store the roasted and cooled sprouts in freezer bags and put them back in the freezer. They will stay fresh, crisp and ready to be mixed with spices.

Hope you will try this and enjoy too!

A small note: Please do not try to sprout Kidney beans as they don’t sprout easily and will have a bad odor.



1. Raveena - May 16, 2007

Woww I never heard of this.

2. Kay - November 12, 2009

Me too! Never heard of it and I’m from Tamilnadu. It sounds really good, esp to satisfy all the crunchy cravings..

Your idea of making extra sprouts and drying them…and freezing them and then making this dish when you have a collection is really good. I’ll give it a try that way.

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