Sprouted lentils are a traditional decoration for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which is celebrated on the first day of spring (March 20, 2009). At the Splendid Market we will also use these living decorations for Easter (April 12, 2009). This is a splendid project to do with children.
They don’t look like much now (though they do resemble caviar!), but in about 10 days we expect lovely, lush green miniature fields from these lentils!! Now is the time to start this project to have it ready for the first day of spring. We’ll update this post as the greenery develops.
We are generally following the guidelines in the book “Happy Nowruz” (available in Splendid Items on this blog page). See the earlier “Home for the Hyacinths” post for more details of the practical preparations for Nowruz as well as feast and decoration ideas.
We soaked these lentils in water for about 4 days, when we saw the little white tendrils pushing out we knew they were germinating.
Prior to this we cracked open eggs (we used both white and brown eggs), using a spoon. After emptying the contents we rinsed out the eggs and set them upside down in their original cardboard container to dry.
After placing the eggs in an egg dish, we put 1/2 teaspoon of potting soil in each egg shell and topped the soil with a teaspoon of the germinating lentils. (In the book they did not use potting soil).
We spread the remainder of the lentils in a shallow layer in these clear plastic containers (purchased at a florist supply store) without using potting soil.
Cover the spouts with a wet dish towel, mist towel frequently to water lentils.About 4 cups of lentils were used for this project.