Usal – Misal Pav Recipe


Misal pav is one of the most popular Mumbai street food. Wholesome, delicious and full of flavors this dish is made from whole bean sprouts especially sprouted moth beans or Turkish beans. You can use mixed sprouts too. The curry is a fiery melange of fresh spices, sprouts, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and farsan. Misal is usually served at breakfast but you can eat it any time of the day. Pav can be bought or made at home with whole wheat.

Every place in Maharashtra has its own variation of Misal. I have had Puneri misal on many occasions and once had a taste of kolhapuri misal in mumbai that set my insides on fire. Too spicy, too oily, too rich for me but those who have a penchant for fiery food this dish is a must.  The original recipe requires a lot of oil but you may cut the oil and spices according to your taste. Then there is the Nasik Maratha style misal that uses the aromatic kala masala and lot more red chilli spiced oil that floats atop the misal. There is a debate on whether the goda masala and kala masala are the same. I think they taste very different. I have used goda masala in this recipe.

You can keep the gravy (Kat) and the usal separately or mix them. The advantage of keeping Kat separate is that one can adjust the amount of spiced curry.

Usal is made from sprouted moth beans and has its own place in maharashtriyan households. When topped with Kat, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and farsan it is becomes Misal.

The process is a bit lengthy but worth all the effort if you get it right. I have made it only thrice but I love to  dunk the pav in this spicy dish anytime.

Making misal pav is a two part process.  We make the Kat ( the gravy) and the usal (the sprout dish).

Here is the list of ingredients you will require:

Pav buns ( traditionally ladi pav buns are used) – 6

Butter to toast the pav

Sprouts (mixed or moth bean srouts) – 2 cups

Tomatoes – 2 large

Potatoes  – 2 medium size cubed

Onions –  2 large finely chopped

Fresh corriender greens – 1/4 cup

Farsan ( spicy snack mixture)

Grated dry coconut – 2 tablespoon

Goda masala or achar (pickle) masala – 2 tablespoon

Green chili – 2

Ginger – 1/2 inch

Garlic – 6-7 pods

Cumin seed powder – 1 teaspoon

Corriender powder – 2 tablespoon

Red chili powder –  1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

Garam Masala – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Curry leaves – 8-10

Oil – 2 tablespoon

 

To make the paste for the gravy (Kat in Marathi)

Make a paste of ginger ,garlic and green chilies.

In a pan heat some oil. Once the oil heats up add asafedita powder and this paste. Stir properly.

Add chopped onion and when the onions become translucent add grated coconut. Stir and add chopped tomatoes. Sauté them till the tomatoes become soft and the mixture blends into a smooth paste. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, goda masala, cumin powder, red chili powder and salt. Once the masala starts to leave oil take it out to cool.

When the masala cools completely, put it in a grinder jar and grind to a fine paste.

In a pan heat some oil and add mustard seeds. Once they begin to sputter, add curry leaves and the masala paste you had prepared.  fry it well and add two – three cups of water. Kat is a watery gravy so don’t hesitate to add adequate water. Let it boil for ten minutes or till the reddish oil floats to the top.

To make Usal

In a pressure cooker add some oil. Once the oil heats, add mustard seeds, asafetida powder,  curry leaves, paste of ginger garlic, some chopped onion and stir.

When the onion become translucent, add washed matki sprouts  and cubed potatoes.  Stir well.

Add a little turmeric powder, a little garam masala and pinch of salt. Add some water to cover the sprouts completely.

Pressure cook  till three whistles. Usal should not be watery but still have some gravy.

Turn off the heat and let the cooker cool.

Spoon the usal in a serving dish.

To toast the Pav –

Slice the pav buns  and toast them slightly in butter in a pan or just warm them. They should be soft and nice so don’t toast for long. I recommend roasting in butter.

To assemble the Misal –

In a deep dish first add two ladels of matki usal and one ladle of kat( the fiery gravy). The nadd a layer of chopped onions and chopped coriander greens. The third layer must be of farsan/ sev or whichever spicy gathia mixture you have. Squeeze generous amount of lemon juice.

Serve it hot with toasted pav.

You can serve kat, usal and farsan, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and lemon pieces in separate bowls too. People can mix them as per their taste.

Alternately if you know that everyone in the family has a liking for hot and spicy curries, you can mix the usal in the kat and boil for some time. Serve with chopped onions, tomatoes, farsan and lemon wedges.

Notes –

You can eat usal with bhakri or roti too.

Some people like to have curd or butttermilk with misal pav to balance the heat from the curry.

Adjust the oil and chili according to your preferences. This is my version of misal pav, you can make your own.

The authentic misal pav uses a typical masala called goda masala. You get it in the market. You can also use Maharashtriyan achar ka masala which gives the misal a unique tastes. If you don’t have any of these, you can use the usual garam masala though the misal will taste different.

I don’t get all the ingredients for goda masala but I make this mix which you can try too. I will post the recipe for it in the next post.

 

To make the bean sprouts –  Wash moth or matki beans properly and soak them in water overnight in a covered container. Once the beans swell, take them out in a sieve and wash a few times under filtered water. Put the sieve on a small container and cover loosely with muslin cloth. Keep in dark place till the sprouts appear. Wash the sprouted beans properly under running filtered water before using.

 

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Delhi Street Style Egg Paratha


 

Egg parathas or Anda Parathas bring back a lot of memories from college days and later when mid night hunger pangs took us to moolchand parathewala and various other roadside paratha joints which catered to the night owls like us. It was the preferred choice of meal along with other stuffed parathas.  There can be no other soul satisfying meal than this when the city sleeps and the streets are almost empty except for  people like us and the dogs. The coveted time between 11 PM to 4 AM was the playground for these parathewalas and hungry night owls. You will always find people to tell you interesting stories related to their night- outs and paratha eating adventures.

Street food is an art. It is an experience to watch these street vendors conjure up delicious dishes right in front of you.  I have watched the art of making anda paratha but what we make at home doesn’t come closer to what the street side vendors sell. Still, for the love of it I started making a few variations of this famous paratha at home. My boys were sucker for this treat and it would be a choice of single egg or double egg, sometimes even a stuffing of anda bhurji or scrambled egg, keema would go in and the paratha would instantly become a  complete meal.

Crisp , flaky, packed with the goodness of eggs and spices egg paratha is a great thing to satiate your hunger. The stalls make this no frill delight and diligently serve you with pickle and onion rings. Sometimes even a dollop of butter.

Unlike usual stuffed paratha the street style egg paratha is slightly tricky to make. The beaten egg is gently folded into the layers of the crisp paratha and then it cooks inside them. Usually, in a good paratha you won’t be able to see a trace of egg outside and only when you tear it to take a bite the deliciousness of the cooked egg will come to light.

Some street parathas are made differently where the egg is broken on top of a large roti made with maida and cooked on hot tawa then folded with some keema or egg stuffing like a mughlai paratha but that is a different story.

The Delhi style egg paratha is different and unique in taste. Here are the two ways you can try to replicate the awesome street food at home.

Ingredients : (Serves 4)

Whole wheat Flour – 2 cups

Eggs – 4

Coriander greens –  4 tablespoons

Green chili – finely chopped 1 tablespoon

Salt and black pepper – to taste

Red chili powder – to taste.

Onion –  1/2 cup chopped fine

Water – to kneed the dough

Oil / Ghee – for cooking paratha

Steps : – 

The paratha for this recipe needs to be flaky so that when it puffs up the layers separate and you can slide the egg mixture inside by lifting the top layer. Regular paratha makers will not find this difficult and the new enthusiasts can learn from trial and error , it is all worth the effort. Trust me. 😀

In a bowl take wheat flour, add salt and a little oil and kneed it into a nice dough using water as required. Keep aside for 15 minutes and then kneed again with your fist to make a nice soft dough. Softer dough will yield great parathas. Keep it under a moist muslin cloth till ready to use.

In another bowl break one egg and add the coriander leaves, green chili, chopped onion and other spices.

Whisk it well and keep aside.

Divide the dough in four equal parts. Roll each part into a ball.

Dust the ball in dry flour and roll it into a circle with a rolling pin. Now apply some oil/ ghee and fold it in half circle , then fold again to make a triangle. brush oil/ ghee between each layer and sprinkle the dry wheat flour slightly. This will keep the layers separate.

Heat a frying pan or tawa, flat griddle on medium heat and cook the paratha till one side gets brown spots, flip and cook the other side similarly. Apply a little oil/ ghee on the sides.

When you see the edges becoming crisp and the paratha splits into layers  gently lift the top layer or make a incision with a sharp knife to pour the egg mixture between the two layers. Tilt the paratha a little so the mixture is evenly distributed.

Cover it again with the layer of paratha and let the egg cook inside.

Gently press it with the spatula to ensure the egg cooks well inside. Do it on both sides. You can keep the flame low and cook covered for a minute too.

Once done remove it in a serving plate and serve with pickle or chutney and a nice cutting chai. Yes, you need to have kadak chai with it. Coffee won’t do.

Sprinkle some chaat masala for that street style taste.

Repeat the procedure with other egg parathas.

They need to be eaten fresh but wrap them in paper towel or butter paper if you want to take them in your lunch box or pack them for your kiddo.

Method 2 

It is simpler and though parathas for me are always triangular and not circular but you can make it this way too.

The ingredients are the same So is the cooking method. What changes is the shape of the paratha.

Don’t worry if the egg comes out. Perfection is not always essential. The parathas taste just as awesome even with a little spillage from side.

Be careful while filling as the steam from the paratha can give you burn.

It takes a little practice to make these but once you learn it you will want them every day. We will make the famous Kolkata Mughlai paratha or the Baida roti soon

Usually the street stalls use refined flour or maida to make the paratha but this healthier version with whole wheat flour is better.

 

Important Tip – It is good to learn from people sharing their food adventures and recipes perfected over time. It is better to make your own stuff and share than copy paste someone else’s. Not everyone is a professional or seasoned food photographer so it is cool to take pix as it is in your kitchen than to steal from other blogs etc.

Don’t be scared to share the way food looks in your kitchen or plate. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Thursday Photo Theme :Food


The theme for this Thursday is “FOOD” (Farmers Market, Vegetables, Meat, Cooking, Restaurant,…)

Street food has a rich history in India and Delhi   has no dearth of sumptuous options as far as street food is concerned. The traditional Khomchewalas( street vendors ) are a favorite with the food loving Delhi. Although now a days many of the delicious stuff that was once sold in pattals( bowls made of dry leaves) is now sold in trendy eating joints garnished and presented with a flair in plates still the mouth watering taste remains the same.

The foodies enjoy  myriad of culinary traditions of street foods that are dated back to Mughal era.

There are joints famous for specific dishes like golguppas, chaat, bhel puri, Pateelewale matar, roasted sweet potato, spicy fruit chaat , you name it  Delhi has it all.

Old Delhi is The Place for these delicacies but one can find equally tempting street food all over Delhi.

Hot Jalebees, gulab jamuns and Samosas, chole bhature  and a recent addition of momos and steamed American corn.  :p Yummy . I know you have a drool pool near you 😀

Aaloo Tikki , samosas and aalloo chat

Isn’t this winterlicious 🙂 On cold winter evenings these chaatwalas are the meeting places for all street food lovers. Calorie conscious

too for one time indulge and sell their soul to the devil to eat this sinful stuff.

Gol Guppas and chaat

For those who want to sit and enjoy in more hygienic conditions , the Sweet shops and small restaurants offer the same street delights but the fun is to eat straight from the street vendor on the street. How many Agree ? 😀

Pav- Bhajji

ummmmm I still have the taste of this gorgeous pav-bhaji with butter melting and filling the spicy vegetable. Nothing could be more comforting than the cuisine of India .

Now let me tell you some famous places to check out  if you are in the capital.

Jalebis at Dariba Kalan corner, rabri faluda at Gianis, Fathepuri, lassi at Naya Bans, chaat near Bank of India (Daryaganj) and paranthas of paranthe wali gali in Chandini Chowk, Samosas at Panchkuain Road, Bhaturas in Paharganj, chaat at UPSC, Khan Chacha’s Kabaab  at Khan market etc. The list is endless. you got to explore the city to find the right place.

So come to Delhi if you love food and just indulge.