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.
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.