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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Sprout Salads With Raw Mango – Two Recipes


I love sprouts and make salads, chaats, usal, sprouts kadhi, I also toss them in soups, fill them in sandwiches, stir fry them, add to pulao, omelette, scrambled eggs or just grab a handful of raw sprouts to munch along with the breakfast.

I have the methi( fenugreek sprout) vegetable recipe on my blog  which you can try. I usually sprout, moong (green gram), kala chana (bengal gram), lobia ( black-eyed beans), Moth/matki ( turkish beans), masoor(whole red lentil) and methi (fenugreek).  One of my favorite street food used to be the mong bean chaat or the bengal gram chaat sold by the khomechewalas. Spicy mix of sprouts, chaat masala, salt topped generously with lemon juice was something I enjoyed eating.

Who wouldn’t be tempted by this sight 🙂 ?

Sprouts are considered super-foods and are concentrated source of protein, minerals(iron, potassium), enzymes and vitamin C. As we usually eat them fresh we can be sure of getting optimum nutrition. The ‘living enzymes’ make them easy to digest. They also contain antioxidants and fiber among other things.

Here we will make the two salads or chaats whatever you prefer to call them. You can use the same method for other sprouted lentils, beans like moth, masoor too. I have used raw mango/ kairi. ambi in these salads. This raw mango had ripened slightly so had a sour-sweet taste that went very well with the other ingredients.

I used to eat the sprouts raw but these days due to weak digestion I steam them a bit just to take away the rawness.

To make the sprouts:

Wash the beans/lentils properly under running water.

In a clean utensil soak them with enough water covering them. Keep them overnight or till they split. Keep them covered with a lid.

Once the lentils/beans have swollen, drain the water and gently put the lentils/beans in a sieve and wash them under clean running water. I use the filtered water.

Place the sieve on a small container and cover with cheese cloth or muslin cloth for the sprouts to appear. You need to keep the lentils/beans in a dark, warm place.  Once you get the desired length of the sprouts wash them again and drain properly.

Keep them in the fridge. The sprouts will continue to grow but very slowly. I prefer to make them in lesser quality and use them fresh.

For the Bengal Gram Sprout chaat/Salad and the Moong Bean Sprout Salad/Chaat you will need :

Bengal Gram  sprouts – 1 cup

Raw mango diced – 1/4 cup

Red Onion – 1 medium roughly chopped

Tomato – 1 Large  chopped

cucumber – 1/4 cup diced small

Green Chillies – 2 small finely chopped

Fresh coriander leaves –  For garnish

Fresh mint leaves – 1 teaspoon finely chopped

Black pepper Powder – 2 pinches

Salt – to taste

Chaat masala – optional

Lemon – 2

You can add finely diced red, yellow bell pepper, boiled potatoes to too but I prefer it this way.

To make the chaat / salad 

I steam the sprouted lentil/beans but you can use them raw. If you are steaming, make sure they retain their crispness and don’t become mushy.

In a bowl toss the bengal gram sprouts, diced tomatoes, chopped onion, diced cucumber, chopped green chillies, finely chopped mint (if available), finely chopped fresh coriander, diced raw mango (this one is a bit sweet sour but you can use the totally raw kairi too). Add a few peanuts if desired. mix well and add salt, pepper powder and salt. Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice and toss the chaat/salad.  I use very little table salt as the chaat masala too has salt in it. You can toss in pomegranate seeds too. They taste awesome in this salad. Once everything is mixed well your sprout salad much bowl is ready. I often eat it as an evening snack. To make it look like authentic street side chaat serve it in a pattal or paper plate like the one in the pic below.

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For the Moong Bean Chaat/Salad 

Just replace the bengal gram sprouts with the moong bean sprouts. You can make any sprouted chaat like this. You can combine some sprouts to make it even more healthy.

Colourful, tangy, nutritious these chaats/salads can be had any time of the day.

TIPS –

Mix all the ingredients at the time of serving or the chaat/salad will turn watery and smell. 

 I sometime add saunth to it just to make it lip smacking good. You can read the Recipe here. Add a little warm water to 2 tablespoon of this thick saunth and mix well to make it thin. (optional) 

An interesting variation is to fill the golpappas/panipuri with the sprout mixture, top it with beaten curd and saunth and enjoy it as an evening snack.  I will post a photograph the day I make it… 😀 which will be very soon.