Chawli Usal (Spicy Coconut Based Curry Made With Black Eyed Beans)

‘Chawli’ or lobia or black eyed beans is a legume that is pretty common in Indian homes. But unfortunately it is not so popular amongst Bengalies. Here’s another recipe from my Mom’s favourite collection – ‘Chawli Usal’. She makes ‘usal’ (curry made with legumes are called ‘usal’ in Maharashtra) with any legumes or lentils using this recipe. I already have one ‘usal’ recipe on my blog which uses math bean, in my previous post of ‘usal’ I made it with matki/math bean and served with ‘pav’ in ‘Misal Pav’ recipe.

This ‘usal’ can also be made with whole green moong, matar, matki/moth bean sprouts, black chickpeas, whole masoor dal and even tuvar dal. Since the curry is made from a roasted masala base of coconut and fennel with other spices, things cannot go wrong here. Whichever beans or lentils you use, they add their own flavor to the ‘usal’.

The ‘Chawli Usal’ is best had with steamed rice along with a vegetable dish or a salad. I usually make ‘usal’ spicy, but you can tone down the use of red chili powder and garam masala powder in the recipe. Black eyed bean is very well accepted in our home. We all love it. I make this bean in a different way too which I have shared in ‘Black Eyed Bean Masala Curry’ which we normally take with ‘pav’ for breakfast or with ‘roti’ in dinner.

‘Chawli Usal’ also tastes great with bread rolls or pav. Even with chapatis or phulkas it goes very well. I served the ‘Chawli Usal’ with steamed rice, some sir fried ‘Chatpata Bhindi Masala’ and salad.

  • Servings: 4-serving
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Cuisine: maharashtrian
  • Passive Time: 480 mins
  • Course: side dish
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins


¾ cup Chawli or Black Eyed Beans or Lobia
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder
½ tsp Goda Masala – (you may substitute it with garam masala powder)
½ cup Onion – (Chopped)
Tomato – (Medium – chopped)
2 Tbsps Oil
3 Tbsps Freshly grated coconut
1 tsp Ginger Paste
¾ tsp Garlic Paste
½ tsp Fennel Seeds
½ tsp Coriander Seeds
1 (Small – chopped) Onion
2 tsps Oil


  1. Rinse and soak the beans overnight in enough water. Next day drain the water and pressure cook the beans with some salt with 2 cups of water till they are cooked completely and are soft. Do not drain the water.
  2. In a pan heat oil. Add half of the the chopped onion and fry till they become transparent. Now add the ginger paste and garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  3. Add the fennel and coriander seeds. Fry for 1 or 2 minutes till the fennel and coriander seeds start becoming crisp or lightly browned.
  4. Add the freshly grated coconut. On a low flame, roast the mixture till the coconut becomes golden brown. Keep on stirring, so that the coconut does not burn.
  5. Let this mixture cool. Then grind this mixture in a grinder adding a little water.
  6. Heat oil in a kadai or wok. Add chopped onion and fry till transparent. Add the masala paste and fry for a minute.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes and all the spice powders.
  8. Now add the cooked dal. Stir and mix very well. Adjust salt. Bring to a gentle boil without a lid and then simmer for about 7-8 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and ginger julien and serve ‘Chawli Usal’ hot with steamed rice, chapatis or bread.


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