‘Misal Pav’ is a popular Maharashtrian breakfast recipe and one of my favorite too. I first tasted it while visiting Ajanta-Ellora few years back. It was at a local eatery point at Fardapur when I had ‘Misal Pav’ in breakfast. The fresh taste of Math Bean Curry tantalized my taste bud. Coming back to Kolkata the first thing I did ….. made ‘Misal Pav’ on a Sunday breakfast.
There are many variations of making ‘Misal Pav’ in Maharashtra. Usually Moth Bean sprouts (Matki Sprouts) or mixed beans sprouts are used. Few other variations of ‘Usal’ are ‘Chawli Usal’ (Black Eyed Bean), ‘Kala Chana Usal’ (Bengal Gram), Green Peas Usal etc. I usually make the ‘Misal’ less spicy as that how we prefer it but it can be made spicier too. I either make this ‘Usal Curry’ made with Math/Matki sprouts or with Green Whole Moong sprouts. In this recipe I have used homemade Math Bean sprouts.
‘Misal Pav’ can be taken as breakfast, snack or as a brunch. It’s a delicious and wholesome meal, especially if the pav/bun is made from wheat flour or if you could make your own healthy bread at home. One of the most popular traditional Maharashtrian dish, a spicy curry of lentils topped with Bombay bhel and farsan, onions, chopped coriander enjoyed during breakfast, dinner or at any time you wish to have it.
Traditionally it should be cooked with ‘goda masala’ but I cook with garam masala. Normally ‘garam masala’ is added to prepare Punjabi or north Indian or Bengali food, whereas ‘goda masala’ is added to the Maharashtrian recipes. Garam masala may work as a substitute to ‘goda masala’ (it has a distinct flavor). But better to avoid, unless you don’t have an option. I have used tamarind paste, since I do not have Kokam. For arranging ‘Misal Pav’ some uses yogurt and chopped tomato also but I like it with lemon juice only.
For the Usal (Sprouts Curry):
For the Misal Pav:
- For sprouting Moth/Matki: Wash and soak Moth Bean/Matki for 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain out all the water from moth beans completely.
- Once all the water is drained out, take a cotton cloth and place the moth in it. Take all the edges of the cloth and tie a knot.
- Let the moth beans rest in the cloth for 10-12 hours in slight humid environment. After 10-12 hours, you will see the sprouts appearing on moth beans.
- Preparing the Usal: Next day rinse the moth/matki bean sprouts first in running water. In a pressure cooker cook the moth bean sprouts, cubed potatoes adding ¼ tsp turmeric powder and salt. Pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles.
- Heat oil in a kadai or wok. Add asafetida. When it exudes aroma crackle the mustard seeds first. Then add the cumin seeds and sauté for some seconds till the cumin gets golden.
- Add the chopped onions and sauté till translucent. Then add the curry leaves, ginger paste, garlic paste and green chilies. Stir and sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
- Add the remaining ¼ tsp turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder and goda masala or garam masala.
- Stir and then add the tamarind pulp. Sauté till the raw aroma of the tamarind goes away.
- Drain the pressure cooked moth/matki sprouts and potatoes and add them to the masala. Add the water too.
- Stir and add more water as required.
- Add sugar. Adjust salt and boil the Usal for 8 to 10 minutes on a low flame with occasional stirrings.
- Lastly garnish with coriander leaves.
- Assembling the Misal Pav: In a serving bowl add one serving of matki/moth bean curry.
- Sprinkle finely chopped onions, farsan (Bombay Bhel) and coriander leaves.
- Squeeze a lemon wedge over it and serve hot.
- Misal is ready. You may serve Misal as it is or with Pav or Slice Bread.
- Enjoy the Misal Pav!
~ You could use Matki (Moth Bean Sprouts) or Mixed Sprouts.
~ If you don’t have goda masala then use garam masala but the taste would slightly differ.