I am from the state of Maharashtra and even though I am a Gujarati, which means my hometown is in one state but I have been brought up in a different state. In India, each of the state has its flavours, cuisines and style of cooking. So, food from Gujarat has different flavors from that prepared in Maharashtra. Since I have been brought up in Maharashtra, a lot of my cooking has a maharashtrian flavor to it.
Misal-Usal is a dish indigenous to the state of Maharashtra in western India. Typical misal is very spicy and is not for those with a weak stomach. I used the misal mix (mixed bag of lentils) which I had brought from India. It is a mix of moong beans, chick peas, some red kidney beans, some kabuli chana. You can either directly boil the beans and use it or sprout them first and then use it.
Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate
Category: Entree, Dinner
1 cup Misal mixed beans
2 Tbsp tamarind pieces
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1-2 tbsp dried coconut flakes
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp asafetida
1-2 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp cilantro
Farsan (dry chivda)
Pav (burger bun)
Salt to taste
Soak the mixed sprouts overnight or about 8-10 hours in water. Then rinse the sprouts and keep them wet in a colander. Place the colander in a big container and keep the covered in a cool and dark place. Check on the sprouts every day, you should start seeing small sprouts in about a day and in about 2 days you will see bigger sprouts. See the picture for sprouts after day 1.
Be sure to check on the sprouts so that they don’t spoil. This is how the sprouts will look after 2 days.
Boil these sprouts and a potato in the pressure cooker. Soak some tamarind pieces in water and heat it covered in the microwave for about a minute. Once the tamarind water cools squeeze the softened tamarind to get the extract. Finely chop onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and tomatoes.
Heat some oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, after they sputter add cumin seeds, some cloves, and peppercorns, add the chopped garlic, ginger and onions and cook everything until the raw smell of the garlic and onions dissipates. Then add the chopped tomatoes, dried coconut and all the spices, and tamarind extract cook until you see oil separating. Then blend the mixture to make a smooth gravy. Cook the gravy again for about 5 mins, then add the boiled sprouts and potato to the gravy. Cook the sprouts with the gravy for 5-10 minutes to incorporate the flavours in the sprouts.
Taste the misal and add spices and salt as required. Garnish it with some farsan and chopped coriander leaves and serve with some pav.
Note: The term gravy in this post here, means a blend of tomatoes and onions with mixture of curry powder and spices. In Indian terms this is called a gravy, it does not mean the the biscuit and gravy kind of gravy in American terms.
In my recipe I have added lots of spices in terms of cloves, chillies, garam masala, peppercorns, ginger; you can decrease each of the quantities depending on your spice level intake.
The speed at which your pulses will sprout out depends on the humidity content in the vessel. The grains need humidity and air to grow sprouts. If you place it in an airless vessel then you will have some fungus growing in there very soon. So check on your sprouts every day and rinse them out to keep them clean and moisturized enough to grow some sprouts. Sometimes it might take about 3 days to grow sprouts. If you are not comfortable sprouting, then just directly boil the lentils and then proceed the same way with the gravy and everything else.