Tried & Tasted: Usal/ Misal - Sizin Portal

Tried & Tasted: Usal/ Misal

Friday, July 4, 2008

I saw this recipe on Nupur's blog, One Hot Stove, many months ago. Ever since then, I've been on the hunt for matki or moth beans. It's really hard to find here in Chennai! And then when Zlamushka announced that it was Nupur's blog chosen for this month's Tried and Tasted event, I decided to really up the ante on my search, so to speak.

I finally found the elusive beans, and was glad that I could finally make the Usal/ Misal. Usal is a huge favorite in the state of Maharashtra in India. Its a sort of soup-y dal made with lentils, peanuts and potatoes - sound good? Well, let me say it was Fabulous!

Misal is a variation on Usal - add some toppings like crunchies (crushed potato wafers, hot mixture), chopped onions, yogurt - and you're good to go. And this tastes almost better than the Usal.

So here we go with the Misal/ Usal. I'm going to do it pictorially, because I followed Nupur's recipe exactly.

First I made the Kolhapuri Chutney. This sounded complicated and I was a bit apprehensive, but when I got down to it, it was not so tough. The only thing I want to say here is please make sure that the onions are completely dry before grinding, otherwise the chutney will spoil easily.

First, roast the spices.

Grind the spices to a fine powder.

Mix in the chilli powder.

The chutney/ powder itself was good and I'm glad I made it at home. It's available in most Indian grocery stores. Next came the Usal, which is pretty straightforward once you've made the above Kolhapuri Chutney. It tasted fantastic and really healthy too (I used sprouted matki beans). The addition of the peanuts was great and gave it a lot of crunch. Will definitely be making this very often.

And then the Misal. We made this the next day with the leftover Usal. I can't believe I've never had this before - I made a resolution to try it at my favorite little "chaat" shop next time I'm there. It's delicious!

Thanks Zlamushka for the event which spurred me into finding those beans and making this! And thanks Nupur for the fantastic recipes - it's a family favorite now!