maharashtrian usal recipe with step by step photos – being born and raised up in mumbai, i cannot forget the flavors and tastes of the maharashtrian cuisine. though i am fond of maharashtrian food like sabudana khichdi, puran poli, batata vada, sabudana vada, bharli vangi, panchamrut etc etc. usal and misal pav tops my list.
my favorite usal is the one which my mother makes. this usal is from the malvan cuisine and different in taste than the regular maharashtrian usal. there are many variations of usal in maharashtra and this recipe is one such variation. coconut is added in this recipe along with spices giving it a coastal taste and flavor.
usal can be made with sprouted beans or unsprouted beans or even lentils. generally in maharashtra, they make usal with sprouted moth/matki beans.
however, you could use moong/mung beans, black eyed beans/chawli, green peas/matar and also black gram/kala chana. for this recipe i have used mixed sprouted beans. you could also add potatoes to this recipe.
you could sprout the beans on your own much better and hygienic. for all those who are not sure about sprouting or do not know how to sprout beans, here’s two handy links for sprouting beans sprouting mixed beans and making mung/moong bean sprouts.
i made this usal to go along with misal pav. this is a regular usal recipe i prepare at home and one that is much liked.
maharashtrian malvani usal recipe card below:
usal is a maharashtrian curried dish made with legumes/sprouted legumes or mixed sprouted legumes and is had with pav (bread), chapati or rice.
- 1.5 cups mixed legumes sprouts (legumes)
- 1 cup water added in sprouts (for sprouting mixed beans)
- ¼ cup onion or 1 medium sized onion chopped
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1 teaspoon malvani masala or goda masala or garam masala (optional)
- ⅓ cup chopped tomatoes or 1 medium sized chopped tomato
- 2 to 3 tablespoon coriander leaves for garnishing
- 2 tablespoon oil
- salt as required
- 1 cup of broth/stock got from boiling the sprouts or water
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves (lahsun), chopped
- ½ inch ginger (adrak), chopped
- ½ cup desiccated coconut or ½ cup fresh coconut
- ½ tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ to ⅔ cup water for grinding the masala paste
sprout the mixed beans before hand to make the usal.
pressure cook or steam the sprouted beans till they are cooked. strain and keep the broth/stock.
on a tava or pan heat 1-2 tsp oil. add the chopped onion.
fry the onions till they become translucent.
add the fennel seeds and coriander seeds to the onions. fry till their aroma starts to spread in your kitchen.
add chopped ginger - garlic and fry these too for 1-2 minutes.
add the coconut.
stir and mix it well with the rest of the mixture.
fry the coconut till brown. but remember not to burn the coconut and to fry the the masala on a low flame.
when the masala cools, make a paste of the masala in the grinder with ½ to ⅔ cup water.
in another pan, heat the 2 tablespoon oil. add the chopped onion.
saute the onion, till they change color and become translucent.
next add the chopped tomatoes.
saute the tomatoes for 2 to 3 mins, till they soften.
pour the ground masala paste. since we have already browned the paste, we have less work to do. just fry the paste for 1-2 minutes.
add the turmeric powder, malvani masala and red chili powder.
mix the above powders well with the coconut paste.
add the boiled sprouts to the paste.
add 1 cup broth/stock or add more, as per the consistency desired by you. you can also add water instead of broth/stock.
add salt. lastly let the entire curry simmer for 15-20 minutes.
the usal is ready and done. last step is to add chopped coriander leaves to garnish.
step by step maharashtrian malvani usal recipe:
1. sprout 1.5 cup mixed beans before hand to make the usal. you can also use store bought mixed sprouted beans for this usal recipe, then there is no need to sprout the beans at home.
2. pressure cook or steam the sprouted beans till they are cooked. strain and keep the broth/stock.
3. on a tava or pan heat 1 tablespoon oil. add 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya) and ½ tablespoon fennel seeds (sabut saunf).
4. fry till their aroma starts to spread in your kitchen.
5. add ¼ cup chopped onions.
6. fry till the onions become translucent.
7. then add ½ inch chopped ginger (adrak) and 4-5 chopped garlic cloves (lahsun).
8. fry them for 1-2 minutes.
9. add ½ cup desiccated coconut or (½ cup fresh coconut).
10. stir and mix the coconut well with the rest of the mixture.
11. start sauteing the masala. remember to saute the masala on a low flame.
12. saute the coconut till brown. but remember not to burn the coconut.
13. when the masala cools, make a smooth paste of the masala in the grinder with ½ to ⅔ cup water.
14. the ground masala should look smooth like this, see the below pic.
15. in another pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil and add ¼ cup chopped onion.
16. saute the onion until they change color and become translucent.
17. next add ⅓ cup chopped tomatoes.
18. saute the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes or till they soften.
19. now add the ground masala paste. since we have already browned the paste, we have less work to do. just fry the paste for 1-2 minutes.
20. add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi), 1 teaspoon malvani masala (or goda masala) and ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder).
21. mix the above powders well with the coconut paste.
22. add the boiled sprouts to the paste.
23. add 1 cup broth/stock or add more, as per the consistency desired by you. you can also add water instead of broth/stock.
24. add salt as required.
25. lastly let the entire usal curry simmer for 15-20 minutes.
26. the usal is ready and done. last step, just add chopped coriander leaves to garnish.
27. serve usal hot with pav, chapati, poori or rice. you could also make misal pav with this usal.