Maharashtrian chawli usal recipe – chawli or lobia or black eyed beans is a legume that is pretty common in Indian homes. Here’s another recipe from my mom’s fab collection – Chawli usal.
This usal can also be made with moong or matki/moth bean sprouts, black chickpeas, whole masoor dal and even tuvar dal.
Since this lobia 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 side coconut based vegetable dish or a salad and Sol kadi by the side. The spiciness of the meal gets mellowed by having the kokum curry. I usually make usal spicy, but you can tone down the use of red chili powder and Garam masala powder in the recipe.
Usal also tastes great with bread or rolls or pav. Even chapatis or phulkas go very well. I served the chawli usal with steamed rice, veggie salad and Kokum curry without coconut milk.
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- ½ cup chawli or black eyed beans or lobia or rongi
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon garam masala or malvani masala or goda masala
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium size tomato, chopped
- 2 tablespoons oil
for masala curry paste
- ½ cup fresh grated coconut
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dessicated coconut
- ½ inch ginger , chopped
- 3 to 4 small to medium garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf)
- ½ tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons oil
preparing the chawli (black eyed beans)
- Rinse and soak the beans overnight in enough water.
- Next day drain the water and pressure cook the beans with some salt in 2.5 to 3 cups water till they are cooked completely and are soft.
- Drain and keep the cooked beans aside.
making masala curry paste for chawli usal
- In a pan heat oil. Add the chopped onion and fry till they become transparent.
- Now add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute
- Add the fennel and coriander seeds.
- Fry for 1 or 2 minutes till the fennel and coriander seeds start becoming crisp or lightly browned
- Add the fresh grated coconut along with the dessicated coconut.
- On a low flame, roast the mixture till the coconut becomes golden browned.
- Keep on stirring, so that the coconut does not burn. Let this mixture cool.
- Then grind this mixture in a small blender or magic bullet or masala grinder with some water.
making chawli usal
- Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and fry till transparent.
- Add the masala paste and fry for a minute.
- Add tomatoes and all the spice powders - turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala powder, salt along with the cooked black eyed beans.
- Stir and add water. Bring to a gentle boil without a lid and then simmer for some minutes about 12-15 minutes.
- Check the seasonings and add the salt or spice powders if required.
- Once the whole curry has all the flavors blended, then remove from fire.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve chawli usal hot with steamed rice, chapatis or bread.