chawli usal

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.

She makes usal with any legumes or lentils using this recipe. I already shared Mixed sprouts usal recipe. for step by step method, you can refer to this Maharashtrian Usal recipe.

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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.

chawli usal recipe

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.

chawli usal Maharashtrian recipe

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chawli usal

5 from 3 votes
Chawli usal recipe is a deliciously spiced coconut based curry made with black eyed beans or lobia.
chawli usal recipe, lobia curry recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:7 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:7 hrs 50 mins
Course:main course
Servings (change the number to scale):4
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


main ingredients

  • 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.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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22 comments/reviews

  1. This is the second time i’m making this in a month! Beautiful flavors! I love your recipes because you simplify them with steps…so even a difficult recipe seems easy on your blog…I’ve tried so many of your recipes and all of them turn out good…..this is definately going into my recipe book as a favorite. This is my go to website for recipes from now on.5 stars

    • very pleased to know this yogita 🙂 thanks for your kind words and positive feedback. god bless you.

  2. My mother’s recipe is much simpler. She prepares a tadka of hing and rai. When they stop sputtering she adds the soaked chawli, haldi, salt,chili powder and some jaggery, stir the mixture, then add a little water, cover and cook on medium flame for about ten to fifteen minutes until the water evaporates and the beans are soft. Garnish with grated coconut and cilantro.

    We are maharashtrians, by the way so the above recipe must be maharashtrian. I just made this for lunch today and will eat it with phulkas

    • thankyou for sharing this information madhav 🙂

  3. Hi, can you tell me, what is unsweeteened dessicated coconut?
    Can I prepare this without that?

    • fairy, dessicated coconut is dried coconut flakes. you can use fresh coconut instead of dessicated coconut. it is needed as its an essential ingredient.

  4. What if I don’t have fresh coconut? I only have dry desiccated.

    • vrinda, you can use desiccated coconut. use the same amount.

  5. Thank you very much .perfect measure of ingredients can never wrong vith r tips.visiting ur website gvs me immense joy.indeed a stress buster.

    • welcome rema. thanks for this positive and sweet feedback. good to know this. cooking is indeed a creative activity.

  6. Hi Dassana,
    I must mention that whichever of your recipes I have tried all have turned awesumilicious.My husband loves to eat out of my hand now….hee heee….keepp posting ur excellent well described recipes….love your work….success to you always!!!

    Sunny5 stars

    • thanks sunny for this positive feedback and your best wishes. loved reading your sweet feedback. keep visiting the site.

  7. I always wanted to make chawli but never got a correct recipe.I do follow ur recipes and tried this one too and as usual it was perfect.I am loving food prepared by myself these days.its all because of ur recipe.

    I dared inviting my husband colleague after going thru ur website and they too liked food being prepared after going thru ur recipes.
    thank you very much.5 stars

    • welcome vasanti. glad to know that everyone is enjoying the food cooked by you. keep visiting the site.

  8. Hi, tried this recipe for dinner and it came out very well. The flavour of fennel and coriander with roasted coconut is awesome. Omitted the garam masala as I felt that it would interfere with the flavour. I would suggest boiling the soaked chawli rather than pressure cooking to prevent it from becoming mushy. I just soaked it for an hour and then boiled it on low heat for half an hour. You can chop the vegetables needed and get the masala ready by this time. Thank you for posting such a wonderful recipe.

    • thanks shruthi. boiling is better but if for a quicker method, pressure cooking is better. if the pressure cooking is done properly, then the chawli does not become mushy. but this comes from experience. so for a newbie, its better to boil the chawli.

  9. Looks very appetizing. Want to try.

  10. This looks terrific! Pinning now.

  11. Love the recipes you send and have been trying it to quiet ggod . Want to know as to how you make gud masala. thank you

    • you mean goda masala?

  12. Wonderful recipe, looks and sounds amazing 🙂 perfect comforting food!

  13. looks delicious, dassana! 🙂

    i love lobia!