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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Chawli Usal Recipe
- ½ cup black eyed beans (chawli, lobia or rongi)
- 2 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon garam masala powder or Malvani masala or goda masala
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium size tomato, chopped
- 2 tablespoon oil
for masala curry paste
- ½ cup fresh grated coconut
- 2 tablespoon 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 teaspoon 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 soft and completely done.
- 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 translucent.
- Now, add the ginger and garlic cloves and fry for a minute
- Add the fennel seeds and coriander seeds.
- Fry for 1 or 2 minutes till the seeds start becoming crisp or are lightly browned.
- Add the fresh grated coconut along with the dessicated coconut.
- On a low heat, roast the mixture till the coconut becomes golden brown.
- Keep on stirring, so that the coconut does not burn. Let this mixture cool.
- Then, grind this mixture in a small blender, magic bullet or masala grinder with some water.
making chawli usal
- Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and fry till translucent.
- Add the ground masala paste and fry for a minute.
- Add tomatoes and turmeric powder, red chili powder, 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 12 to 15 minutes.
- Check the seasoning, add salt or spice powders if required.
- Once all the flavors are blended in the curry, remove from heat.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve Chawli Usal hot with steamed rice, chapatis or bread.