Friday, November 6, 2015

Ussal & Missal ( mixed bean sprouts cooked with spices)

I have always been fond of the Maharashtrian dishes ussal and missal. They also happen to be famous Mumbai street food. Ussal is  mixed bean sprouts cooked with spices in a spicy, onion-tomato sauce and missal is when ussal is served with a topping of savory mixture ( the Indian chex-mex), finely chopped onions and cilantro and some lemon juice. It is usually paired with Pav ( roll) that has been pan-toasted with butter. It took me a long time to understand the difference between the two and even longer to find an easy recipe to cook it! A few year ago, when I looked up online for recipes, I was overwhelmed with the sheer number of steps involved in making this dish! Most stated that a specific Ussal/missal masala is required for this dish! Every time I visited Mumbai, I used to ask my aunt ( who has been living in Mumbai for more than 45 years for ussal/missal masala and she would look at me perplexed! She had not heard of any such thing! Recently a colleague of mine who is from Mumbai finally brought me Kolhapuri missal masala packet. Believe it or not , the package came with two small packets inside and a whole bunch of instructions and steps which were so tedious that it just took away the fun of making it ! My  quest for an easy, simple missal recipe continued...until my virtual brothers came to my rescue! One of the groups that I belong to on Facebook is the Konkan Coastal Cuisines and Beverages ( KCCB), where in like-minded people share recipes that are predominantly from the Konkan region of India. My two virtual brothers ( wonderful members ) of the group: Suresh Sawant and Prasad Naik shared their very user-friendly recipes for ussal and missal. I tried it and found it to be so easy, simple and user-friendly that I have not looked for any more ussal/missal recipes! Today I am going to share this recipe with you. Try it . I bet you will go back to it over and over again!

Servings: 4-6 ( 1 cup missal per person served with one Pav)


For the Ussal:

Green Mung-bean sprouts: 1 cup
Black chick pea sprouts: 1 cup
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp ( any cooking oil can be used)
Onions: 2, medium-sized, finely chopped.
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Jeera( cumin) powder: 1/2 tbsp
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp ( can be modified as per individual spice tolerance)
Tomatoes: 2, medium sized, finely chopped.
*Kolhapuri masala: 1 tsp ( can add more based on preferred spice level).
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Salt: as per individual taste.
Water: 4 cups ( can be adjusted as per individual gravy preference).

* if you don't have Kolhapuri masala, just add a little Kashmiri-chilli powder,and a little more coriander, jeera powder and garam masala powder.

For the Missal:

Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves( cilantro), chopped:1/4 cup
Lemon wedges: from one lemon
Mixture: 1 cup, any combination will do .
Pav ( rolls): 4-6 ( one per person)


Cook the chickpeas ( Chana) in the pressure cooker with 2 cups of water for 15 minutes on low flame after you hear the first whistle. Turn off the flame. Do not open the cooker until the pressure has been completely released. Once you open it, separate the chickpeas from the water and keep aside. Do not discard the water.

In a different pot, cook the mung-bean sprouts with two cups water until tender( around 15 mins). Turn off the flame. Separate the cooked sprouts and water . Keep aside. Do not discard the water.

Heat oil in a kadai/ sauté pan. Add chopped onions. Add a little salt Sauté until they start to sweat. 

Now add ginger garlic paste and sauté for couple of minutes. Next, add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, goda masala/ Kolhapuri masala, garam masala one after the other, sautéing for a few seconds after the addition of each one. 

Next, add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté on low flame until the tomatoes start to leave oil.

Now, add the cooked sprouts and mix well. 

Add the water that was kept aside after removing the cooked sprouts. Add enough water to dilute it to your desired thinness of the gravy( sauce). Do not dilute it too much. Bring it to a boil. 

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Ussal is ready!

Putting it together to make Missal:

Take ussal in a bowl. Top it with some mixture ( farsaan) , finely chopped onions and cilantro . Serve with a wedge of onion on the side. This is usually served in combination with ladi pav ( bread roll). In the picture, I have paired it with regular sliced bread as I didn't have pav on hand.

Enjoy! I am bringing this to Angie's Fiesta Friday#93 where two wonderful bloggers are co-hosting: Jhuls@the not co creative cook and Kaila@GF Life 24/7

I am also linking this to Throwback Thursday # 13 and Saucy Saturdays # 19.

Cooking made easy:

You could cook the sprouts together in the pressure cooker, but chances are that some of the sprouts like moong bean will be overcooked and mushy.

The leftover water from cooking the sprouts can be made into a saaru ( soup). You can find the recipe here.

Tip for healthy living:

Beans are much healthier when sprouted as sprouting increases the bio-avavailability of the nutrients in it.

Food for thought:

Power is like being a lady.. if you have to tell people you are, you aren't. Margaret Thatcher

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