Usal is the Marathi name for spicy vegetable based curry. This delicious, traditional Kabuli Chanyachi Usal is made of kabuli chana i.e. chickpeas and spices. Boiled Kabuli chana when cooked in the tomato-onion gravy base and spices, makes a heavenly combination.
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, bharli vangi etc. usal and misal pav tops my list.
Cooking mixed bean sprouts:
1. For this recipe use 1.5 cup mixed bean sprouts 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. To sprout beans at home, rinse ½ cup of dried mixed beans and then soak and sprout them.
2. Pressure cook or steam the sprouted beans with 1.25 cups of water till they are tender and softened. Keep aside. If pressure cooking then cook for 3 to 4 whistles on medium flame.
3. On a tava or pan heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya) and ½ tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf).
4. Fry till their aroma starts to spread in your kitchen and they change color.
5. Add ¼ cup chopped onions.
6. Fry till the onions become translucent.
7. Then add ½ inch chopped ginger and 4 to 5 chopped garlic cloves.
8. Fry them for 1 to 2 minutes on a low flame.
9. Add ½ cup desiccated coconut (or ½ cup fresh coconut). You can also use half-half proportions of both fresh coconut and desiccated 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 it turns golden stirring continuously. Do remember not to burn the coconut.
13. When the masala cools, add in the grinder jar. Also add ½ to ⅔ cup water.
14. Grind to a smooth paste.
15. In another pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add ¼ cup chopped onions.
16. Saute the onions till 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 to 2 minutes.
20. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi), 1 teaspoon Malvani masala (or goda masala) and ½ teaspoon red chili powder. If you do not have goda masala or Malvani masala, then add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder. You can skip Malvani masala or goda masala or garam masala if you do not have them.
21. Mix the above powders well with the coconut paste.
22. Add the boiled sprouts to the paste.
23. Then add 1 cup of the broth or stock or add more, as per the consistency desired by you. You can also add water instead of broth or stock.
24. Add salt as required.
25. Lastly let the entire usal curry simmer for 12 to 15 minutes till the gravy thickens a bit. You will also see oil floating on top.
26. The usal is ready and done. The last step is to add chopped coriander leaves.
27. serve with hot chapati, poori or rice or pav or bread 🙂