As a child, I liked pav bhaji more than misal pav. That was because I used to find the Mumbai misal pav a tad too oily (weight watching is a congenital disease). But, after reaching Kuwait, I craved for the dish. Enough to send me scouring the Internet for a recipe worth trying. I found a few excellent sites, but most of these were too long and seemed time consuming. Apart from the expected matki to sprout, and, the usal to prepare, these sites also mentioned that the katt or kutt (red spicy gravy) had to be readied, and, suggested serving the dish with potato subzi &/or kanda pohe ! That was enough to put me off misal pav for a some more time. Then one night Usha aunty had us over for dinner where she had prepared misal pav. Needless to say, it was YUM and I felt like a fool for not asking her in the first place!
In any case, I now have the recipe for what is a slightly simpler version of misal pav. This is an easy way out for non-purists – those with austere needs and little energy to expend.
1 cup mix sprouts (1/2 cup matki, 1/4 cup moong, 1/8 cup chowli, 1/8 cup masoor)
2 medium sized onions
1 medium sized tomato
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 tsp kolhapuri kanda lasoon masala/malvani masala/garam masala
1 tbsp home-made coconut-onion-tomato masala
salt to taste
Home Made Masala ingredients
1/2 cup coconut scraping
1 small-medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tsp oil
Finely chopped corriander
Finely chopped onion
1. Cook sprouts using just enough water with a little salt and turmeric. This can be done either in a pan or in a pressure cooker (not more than 2 whistles). The sprouts should be cooked but not mushy.
2. Prepare the home made masala following these quick, easy steps
- Fry onions till translucent in a little oil over medium flame
- Switch off the gas and immediately add coconut scrapings
- Saute the mix till coconut browns lights
- Add chopped tomatoes and grind everything into a fine paste
Note: This masala can be made in advance and stored in the freezer/fridge. This mix can used in other subzis too, typically usals made using moong, chowli, masoor etc.
3. Heat oil in a wide-mouthed kadhai/pan
4. Add finely chopped onion and fry till translucent
5. Add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute or two
6. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes (Grinding the tomatoes to a coarse puree is advised. You can choose to chop/grind depending on what you find easier to use – the chopping board or the mixer-grinder)
7. Next, add the kolhapuri kanda lasoon masala (preferred)/malvani masala (option #2)/garam masala (only suggested for the less fortunate that cannot lay their hands on the first two) and roast for a couple of minutes
8. Now, add the home made masala, salt and a cup of water
9. Bring the water to a boil and add the cooked sprouts
10. Mix well and check for salt and spice. Add more masala if you prefer spicier misal. You can also add more water if you think that the gravy is too thick.
11. Cook for 5-7 minutes and remove from heat.
12. Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves
For serving misal pav
1. Take hot misal in a deep bowl
2. Top with chopped onions, coriander, farsan, and dahi (optional)
3. Serve with pav and a lemon wedge.