Hope the New Year is going well for everyone thus far. The holidays that just went by were simply fabulous. We were blessed to be flanked by friends, some of whom are like family and of course there was too much food! I was pampered by my friend Vaishali who was visiting us this holiday season and whom my son used to call as ‘Shaali’ aunty when he was a toddler. And so every now and then we lovingly still call her by that name. 🙂 So Shaali aunty who is a fireball – brimming wiith energy and passion was determined to take over my kitchen so that I could have a restful vacation. How kind of her isn’t it?. God bless her. I decided to further cash in on this opportunity and started requesting typical Maharashtrian dishes from her that I used to have while I was growing up in Mumbai. Thus I slyly put in requests for Pooran Poli, Halwa, Misal paav etc.etc 🙂 And Shaali aunty was only too happy to oblige.
I love creating new dishes but somehow I rejoice more in going back and in re-creating time-tested recipes that have been passed down from our ancestors. That takes me down nostalgia lane and straight into a haven where things were just laid back and uncomplicated. Oh those were the days!
Misal Paav is the lesser known cousin of the famous Mumbai Paav Bhaji which is popular all over India. Usal is a typical Maharashtrian dish that is made with sprouted white chick peas or moth. I actually did not know what moth was until Vaishali showed it to me. Here’s a picture. Pronounced as “moat” beans and called as ‘matki’ in India.
So Usal is the spicy curry that is made from these beans – sprouted moth or white peas are used. And when usal is served with farsaan (fried chickpea flour crisps called sev ), chopped onions,cilantro and lime pieces and served with paav bread it becomes mouthwatering ‘Misal’. What a transformation and indeed one complete meal. This recipe uses dried coconut known as copra in Hindi and Marathi and toasting this dried coconut and grinding it with the spices gives this curry its distinct nutty and spicy flavor. OK enough of the description,I am sure I got you drooling. So here is the recipe ……Presenting Shaali aunty’s recipe for Misal paav – Khandesh style.
Pressure cook the moth.
Fry the ground copra masala in oil
Fry masala till it turns into a lump and oil separates out.