Shaali Aunty’s Misal Paav (Spicy Sprouted Moth lentil curry)

DSC_1127Hope 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.moth_pic

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.

I am also bringing this recipe to Fiesta Friday #101 where the delightful Jhuls from thenotsocreativecook and Mr Fitz from Cookingwithmrfitz are co-hosts this week.

Shaali Aunty's Misal Paav (Spicy Sprouted Moth lentil curry)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: moderate
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3 cups moth beans sprouted (or white vatana or beans)
2 medium onions, sliced
3/4 cup dried coconut, copra,grated
8 cloves garlic
2 tbsp ginger(about 1 by 1 inch piece)
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder

2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp garam masala

For garnish

  • Farsaan (Sev, ghatia or chiwda)
  • finely chopped red onions
  • cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • lime wedges


Pressure Cook the sprouted moth for 2 whistles adding about 2 cups water. Alternately, you can cook it in a regular pot adding 3 cups of water and cooking covered for about 20 minutes.
Dry roast onion and coconut separately. Add to food processor. Grind together with ginger and garlic without adding any water. Then add the spices – coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili with a little water (about 1/4 cup). Grind to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Take a medium size cooking pot and heat the oil. In oil, fry the paste for 5-7 minutes until browned. Add salt and stir on medium heat till oil separates out (about 3-4 minutes). Mix the cooked sprout and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until the gravy has the consistency you desire. Add more water if necessary. Add the garam masala and stir.

Plate the usual curry in bowls with farsaan, onions,cilantro and lime wedges. Serve with paav slices or dinner rolls.


Pressure cook the moth.


Fry the ground copra masala in oil


Fry masala till it turns into a lump and oil separates out.

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0 thoughts on “Shaali Aunty’s Misal Paav (Spicy Sprouted Moth lentil curry)

  1. What a wonderful and delicious dish, I am just amazed by all these lentils/beans that I have not even heard of. I do love these type of dishes in any shape or form, and your recipe sounds quite delicious. By the way, I thought of you when I posted my paella dish last week – I remember your series on Spain and your Spanish friend teaching you the authentic way? I hope you’re doing well.

  2. Wow! That’s looks delicious! That is really sweet and nice of Vaishali to cook for you. She’s a good cook. I hope you enjoyed maharashtrian delicacies.

  3. It is very nice to learn new dishes from different cultures. This is very new to me and it sound very delicious. Thank for coming over, Indu. I hope you are having fun! Have a lovely week ahead & happy FF101. 🙂

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