Moongachi Usal is a very light and filling Maharashtrian dish – that goes very well with Rotis and phulkas alike. Traditionally, Maharashtrian veg cuisine is said to have evolved around sprouted lentils rather than vegetables. Which explains why Usal or Missal were more popular with Mill Workers (The working class at the beginning of this century). Also, Maharashtra being one of the states with high cultivation of onions and potatoes, these 2 vegetables became the staple diet for decades to come. So, we have the ubiquitous vada pav, Pav bhaji doing the rounds in most mumbaikars palate even today. Today’s dish – Moongachi Usal – can be made with or without sprouting the moong (whole green gram), but I love to use the sprouts, lightly cooked and simmered in an onion-tomato gravy for a super filling brunch experience. Some people I know also make this sans onion-garlic and have it during fasting too with a bowl of curd. Simple earthy food is what I would love to call it. I served it with Pudina Thepla (Minty Indian flatbread) and the combo was lipsmacking. Sending this to Only Sprouts – event by Pari, hosted by Priya and Vardhini’s New U . Let’s get to the dish now..
Prep time : 4 hours soaking + 1 day sprouting + 10 mins prep time
Cook time : 30 mins
Serves : 4
- Moong Sprouts – 2 cups
- Onions – 1 large – minced fine
- Ripe tomatoes – 2 medium – diced
- oil – 3 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Dry masala powder (each 1 tsp) : Garam Masala, Red Chilly powder, Amchur (dry mango powder)
- Dry spices (whole) : Clove – 2, Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
- Green chilly – split lengthwise
- Tempering : Mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, Asafoetida
- Garlic – 2 pods (opt.)
- Garnish : Coriander leaves & lemon juice (1 tsp)
1) Soak and sprout whole green gram.
2) Take 2 cups of the sprouts and put them in hot boiling water for 30 mins. Cook with a pinch of salt till they cook but dont turn mushy. If using the pressure cooker, cook for 2 whistles on low flame with minimal water.
3) In a pan, heat oil. Add dry spices, garlic, and tempering ingredients. When mustard stops spluttering, add the onions and turmeric. Add requisite salt and saute well. Add tomatoes and saute well. Now add the dry masala powders one by one and saute till you get the gravy going on a nice simmer.
4) Now add the split green chillies, cooked moong sprouts and cook covered for 8 – 10 mins.
5) Take off the flame to a serving dish. Garnish with coriander and lemon juice and serve with any Indian Bread.