Did you know that the Foodiehub Awards named Misal Pav prepared at Aaswad in Mumbai, the world’s tastiest vegetarian dish? The first time I had Misal Pav – it was this mediocre, fairly watery dish that I didn’t want to have ever again. But then, I’d had it at a random ‘Food Mall’ by the side of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway somewhere in Lonavala. Like a lot of the food that I consider my favourite today, I developed a liking for Misal Pav when Ishaaq re-introduced it to me! He loves Misal Pav – and he can get up at wee hours of a Sunday morning to travel to the bylanes of Vile Parle to pick up the spiciest version of this dish for our breakfast. Also,
The flavour of Misal differs according to the region in Maharastra you have it – although the Kolhapuri and Puneri Misal is the most famous (the former for its spice quotient) – and Nashik is touted to have the maximum varieties of Misal Pav.
Of course, Dubai has Misal Pav – but it’s certainly unlike the versions we get back in Mumbai! So, usually, the task of making it at home is delegated to me! Although the recipe may seem long winding and fairly complicated, it is pretty simple and requires just a few processes.
Misal has four main parts to it – the Kat (Tari/Gravy) – the spicy bit; the Matki Usal (moth/matki beans soaked and sprouted and cooked with spices); the Farsan (a mixture of fried snacks and peanuts); and finally, finely chopped onions, coriander and lime. Without any of these, Misal is incomplete.
A spicy Maharashtrian dish perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner...
- 1 packet farsan Indian fried snacks with peanuts
- 1 large onion minced and mixed with chopped coriander
- 1 lime cut into wedges
Start with the Spice Paste. In a wok, heat the oil and add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Saute well till translucent.
Now, put in the dry coconut and toast well till golden brown.
At this point, add the tomatoes and mix this on a medium flame till the masala comes together and leaves oil from the sides.
Put off the gas and let the masala cool down. Once it does, grind it to a fine paste. And, set aside 1 tbsp for the matki usal.
To make the Matki Usal, heat oil in a separate pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Now add the curry leaves and hing and mix well.
Then add the spice paste, with the powdered spices and continue to mix.
Once they are cooked through, with a light hand mix in the matki and add the salt to taste.
Add water for a gravy consistency and garnish with the coriander leaves.
For the Kat/Tarri - in the same kadhai (biggest vessel possible) that you made the spice paste, heat the oil and add the spice paste. Saute well till it loses its moisture content.
Now, add the powdered masalas and saute well till the oil leaves the sides. Add 3 cups of water to this and keep mixing. Adjust the consistency. Add salt and keep tasting. The red oil should rise up to the surface. Once it comes to a boil, turn it off. It should be spicy and tangy. Garnish with coriander leaves
To assemble, in a bowl, put in the matki, top with the kat/tarri and then add farsan, minced onions and a dash of lime juice. Dunk in pieces of pav and enjoy!