Moong usal is a popular Maharashtrian vegetarian dish. The usal is served along with pav, a similar combination to the even more popular pav bhaji. I am not claiming this recipe is an authentic version since I got it from a food-based book written by a non-Indian. The usual usal recipes I see are all gravy-based and have a lot more ingredients than my simple version but since the first time I made this usal, I have been cooking it this way and serving it with roti, rice, or even on its own. Since I don’t like the taste of raw sprouts in salads and such, this is a great alternative, and a method which doesn’t compromise the nutrition in moong sprouts.
Typically, usal is made with maki or moth bean sprouts. Using moong sprouts for usal is also not uncommon so I decided to go ahead and do just that. I also learnt from the book that Misal is Usal with has been spiced up a bit more and made into a kind of chaat. I really need to try making some misal at home too, a dish that I have only tried once when I visited TH’s aunt in Mumbai many years ago.
Moong Usal Recipe
Adapted from Ginger and Ganesh
2 cups moong bean sprouts
1 cup onions, sliced
1/2 cup of cubed tomato
1″ piece of ginger, grated
2-3 flakes of garlic, minced
1 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder) or 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1-2 green chillies, chopped
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp Kitchen King Masala (or garam masala / goda masala)
1 tsp grated jaggery or brown sugar
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1. Heat oil and add the onions and green chillies. Saute until the onions have turned a light brown.
2. Add the minced ginger and garlic and fry until the raw smell disappears – about a minute.
3. Now add the coriander, chilli powder, turmeric, and salt, and jaggery or sugar. Fry for another minute.
4. Add the sprouted moong dal and chopped tomato along with the amchoor. Add some water and cook on low flame covered for 8-10 mins.
5. When the beans have turned plump and soft, add the garam masala and garnish with chopped coriander.
6. Cook in open pan until the water has more or less evaporated and you have a dry dish. Adjust salt and amchoor as needed.
Step by step pictures to make Usal:
Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and add the sliced onions and green chillies.
Saute until the onions turn a golden brown.
Cook covered for 5 minutes or so or until the moong sprouts are cooked soft.
Serve usal hot with steamed rice and some gravy or pav.