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.
Some other recipes you may be interested in:
Soya chunks biryani with sprouts
Moong dal tadka
Vada pav recipe
How to make pav
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.
Now add the ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Make sure the flame is medium-low to prevent burning.
Next, add the chilli powder, coriander, turmeric, amchoor, jaggery or brown sugar, and some salt.
Mix well and fry for 30 seconds for the spices to get roasted well.
Now add the sprouts and chopped tomatoes.
Mix well so the masala coats the sprouts well.
Add about 1/2 cup water.
Cook covered for 5 minutes or so or until the moong sprouts are cooked soft.
Now add garam masala and chopped coriander leaves. Mix again.
Cook for a bit longer until the excess water, if any, is fully absorbed. Taste test to make sure there's enough salt.
Serve usal hot with steamed rice and some gravy or pav.
- You can pressure cook the sprouted beans until soft and then follow the rest of the recipe
- Use some tamarind paste or lemon juice if you don't have amchoor in hand (amchoor is dried mango powder, used to add sourness to dishes)
- Omit red chilli powder if you can't tolerate much heat in dishes
- The tomatoes are optional