Kolhapuri Misal Pav
It seems unreal to write a recipe related post when the city is still reeling in the aftermath of the two bomb blasts that shook Hyderabad. Last night around 7:00 pm, during peak hour, there were two bomb blasts in Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad. We didn’t know about it till messages started pouring on Facebook from concerned friends and family abroad. We watched live news, devastated about the blasts and in fear. Politicians and leaders made statements partly to cover their asses and party to blame others. It was a sad day worsened by politicians caring for their own benefit than the families in distress.
We were safe in our house and were relieved that our friends and family were safe as well. Today, life was like normal. Office, meetings, day care and even a Ship party. Guess, these things happen in India frequently enough that while you feel helpless and enraged you bounce back to normal quickly. In our safe cocoons of white-collar jobs, gated communities and elite day cares/schools, we don’t have to worry about the same things that a middle class Dilsukhnagar has to. Sad, but true.
So how do you tide over shocking news items like bomb blasts, horrific rape incidents and political apathy? You make friends and hold them close. Check on them and make sure that your little circle is safe. And be grateful that your little corner is safe this time from the general chaos. It helps even when life is less tumultuous. This is true regardless where you are.
One of our favorite recipes to go to when we had friends over in Redmond was Misal Pav – fiery dish from Kolhapur. Literally misal means a medley – a medley of sprouts, fiery kat sauce, crunchy farsan and assortment of toppings. We recently made it as its healthy, one-pot, vegetarian and can be customized a myriad of ways with multiple toppings. Its one of those dishes that taste better as they simmer longer and even better the next day as the flavors blend overnight. Its comforting, filling and nurturing. It can be made spicy or mild though fiery is its signature tone. Diced onions, tomatoes, lemons and crunchy farsan add to the drama of the dish and it can be easily tempered down with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
A perfect companion to this is a crusty bread or a soft dinner roll to soak up all the gravy. Try it when you need comforting – from man-made or nature’s calamities: snow, storm or hurricane. You will feel better after having made it for your loved ones. After all its a dish that tastes better when its made with love.
Kolhapuri Misal Pav Recipe
- 2 cups sprouts (moong, moth or matki, green peas, lentils, black-eyed peas etc)
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Dash of asafoetida or hing
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon garlic chopped
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Farsan, sev
- Coriander leaves chopped
- Onions finely chopped ( optional)
- Tomatoes finely chopped ( optional)
- Lemons quartered
- Kat ( recipe below )
For Kat or Spicy Sauce
Depending on how spicy you want kat,
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon each of chili powder , cumin powder, garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup water
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add cumin, hing, curry leaves and let it sizzle for about 10 – 15 seconds. Then add the onions and let them cook for about 5 – 7 minutes till soft. Add tomatoes, chili powder and garam masala. Mix well and let cook till soft and well mixed.
2. Take about 2 -3 tablespoons of this mix and set aside to make kat or a spicy sauce.
3. Add the sprouts. Season with salt. Add a cup of water and let this simmer on low heat for 20 – 30 minutes till the sprouts are well cooked. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
4. For Kat : Take the onion- tomato mix in a separate sauce pan and sauté this in oil. Add water, chili powder, salt and garam masala. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer.
Serve the misal piping hot along the kat and garnish platter. Top misal with kat, lemon juice and farsan with a side of pav for a satisfying vegetarian meal.