Saturday, 24 September 2016

Puneri Misal (Mixed sprouts in a fiery gravy topped with dry savory snacks )

Puneri Misal
I've been calling the city of Pune my home since the last five years now. Born, schooled, post graduated and worked in the commercial capital of Mumbai, the knowledge that one day a smaller, sleepier and laid back city would be where I would loose my heart and find my love (this blog) would never have occurred to me before 2009.

My family and I vacationed twice a year in Pune back when my cousins and I were in school. The men folk spent most of the day doing minor repair work to my uncles home, the ladies prepared delicious meals, my cousin (I distinctly remember) would patiently sit for over two hours and peel, de-seed and cut into chunks more than two dozen sweet limes that his father would get at a throw away price from the farmers market.

Evenings were spent listening to music over my uncles enviable music system, eating batch after batch of cocktail sausages that my aunt would keep frying and ending the day with a gastronomic feast that my aunt and mum would painstakingly prepare through the afternoon.

Some days we would go to the main city and just walk around, explore quaint charm of the place, shop at the local Irani bakeries purchasing shewsberry biscuits and choco-walnut cakes by the dozen, before we settled in for a delicious dinner at one of Pune's many drool worthy restaurants.

Ironic then, that this blog has never seen an authentic "Pune made" recipe in spite of all my history attached to this place, but its never too late eh?...

Though I had never eaten Misal at Pune or anywhere else before, my mother regularly made a similar dish known as Usal (which also forms a part of Misal) all through my school days. Only during my post-grad time did I first sample this fireball of a curry and boy was I hooked!

Misal, meaning mixture in Marath a very popular street food. eaten for breakfast or as a midday snack or meal, often as part of misal pav (with bread rolls). It remains a very popular snack since it is easy to make, is relatively cheap and has good nutritional value. It's taste ranges from mild to extremely spicy.

Read on for the recipe.
Serves 4.

You will need:

For the Usal:
3 cups of mixed sprouts (sprout 1.5 cup moth, 1 cup whole moong and 0.5 cup white chana)
1 tbsp oil, 1tsp mustard seeds,
1 pinch hing and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder for tadka (tempering)
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
Jaggery/gud and salt to taste

Usal Masala:
1 Large onion thinly sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic - sliced
1.5 cups of dry shredded coconut
1.5 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1.5 tbsp cumin seeds
1-2 cloves
2-3 black peppercorns
4-5 dry red chilies

For the Tarri:
Kolhapuri Kanda-Lasun Masala or store bought Kolhapuri chicken masala
1 large onion finely cut
2 tbsp tomato puree
Handful of freshly shredded coconut for garnish

For the base:
2 large potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into 1 inch squares
3 cups of thick poha/flattened rice - soaked in water for a few minutes
3-4 cups of Chivda/Farsan
2 cups of Yogurt
Finely chopped onions and coriander leaves for garnish
1 packet of dinner rolls or pav as a side


For Usal (Sprouts mix)
Misal needs quite a bit of prep work, but this is also something you can make ahead of time.

Dry roast all the Usal Masala ingredients except coconut and sesame seeds for a couple of minutes.

Then turn the heat low-medium and add coconut and sesame seeds.

Dry roast till the coconut turns brownish black. You will get a wonderful aroma of the smokey mixture of roasted coconut, onion and garlic.

Grind this mixture into a fine paste - adding as little water as possible.

Next, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan.

Add sprouts to the tempering and saute for a couple of minutes.

Turn the heat low and steam the sprouts for a few minutes till they are half cooked.

Then add the usal masala and tamarind pulp.

Saute for a few minutes till the mixture starts losing some oil.

Add warm water to the mixture and salt and jaggery to taste.

Put the lid on and let the usal come to a boil.

The sprouts will be well cooked now.

For Tarri (Fiery gravy) 
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, to the hot oil add onions and saute till they turn golden brown.

Add tomato puree and saute till the mixture becomes slightly dry.

Now add in Kolhapuri masala, adjust the spice level to taste.

Saute for a couple of minutes.

Now add 3-4 cups of water and bring the tarri to a boil.

Garnish with coriander leaves and fresh coconut.

Make the tempering in a pan and add potato pieces to it.

Repeat the tempering for the thick poha (flattened rice)

Misal is perfect for self-service. Each person will assemble their own. The typical order and amounts for each layer are:

A few tbsps of poha
1 tbsp of potatoes
3 -4 tbsp of Usal
2 tbsp Chivada or Farsan
Tarri - at least 1 tbsp, adjust the upper limit as per your tolerance.

Garnish with finely cut onion and coriander.

Serve with Pav - or dinner rolls to balance the heat of the tarri.



  1. Kya kamal ka post hai !! Loved it and the mouth watering clicks :)

  2. wow this blog is really interested i appreciated the author of this blog


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