The Konkan region or the region extending throughout the western coasts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka has often fascinated history and culture enthusiasts since time immemorial. The regional cuisines too have piqued the interest of many for its distinct quality. Making the best of local, seasonal produce, mixing it up with exotic traded goods - the Konkani food is indeed a treasure of flavours. One such amazing Maharashtrian snack is Usal, which is a thick snack made with hot spices and dal sprouts. You may have heard about misal, which is basically a combination of Usal and 'rassa' a red and spicy, watery gravy. Both misal and usal can be paired with pav. And both protein-rich breakfast options are immensely popular across Konkani region.
It is easy to make Usal at home. All you need are some sprouts or 'matki' and a fiery spice combination. Soak green grams overnight, and take out the sprouts, parboil it with some salt and turmeric and keep it aside.
Now in another pan, make the spicy mix of hing, mustard seeds, turmeric, onion, tomatoes and goda masala. If you do not have goda masala at home, you can also use some garam masala. Mix the spices well with sprouts, throw in some grated coconut and jaggery to the mix and you are pretty much done.
The main component of Usal is the matki or sprouts. As we all know, sprouts are replete with nutrition. From fibre to a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, dal sprouts are easily one of the best additions you can make to your diet. They are also a storehouse of protein. Protein helps fill you up, in other words they help induce satiety. If you feel full, you eat in controlled portions and thus reduce chances of weight-gain. Protein also plays a crucial role in building muscle and hair re-growth. It is not for nothing is it called the 'building block of life'.
Here is the full recipe of Usal by Hotel Taj Blue Diamond, Pune.
You can also try this simpler version of Usal that leaves out coconut and jaggery
Try it at home and let us know how you like it in the comments below.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.