Misal Pav

misal pav 1

Street Food – these words itself makes me hungry and salivate. Come rain or shine, I love street food, period! One bite is never enough. It has an innate quality of making one crave for more. Eat a bite and every possible flavour dances on your palate. Street food often stirs in so many memories for each of us in some way or the other. Rushing out of the school gate to enjoy some typical street style ice popsicles or enjoying hot road side fritters during monsoons or probably gulping down one pani puri after another just because it is so darn good. Pure nostalgia.

Been born and brought up in Kolkata, you didn’t have a choice but to love the plethora of street food options bestowed upon you. From the world’s best pani puris to jhaalmuri, you need to try. My palate only got exposed to these yummy street treats until I stumbled upon Misal Pav. I loved it at the first instance – bursting with dominant Indian spices. The earthiness from the sprouts, the extra buttered pavs and the medley of flavours in the gravy (‘kat’) – all come together so well that you won’t be able to stop.

Have it for breakfast, Sunday brunch or for a good healthy lunch – this dish is a must try!


METHOD: (For 2 people)

For Usal:

  • 1/4 cup moth beans, soaked 2 days in advance
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 – 7 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (you can make it 1.5 tsp in case you like it to be more spicy)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

For Kat/ Gravy:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green chili, cut lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp jaggery powder
  • salt, to taste

For Serving:

  • 4 – 6 pavs
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup farsan
  • 3 – 4 lemon wedge

misal pav 2


For Usal:

  • Soak the moth beans 2 days in advance and let it sprout. Once sprouted put it in the pressure cooker along with cut potatoes, water, turmeric powder and salt and allow it to cook for 1 – 2 whistle.
  • Let the steam escape completely and then open the lid. Drain the excess water (do not throw it) and keep the boiled mixture aside.
  • Heat the saucepan on medium heat. Once heated add vegetable oil and mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  • Now add the curry leaves and chopped onion and let it saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Once it is light brown add ginger garlic paste and cook it for 30 – 40 seconds.
  • Add the red chili powder, garam masala and salt and saute for 30 – 40 seconds. Now add the boiled potato and moth mixture along with 3 – 4 tbsp of water and cook it for a minute until it is semi dry.
  • Once moisture is gone, remove it from the flame. Mix the lemon juice into the mixture and keep aside.

For the Gravy/ Kat:

  • Heat the saucepan on medium flame. Once heated add half of the vegetable oil. Now add the green chili slice and onion slices and saute until its translucent.
  • Add in the chopped garlic cloves and ginger pieces and saute for 30 – 40 seconds.
  • Now add the diced tomato pieces and cook until they are mushy.
  • Add half of the red chili powder, salt and coriander powder and saute for a minute or so.
  • Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cooled make a smooth puree of the mixture.
  • Take a remaining oil in the same pan. Once hot add the above puree and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add salt, turmeric powder, remaining red chili powder, garam masala, tamarind paste and jaggery and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add the water from the boiled moth beans along with some more warm water and allow the mixture to come to a boil.
  • Then remove from heat and keep aside.

To serve:

  • Put a tawa on medium flame. Meanwhile butter the pavs and then place it on the tawa each side for a coupel of minutes until its crisp and light brown.
  • Now take a bowl, put a couple of spoons of the usal. Top it with the desired amount of gravy.
  • Garnish with chopped onions, tomatoes, farsan/mixture and cilantro. Serve with lemon wedge and buttered pavs!.

Oh so yum!


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