Sunday, June 29, 2014

Potato soup - a 'soup'er bowl of potatoes for a hearty, healthy soup

Didn't I just talk about Summer and summer solstice in my last post? I did and showed you pictures of gorgeous summer too. And yet here I am with a soup recipe which is typically made on a cold day. Well, that is typical of where I live and one of the reasons I love this place. Summer started off bright & cheery last week but then the weekend has gone back to the old ways of gray skies and occasional showers bringing the temperature down a bit and making you crave for something warm & hearty. While pongal/huggi/khichdi is my all time favorite comfort food, a hot bowl of soup with a side of good, crusty bread brings a smile to the faces in my family and it saves a lot of time and effort in cooking, a win-win for a week day dinner. Less cooking, less cleaning and everyone is happy :-). And then it is perfect for the weekend before the travel when you are trying to finish up those last remaining pieces of vegetables and the potatoes in your pantry.
Did I say travel? Yep and now you know the reason why my spirits are high and the grin won't stop quickly even on a cold, cloudy day. I am off for a vacation in a couple of days and excited beyond expression, looking forward to seeing family, sitting down holding hands together, eat a little , talk a lot and do everything you do when you go home. So my posts will be somewhat infrequent but I will keep increasing the size of my pictures folders and draft posts until I can sit down and polish them nicely for presentation. Happy Summer everyone, keep talking, stay healthy.

I have been exploring the Seattle downtown market area on my way to & from work whenever possible and have found many hidden treasures by way of small, local businesses. There is a bakery called '3 girls bakery' in the market area which bakes and sells fresh bread. If you go towards the evening, they are almost always out of bread which kind of indicates they make bread fresh daily :-). I have got a few French baguettes, a super hearty whole wheat raisin bread which have both become our favorites. But we all love their mini sour dough breads, they are just the right size for us if we share and works as a beautiful soup holder for soup of any kind.
Soups are not common in Indian cuisine, I tasted them only after we moved here and what a variety of soups there is if you love the feeling it creates as the hot spoonful goes down the throat and lights up a tired body on a cold day. Yumm! I used to think there were not many vegetarian soups available but since the time I started making soups I have experimented with different vegetables and spices/herbs to create soups that we all love. If you love veggies and herbs, there is no limit to the number of soup variations you can create.

I have a few soups already on the blog (check out the recipe index for links) but today's is an especially creamy and delicious soup with crumbly bites of potato chunks and broccoli that will make you feel rested as you gulp down a bowlful (or a breadful :-)). I first tasted this soup in an office party, a colleague had brought this for the vegetarians in the group. I took a small serving hesitantly but went back to it eagerly for a second and third time. While you can eat it paired with any bread, sourdough makes a great combination as it lends that tangy taste to the slightly bland soup. And it is super easy to put together and can be customized to taste.

Now that the monsoons have reached most parts of India and while the weather is still mild in most parts of the USA, this soup makes a wonderful dinner with minimal work. I have used fresh oregano in this recipe as I have a plant that is really growing wild :-) but you can substitute with dry oregano. Go ahead, give it a try and let me know how you liked it. We kicked off our weekend last Friday with this yummy soup in a sourdough bowl and polished it all up nicely.

What do you need to make potato soup?
3 medium sized potatoes
1 small piece of broccoli (optional but recommended)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove of garlic (increase it if you like the flavor)
1/4 cup of chopped celery (optional, I like the flavor in my soups)
1 Tsp olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 Tsp freshly ground black pepper powder
10-12 leaves of fresh oregano or 1/2 Tsp dried oregano
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
pinch of dry mango powder/amchur powder
How do you make potato soup?
  • Wash, scrub and chop the potatoes into bite sized cubes. If using yukon gold or red potatoes (which have thin skins), I like to leave the skin on. 
  • Chop broccoli into small florets.
  • Chop onions and celery (if using).
  • Heat a stock pot or soup pot on medium heat, add olive oil. 
  • Add the chopped onion and let it sweat for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add the celery and broccoli and stir fry them for another minute. 
  • Add the potato pieces and continue to fry for another 2 minutes until the vegetables get coated well with oil and start to soften. 
  • Add salt, 1/2 Tsp of black pepper powder. 
  • If you are using dry oregano add it at this stage along with 3 cups of water. 
  • Cover and let cook for 8-10 minutes until potatoes turn soft. 
  • If you are using fresh oregano, add them after potatoes turn soft. 
  • Simmer the stove, scoop out most of the vegetables into a blender jar, leave some potato and broccoli pieces for bite.
  • Make a smooth paste of the cooked vegetables, return them to the pot. 
  • Add milk, adjust salt, pepper to taste and let it come to a boil. 
  • Switch off and serve hot soup with bread or crackers. 
  • I had a baby, sour dough bread I had bought, we used that as the soup holder. Rich, delicious soup with equally yummy bread made up for the rainy evening dinner. 
  • You can add chopped carrots to this recipe. 
  • You can use butter instead of olive oil for more flavor and ofcourse more fat :-)
  • If you want a vegan version, replace milk with almond or cashew milk. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sweet corn Dose - nothing corny about this delicious breakfast

Yesterday was Summer solstice or official beginning of Summer for the year. Having enjoyed the mildly warm temperatures of the Spring (or "Vasantha" as it is called in Kannada) - the most joyous, coming back to life season of the year, I am looking forward to a great Summer too. How about you?
Our Summer doesn't coincide with the summer back home in India. When leaves started sprouting a few weeks back here, my extended family in India was already sighing at the hot temperatures there :-). Now when summer starts here, it is monsoon there - showers bringing the temperature down. And the cycle of catch up continues. The childhood summer synonymous with school vacations and plenty of free time has been replaced for a long time with short spurts of breaks or extended weekends and continued work. I still enjoy the season for their longer day time.
Along with a cheerful sun comes the bonus of fresh vegetables in most places and I love the sweet corns I get here. Don't mistake me, I love the Indian 'Bhutta' too but while it is called 'corn' in India, it is actually a type of Maize and usually harder grains than the sweet corn. While the Indian variety is perfect for roasting (and eating with spicy green chili paste, salt & lemon juice), American sweet corn is extremely tender and lends itself to be eaten raw, steamed or cooked. I relive my corn country stay by buying bushels of corn cobs in season. Now that it is summer, all the farmers markets are brimming with fresh corn and I usually get them every week. DD loves the buttered up, 'chat-ey' version of the corn (will get that recipe sometime on the blog) and I use them in cutlets, kabobs and other dishes. It is a great ingredient to add flavor and some body to the dish.

Bored of eating the same kind of dose every time? How about some variety? I had seen this corn dosa recipe in a Tarla Dalal book which used rice flour. I prefer to make my dosas from scratch unless it is a known 'quick fix' dosa like the godhi dosa or oats dosa or rava dosa. So I went ahead to make some modifications, soaked rice, ground it with some chilies, onion & ginger along with fresh sweet corn. Made to rest overnight, this batter produced super delicious (not needing any accompaniments on the side), thin & crispy or thick & fluffly dosas. You can also make them as soon as you grind them but I like to grind it up the previous night for a next morning breakfast. They were golden yellow in color with a pronounced corn flavor. Delicious addition to the breakfast list.
While enjoying this easy, yummy dosa, also enjoy some Spring pictures from my neck of the woods. Some are from our yard and some clicked on the road at random places - the theme is the season itself in all its glory.

What do you need to make sweet corn dosa?
1.5 cups rice (I used sona masoori)
3/4 cup sweet corn kernels (use fresh ones in season)
1/2 Tsp fenugreek seeds
2 Tbsp thick poha/avalakki/flattened rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
2-3 green chilies
1 inch piece ginger
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
oil to roast dosa
How do you make sweet corn dosa?
  • Wash and soak rice, poha and fenugreek seeds in 3 cups of water for 4-5 hours. 
  • Peel the outer cover of the corns and with a sharp knife, separate out the kernels from the cob. 
  • Rinse and wash the soaked rice, let the water drain out. 
  • Grind rice to a smooth paste using 1/2 - 3/4 cup of water. 
  • Once the rice loses the grainy texture, add the corn, chopped onion, green chilies and ginger and continue to grind until everything is smooth.
  • Mix well, keep aside to rest for 5-6 hours or overnight. It doesn't really ferment like the regular dosa but the resting period makes the dosas softer.
  • Add salt and mix well. Adjust consistency with water if needed. 
  • Prepare a flat griddle/dosa pan on medium heat, once ready, pour a ladlefull of batter and in a quick circular motion, spread the batter in to a thin circle. 
  • Put a few drops of oil around the dosa and let it cook for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add finely chopped onion and/or green chilies on top to enhance taste. 
  • Flip the dosa over and cook for 30 seconds. 
  • Serve hot with chutney or any powders of your choice. 
  • You can make thin, crispy dosas or slightly thick & fluffy dosas with this batter. Thicker the batter, thicker will be the dosa. Adjust the consistency. 
  • You can add chopped onion, green chilies on top of the dosa when you first spread the batter to make it spicier. 
  • Substitute with canned or frozen sweet corn if you don't get fresh corn but be forewarned that the taste will differ. If you are using frozen corn, you should soak it in warm water to bring it to room temperature before grinding.
  • I usually add salt to my dosa batter before making dosas - this keeps the batter from becoming watery. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ele kadubu also called Kai Kadubu - a succulent sweet dish from the deep interiors of Karnataka

I am back with a regional delicacy from the interiors of Malnadu/Malnad in Karnataka. It is a sweet very unlike anything you may have eaten thus far but has the ability to hook you on the first bite and keep you asking for more :-). I would say this is a very elegant and artistic dessert that is fit for a weekend indulgence with family or to treat friends on occasions. It has a succulent coconut jaggery filling wrapped in a thin layer of ground rice and steamed in fresh turmeric or banana leaves that impart their natural flavors to the dish. I am talking about Ele Kadubu (~Steamed dumpling made in leaves) or Kai kadubu (dumplings made with coconut) as it is called in the Malnad region. This dish is very popular in South Karnataka/Mangalore region too and goes by the name of 'Genasale'. I have seen this dish also called Pathol/Patholo on the borders of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

What is so special about this steamed dumpling? The way it is made, there are other similar (from an end product perspective) looking dumplings, I have one of them here. But the Ele kadubu varies from this version in the way it is prepared using a leaf (Ele ~ leaf and usually fresh turmeric leaves are used) and if you are not used to dishes cooked in leaves, you obviously have the question mark on your face now asking, "Why"? Here is why.. fresh turmeric leaves impart a beautiful aroma to the dish and from a very consumeristic goal, it reduces clean up effort since all you have to do is, unwrap the leaf, eat the kadubu, put the leaf into the backyard composter for reuse. Let us back up a little bit to the aroma advantage, this is slightly hard to describe but all I can say is for you to trust me on this and believe that wrapping in turmeric leaves makes the dish totally delectable.
I remember having talked about our precious turmeric leaves in Mysore home in one of my earlier posts. Once when doddamma (amma's older sister) visited us, she exclaimed at the fresh green turmeric leaves in the yard and was really surprised at the ignorance of her city bred sister's family. So the sisters got together and made this out of the world dish for us :-). Doddamma lived her entire life in the heart of Malnad and was an awesome cook. But then that was long time ago and somehow nammamma never took to making this often as she made the sweet version the other way. Sometimes, one experience is all it takes for something to make a lasting impression. I fell in love with this kadubu.
A couple of years back, while in India, DD & I went to meet up an old collegue of mine. His parents live with him and aunty had made a delicious lunch of vegetable pulav, raita, home made papads, rice, rasam etc and I was already feeling like a bloated boat when she brought us the yummy looking sweet. Something popped and I knew exactly where and when I had eaten it before and without my usual, "I don't really eat much sweets" etc, I grabbed a kadubu. DD was looking at me as if I could cover for her but since she didn't get any encouragement from me and not being able to say 'No' to the sweet lady, she took one bite gingerly. I could tell from the gleam in her eyes and the speed at which she went back for the second bite that we were two peas from the same pod :-). Needless to say, I made aunty explain the how & what of the dish in detail. Like I said, she called it Genasale and told me that banana leaves can be used in the absence of turmeric leaves and mentioned that they add chopped jackfruit pieces when the fruit is in season. We came back home completely satiated.
I had this on my list to post for a while now but today is as good as any other. I am hitting my 250th food post with this and so I thought this was a good dish to celebrate with. For someone who started blogging for no good reason other than to record my way of cooking, this number means that I am able to sustain. I know I haven't been going at it regularly but then speed has not been one of my concerns. I am happy to share some stories about the dish with you guys and if some of you try it and like them, I feel I have accomplished what I set out to do. Looking for your feedback as always.
While Arishina (Turmeric) leaf gives the best aroma for this kadubu, you can make it with banana leaves which are easier to procure. We have banana plants in pots, started with one and in 2 years they have become three. They are not fruit bearing but I just love the green leaves as they sway happily in the wind. We bring the pots inside during the cold months but they get to enjoy sun shine just like the rest of us during the summer. I used the leaves from my small plant.

We got a couple pieces of jack fruit from the store the other day and I decided to make the ele kadubu with jack fruit. The only problem at my home is that DD takes after her ajji (grand mother) and loves jack fruits and they get over in minutes when we bring some home. I stuck a bargain with DD to keep some pieces of the fruit aside for the kadubu and used them the next morning. The jack fruit I got was slightly orange-ish in color, very sweet and extremely aromatic. I also made some savory ones with an urad dal filling just to make it a complete brunch. Yummm!

Don't you think this makes for a beautiful Father's day breakfast/brunch? Happy Father's day to all you wonderful dads! 
What do you need to make Ele Kadubu? 
For the batter
2 cups rice (sona masoori)
1 cup grated coconut
pinch of salt
1/2 -3/4 cup water
For the stuffing
1 cup grated jaggery
1 cup grated coconut
1 Tsp water
1/4 Tsp freshly powdered cardamom
2 Tbsp chopped jackfruit (optional & seasonal)
A few banana leaves
Tsp of ghee

How do you make Ele kadubu?
  • Soak rice for 4-6 hours, longer soaking softens rice further and makes it easy to grind.
  • Wash, rinse the soaked rice and grind it with 1 cup of coconut and a pinch of salt until really smooth.
  • When you feel the batter between your fingers, there should be no grainy texture.
  • Prepare the sweet filling like so: Heat a pan, add the grated/crushed jaggery and Tsp of water and mix in on medium heat until jaggery dissolves. Add the grated coconut and cardamom powder. Mix well and switch off.
  • Wash, pat dry the banana leaves and hold them for a couple of seconds on the hot stove. This step not only removes any insects on the leaf but also softens them and makes pliable for folding over.
  • Take a softened banana leaf, lay it on a flat surface, spread a drop of ghee all over on it.
  • Put a Tbsp of the batter on top and spread into a thin layer.
  • Put the sweet stuffing on top leaving a small gap from the edges.
  • If using jackfruit, add the pieces on top.
  • Fold the leaf in the middle gently and put it in a steamer container. I use my idli stand.
  • Prepare the rest of the kadubus in the same way, arrange them in a steamer basket or on idli plates and steam cook for 12-15 minutes or until a knife pushed through the kadubu comes out clean.
  • Let cool for a minute or so after switching off, peel the leaf layer slowly to uncover the yummy kadubu.
  • Serve it with a drop of ghee for a satiating experience.
  • This kadubu is best eaten warm and fresh. The outer layer tends to become hard and chewy if kept for long or refrigerated. If you make a large batch, do not peel the leaves while storing, re-steam them to warm up just before serving. 
  • The consistency of the batter should be thicker than regular dosa batter, it should be easy to spread but not runny so you cannot fold the leaf over. 
  • I made a simple khara (savory) filling with urad dal - soak, grind urad dal (or replace it with moong or chana dal if you like that taste better) corasely along with a couple of green chilies and ginger. Steam this for 10 minutes to par-cook. Once cool, crumble the steamed dal. Make a seasoning of mustard, curry leaves and add the crumbled urad dal and roast on low heat until cooked and sorta dry. Add grated coconut, salt to taste. Use this to fill the kadubu for a delicious savory version. 

  • You can reuse the banana leaves a couple of times but I would suggest starting with enough pieces so you can steam them at one go. 
  • Spreading a drop of ghee on the leaf gives a glossy finish to the kadubu and upps its taste.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Misal/Usal Pav - A chat from the state of Maharashtra that sets your tongue on fire but has you craving for more :-)

How many of you love chats? I do, I am an addict, can have it any time of the day. How many of you love spicy chats :-)?, I do, spicier the better for me. Every region in India has its own specialty chats and ultimately they are all tangy, sweet, spicy, salt, crunchy with loads of texture and flavors intertwined together. The best part about chats is that it is assembled per individual taste and you can make it to suit your own palate.

Usal/Misal is a popular chat from the state of Maharashtra in Western India. If I were to de-synthesize this chat for the uninitiated, it would be a dal/legume curry made with spices and served with pav (bread). Does that sound interesting or even remotely 'chat-ey' to you? Precisely the reason why one shouldn't translate everything in life, some things are best left in their original form, shape and language and some imagination. But here is the thing about this seemingly humble combination of dal & bread, it is set miles apart from any dal & bread you may have had so far by the special spices that go in to the preparation and the way it is served. If I were to stick to the dal-bread combination, I would say this is the best ever dal-bread I have had.
The first time I had this chat was (where else but) in Mumbai. That trip was a first in many respects, I had ventured out of the comfort zone of Mysore for the first time, had made an overnight train journey all by myself for the first time and was excited beyond words to be in the mahanagar (Metro). I had an older cousin who was married a few years back, settled and become a full fledged Mumbaikar (or Bombayite as she would be called then) who was my care taker for the 4 days I stayed and took it upon herself to show me the place once my exams were over (the very reason I had to go there :-)). So the second day we went out with another lady friend of hers and my little, toddler nephew to see the sights and do some shopping. I don't remember buying anything big, I was just getting out of college, didn't have much money on me but I very vividly remember being awestruck by the hustle bustle of the city. It was on the opposite spectrum of activity compared to my charming, quaint Mysore. The city didn't seem to sleep at all in contrast to Mysore which wakes up in slow motion every morning. The rains would wash over you abruptly in short bursts in Bombay which nobody seemed to mind compared to the predictable down pours in Mysore always preceded by the warning dark clouds. Everything from the crowded chawls (apartments) where people easily shared lives with neighbors to the busy streets where people just went about their lives without even acknowledging those next to them was in contrast to everything I had seen in Mysore for almost 2 decades of my life :-).

Off we went to some mandatory beach visits and shopping where my cousin proved her recently acquired skills of haggling with the vendors and reducing the price to half of what was quoted originally :-). After a long day of moving around we were all tired and hungry and she took me to a small store for some Mumbai specials. Since I had not even heard the names of more than half of the offerings there, she picked a bhel puri and and a misal pav for me to try. While bhel puri was something I liked and had experienced with, it was the misal pav I was blown away with totally. Once I knew how to bring the ingredients together to make a perfect spoonful there was just no stopping me from cleaning up that bowl of fiery hot, spicy misal garnished with crunchy farsan (meddly of deep fried snack), yumm!
Since then, I have looked out on the menu of many places I have visited to have that experience again. I found a joint in California once which claimed they had misal pav but when ordered it was so lifeless from what I always remembered and total disappointment that I stopped going to that place. The guy had absolutely no idea how to make a misal pav. When I discovered the online blogs a few years back, that was one of the first recipes I looked up and came across many variations and I picked and combined two from here and here that seemed authentic to me (blogs written by people from Maharashtra) and was pleasantly surprised to recreate the magic at home. Here is my recipe of this favorite chat and to give you the full experience while eating it, here is a cute song showing a Bombay of the 1970s from one of my favorite Basu Chatterji movie.

Making the misal pav is a multi step process and is slightly laborious. But if you sequence and plan your activities in advance, the ingredients are reused multiple times and you will end up with a great chat experience. Also, since this uses sprouted beans, you have to start the process atleast 3 days in advance depending on your climate and allow enough time for the beans to sprout. Or alternatively, you can use store bought sprouts if they are easily available. I will try and lay out the process and indicate what can be done ahead of time since this can be made in bulk and is a great party pleaser recipe and you can score some brownie points at your next get together :-). While there are slight variations of the misal pav across regions in the state, the basic concept is the same and the Kolhapuri misal tops the chart both for the taste and the spiciness.  Usal is the drier version of the recipe and misal has the gravy. You can prepare it either way according to your preference. I like it to have some gravy and then top it with the spicy Kat or cutt, the misal pav essential curry. Since this is a long procedure and I have pictures to go with it, I will cut down on my non essential chatting for now and lead you over to the world of spicy, delicious misal pav.
The entire process can be divided into:
1. Soak the beans and let them sprout
2. Make Kolhapuri chutney (which is a dry chutney hence also called Kolhapuri masala)
3. Prepare Kat/cutt/spicy curry
4. Prepare Misal
5. Assemble Misal & serve with Pav.
What do you need to make misal pav? 
Serves 4-5 people
For the Kolhapuri masala/chutney
2 Tbsp Coriander seeds
1 Tsp sesame seeds (I used white)
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1/2 Tsp black pepper
2 cloves
1/4 Tsp fennel seeds
2 Tbsp grated dry coconut (Kobbari/copra)
1/3 cup red chili powder (This is the primary cause of spice, adjust to taste)
1/4 cups thinly sliced onion
2 garlic cloves (increase per your tolerance) - chopped small
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro - washed and patted dry
1 Tbsp oil
How do you make Kolhapuri masala/chutney? - Make it the previous day
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat and dry roast all 7 ingredients from the top (up to dry coconut) until fragrant, takes 3-5 minutes. 
  • Take it aside on to a plate and let cool. 
  • Add oil to the pan, add onion, garlic and chopped cilantro until they turn brown. Keep aside to cool. 
  • Once cool, blend all of them together to a semi dry paste without adding any water (start the blender on pulse mode until they come together and then blend them)
  • Add the red chili powder and blend it once more. 
  • Take this aside into a dry container and keep it covered until ready to use.
For the Kat/cutt
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
2 Tbsp grated coconut (fresh/frozen)
2 piecs of kokum or a small gooseberry sized tamarind
1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida
1/2 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
2 Tbsp Kolhapuri masala/chutney
3 Tbsp oil - divided use

How do you make Kat/cutt? - Make it the previous day
  • Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan and add the kolhapuri masala and roast on low heat for 30 secs to a minute untill the raw smell is gone. Take care not to burn it. 
  • Add the finely chopped onion and tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat until they turn limp. 
  • Add the grated coconut and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes until you see oil popping around the edges. I don't use much oil and hence this step is not critical for me, I look for roasting the ingredients well and removing any raw smell. 
  • Switch off, cool the mixture and grind it to a smooth paste using 1/2 cup of water. 
  • Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add asafoetida and turmeric powder and the paste from above. Add about 1 cup of water to thin it down. 
  • Add the kokum or tamarind juice, salt, taste and adjust. 
  • Let the mixture boil for a few minutes. 
  • Switch off and set aside. 
For the Misal 
1 cup dry matki or moth beans (you can mix moong/whole green gram with it)
1 medium sized potato
1 large onion onion - divided use
2 kokum pieces or a small gooseberry sized tamarind
1 Tsp jaggery (adjust to taste)
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 heaped Tbsp Kolhapuri masala
2 Tbsp grated coconut (fresh/frozen)
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tsp mustard
1 Tsp cumin
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida
a few curry leaves

How do you make Usal/Misal? - Start the process 2-3 days in advance
  • Pick any dirt or stones from the beans, wash them a couple of times and soak them in 2-3 times of water overnight. 
  • Next morning, drain all the water, wash and transfer the soaked beans to a dish cloth. 
  • Bring the edges of the cloth together to cover it, place it in a bowl and keep it covered in a dark, warm place (a closed oven works best). 
  • Sprinkle a spoon of water on top of the cloth a couple of times to keep the beans moist.
  • Let it stay put for 30-48 hours for the sprouts to be ready. 
  • Heat a Tbsp of oil, add 1/2 cup of chopped onion and fry until it is translucent. 
  • Add the Kolhapuri masala and the grated coconut and roast for a couple of minutes. 
  • Cool and grind to a smooth paste with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add the seasoning ingredients one by one, let the mustard pop. 
  • Add the remaining chopped onion and fry until they sweat. 
  • Add the sprouts, cubed potatoes, ground masala paste and salt. 
  • Mix well to homogenize the masala. 
  • Add 4-5 cups of water, cover and cook until the sprouts are tender and potatoes are cooked. It takes about an hour if you cook it in open, instead you can transfer the contents to a pressure cooker at this point and cook fro 2-3 whistles. 
  • Once the sprouts are cooked soft, add the kokum/tamarind juice, adjust taste as needed and let it boil once. 
  • You can make this dry (Usal) or with gravy (Misal), adjust the consistency with water. 
How do you eat Misal Pav? 
finely chopped onion
finely chopped tomato
finely chopped cilantro
Bowl of crunchy, crispy farsan or your favorite fried mixture
handful of roasted peanuts
1/4 cup of whisked yogurt
Lemon juice
Pav or bread slices
To assemble, take a bowl and ladle out the prepared misal. Add a spoon of Kat all over the top of misal. Add yogurt, finely chopped onion, tomato, cilantro. Top it with farsan/mixture. Add lemon juice on top. Keep Kat in a bowl on the side. Serve it with pav. 

To eat, break a slice of pav, dip it in the spicy Kat, use this piece to scoop up the assembled misal and put it in the mouth. Don't forget to play the song in the background to get the full experience :-). It is an explosion of flavors in the mouth that you will never forget. 
  • As I have found, the Kolhapuri masala/chutney is very versatile, add a small spoon of it to your curries or dry subzis to enhance flavor. Due to the addition of onion, garlic and cilantro this masala has a short shelf life, preserve it in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Roast the ingredients until they are well browned but not burnt. 
  • I always end up with more Kat than we can consume with the misal but find it easy to use in other curries. 
  • Kolhapuri masala or chutney is the lifeline of this dish, go ahead and prepare a fresh batch when you need for the ultimate taste.