This Kolhapuri Misal is a delicious spicy version of the traditional Maharashtrian misal recipe (a popular Mumbai street food dish) that is served with soft pav and crunchy farsan.
It’s one of my absolute favorite street foods (second only to the Mumbai style chaat dishes) and it’s also the one dish I consistently gorged on in my college canteen.
Though they made several different variations of misal. Some variations used sprouts, and some others used yellow vatana, which was basically not even misal, but yellow vatana usal.
The recipe I’m sharing today is a more traditional misal recipe, made using sprouts as the base. And I have used moong sprouts, but you can use the kind of sprouts you prefer. Matki / moth beans are a popular choice too.
Also, I usually double the recipe I have shared below to make a big batch that we can feast on the weekends for brunch or take in potluck parties.
Because whether it’s a weekend treat or a potluck dish, there are few things that are a surefire hit like a hot and spicy bowl of Kolhapuri Misal.
Difference between Misal and Usal
Like I mentioned above, many times the terms misal and usal are used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Even though there are many similarities, it’s not the same dish.
The base is usually the same, and it involves cooking legumes in onion and tomato masala. And both misal and usal are served with pav.
But there are a few differences. Usal is usually a relatively semi dry curry, while misal usually has a higher water to legume ratio. And I say usually because there are always exceptions. And people adapt dishes to suit their preferences.
But most importantly, usal is served with pav, while misal is served with crunchy farsan, raw onions, coriander leaves, and lemon slices, along with pav.
What You Need to Make Misal Pav at Home
This is one of those dishes that at first seem to require quite a few ingredients, but when you’ll look at the list below, you see most of the ingredients are really basic items you’ll require to make most Indian curries anyway.
To start with, you’ll need bean sprouts to make misal. Both moong beans and matki /moth beans are commonly used to make this dish. Choose whichever one you prefer.
For flavouring the misal, you’ll need whole garam spices like peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, and mace. Along with whole red chillies, garlic, and dry coconut powder.
Then you’ll need the essentials to make curry like onions, tomatoes, salt, chilli powder and haldi powder.
Finally, you’ll need coriander leaves for garnish, along with fresh lemon and crunchy farsan.
Oh and the pav of-course. 🙂
How to Make Kolhapuri Misal Pav
To begin with, you need moong sprouts. If you don’t have them ready, sprouting the moong beans is pretty simple.
For Sprouting Moong Beans
Soak the moong beans in water for 12 – 18 hours, then rinse them, and strain the excess water using a colander. Then cover the colander with a light breathable cloth, and let the moong beans sit in the colander for 12 – 18 hours.
Depending on the weather of the place you live in, this might be enough for the moong beans to sprout.
If the moong beans haven’t sprouted, you might need to do another round of soaking and straining.
Sometimes instead of straining, loosely tying the moong beans in a muslin cloth also helps. But I find it easier to simply soak and strain, so I stick with that.
Once the moong beans have sprouted, their outer covers will start to come off. So wash and rinse these moong sprouts well to get rid of as much of these outer covers as possible.
Then boil the moong sprouts with fresh water, salt and turmeric for 15-20 minutes on medium flame, or till it comes to a proper boil, and then set aside.
Misal Main Roast
In a wide pan, heat up a little oil, and then first roast the whole garam masala spices, then garlic, and then finely chopped onions, till the onions have turned golden brown in color.
To this add chopped tomatoes, roasted red chillies, and red chilli powder. Mix well, and saute for 3-5 minutes, before you turn off the heat.
In another pan, dry roast the coconut powder on low heat, till the coconut powder has changed color, turning reddish. Add this dry roasted coconut powder to the onion tomato spice mix.
Once the spice mix has cooled down a bit, puree it in the blender with some water, to make a smooth paste.
Making Misal Curry
In a deep pot, heat up a little oil, and add a little kashmiri chilli powder, and lightly fry the chilli powder for 30-60 seconds, ensuring not to burn the powder.
Then add the pureed masala, moong sprouts (along with the retained water), some salt, red chilli powder (this is optional), and some more fresh water, and bring everything to a boil.
Once there is a proper boil, turn down the heat, and let the curry simmer for a few minutes, before turning off the heat.
The misal curry is now ready.
The only thing left to do is to add the tari. But it’s optional, especially if you have low spice tolerance.
And anyway, if you look closely, you will already see a light tari floating on top of the curry, even without adding any additional tari. That is mostly because of roasting the chilli powder in oil, before making the curry.
That being said, if you love spicy zanzanit misal, you should definitely add additional tari.
Misal Tari / Tari Recipe
Making the misal tari is really simple. All you need is to roast a little chilli powder in heated oil.
For this recipe, I heat up 2 tbsp oil, and roast 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder in it for 30 seconds or so.
Then I usually add all of the tari in the misal curry. But if you have folks with varying spice tolerance at home, then don’t add tari to the main curry, and set it aside for folks who want to add it to their bowl of misal.
How to Serve Misal Pav
Kolhapuri Misal is best served along with pav, chopped onions, chopped coriander leaves, lemon wedges, and farsan.
Suggestions to Cut Down the Spice Level
If you want to reduce the spice level of this dish, while retaining the awesome flavours, there are a few things you can do.
1. Skip adding red chilli powder wherever mentioned in the recipe. No need to substitute it with something less spicy like kashmiri chilli powder. Just skip it totally.
2. If you want to further cut down the spice level, also skip using whole red chillies.
3. And finally, do not add the additional tari at the end.
More breakfast recipes:
How to make Maharashtrian Kande Pohe
How to make Soft, Fluffy Upma
This recipe has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2019.
Spicy Kolhapuri Misal Recipe | Maharashtrian Misal Pav
For Moong Prep:
- 1/2 cup of moong beans or 2 cups of moong sprouts
- 2 cup water
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp haldi / turmeric powder
For Misal Main Roast:
For making the Misal curry:
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 2 cup water
- ½ cup coriander leaves chopped
For making the Misal tari:
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
For serving along with Misal:
- chopped onions
- chopped coriander leaves
- a few slices of lemon
- any crunchy farsan you prefer
For getting Moong beans to sprout:
- Soak the moong beans in water for 12-18 hours.
- Then rinse them well, and strain the excess water using a colander.
- Cover the colander with a light breathable cloth, and let the moong beans sit in the colander for 12 - 18 hours.
- This should give you moong sprouts (see notes below on what to do if your moong beans have not sprouted by this method).
- If you already have moong sprouts, just follow the recipe from this point onwards.
For Moong prep:
- Once the moong beans have sprouted, their outer covers will start to come off. Wash and rinse these moong sprouts well to get rid of as much of these outer covers as possible.
- Then in a pot, add moong sprouts with fresh water, salt, haldi / turmeric powder, and mix well.
- Cook covered on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or till it starts boiling. Then turn off the heat, and set the boiled moong sprouts aside, retaining the water in which the moong sprouts were boiled.
For Misal main roast:
- In a wide pan, heat up a little oil, and roast garlic cloves, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, mace, and red chillies, till the garlic cloves change color, turning light red.
- Then add in the chopped onions and salt, and saute on medium flame till the onions turn golden brown.
- While you saute onions, in another pan - dry roast the dry coconut powder till it is well roasted to a reddish color.
- Once the onions are done, add in the chopped tomatoes and red chilli powder, and saute for 2-3 minutes till everything is mixed well.
- Then mix in the roasted coconut powder, turn off the heat, and set aside for 15-20 minutes, till the roasted items cool off a bit.
- Finally, in a mixie - blend the roasted onion-tomato-spice mix with fresh water to form a smooth paste.
For making the Misal curry:
- In a deep pot, heat up a little oil, add kashmiri chilli powder to it, and mix it in. Ensure the oil is warm but not burning hot when you add the chilli powder to it, else the chilli powder will burn.
- Then add the onion-tomato-spice paste from the mixie, the sprouted moong (along with the retained water from boiling the moong), salt, chilli powder, more fresh water, and bring the curry to a proper boil.
- Once the curry has come to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes, then turn off the heat. The misal curry is ready to serve.
Optional additions to Misal:
- Chopped coriander leaves - Once the curry is done, you can choose to add the chopped coriander leaves to it or serve it on the side later.
- Spicy tari - I highly recommend adding this to the misal at the end, especially if you like your curry spicy. And it will only take 2 minutes to make, as shared below.
How to make Misal tari:
- In a small tempering pan – heat up 2 tbsp oil and add in 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder.
- Mix it well, and after 30 seconds or so, turn off the heat and pour the tari in your kolhapuri misal.
- Ensure to have the oil be warm, but not very hot, else it'll burn the chilli powder.
- Depending on the weather of the place you live in, the moong beans may not sprout with just one round of soaking and straining. In which case, repeat the process of soaking for 12 hours and rinsing and straining for 12 hours. Alternatively, you can wrap the moong beans in a muslin cloth, and let it rest in a warm place.
- Do not rush or skip roasting the onions to a proper golden brown color, even though it’s time consuming, because it’s key to this recipe. But you can reduce the time taken by using a wider pan.
- Like the title suggests, this is a relatively spicy variation of the misal. If you want to tone down the spice level, just use kashmiri chilli wherever mentioned, but skip the red chilli powder. Don’t even substitute red chilli powder with kashmiri chilli powder, just skip it. If you want to cut down the spice further, skip the whole red chillies. And totally leave out the tari.
I’ve done my very best to share the exact measurements, and outline every step, but if something is not clear to you, or you have questions about quantities or alternatives, or anything at all, feel free to ask in the comments. I promise to reply to every single query.
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