This recipe for Kolhapuri Misal comes from the famous Maharashtrian city of! It is a city named after the demon Kolhasura, whose dying wish it was that the city be named after him.
This city in Maharashtra is known for so many things:
- Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple. It is one of the six Shakti peethas. I love the peaceful ambiance of this temple. Traditionally,Venkateshwara bhaktas who visit Tirupati must visit Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple for their pilgrimage to be considered complete. That is how I got acquainted with this lovely city.
- It is the nerve centre for sugar production in Maharashtra; I always come back laden with jaggery and molasses.
- Kolhapuri Chappal, a particular type of leather slipper. If you lay your hands on the genuine article, it will last you ages and ages, and become more comfortable with each wear. I am loathe to discard my old kolhapuris even if they are falling apart.
- Kushti or wrestling.
- Jewellery. The Kolhapuri Saaj is a particular favourite with Maharashtrian brides.
- Marathi Film Industry. Apparently, the legendary silent movie Raja Harishchandra was conceptualised here.
And of course food! Kolhapur is famous for spicy non-vegetarian food; especially its mutton dishes. Foodies will wax eloquent about Tambada Rassa (mutton in red gravy) and Pandhara Rassa (mutton in white gravy).
In many Mumbai restaurants, there will always be a Vegetable Kolhapuri or Chicken Kolhapuri on the menu. This is the dish of choice for anyone with a craving for spicy food. Unfortunately, most of these dishes are just spicy and bear no resemblance to the original Kolhapuri cuisine.
One of the vegetarian dishes that Kolhapur is very famous for is Misal.
Misal literally means mixture, and that is what this dish is all about. It is a mix of sprouts, onions, tomatoes, peanuts, spices, and some farsan. A Misal essentially consists of two components; usal (sprouts) and kat or rassa (the gravy).
There are two versions of Misal popular in Maharashtra; Kolhapuri Misal and Puneri Misal. Kolhapuri Misal is very spicy unlike its competitor the Puneri Misal, which is comparatively milder.
If you get a Punekar and a Kolhapuri together, they can argue for hours on the merits of Puneri Misal and Kohalpuri Misal; and demerits thereof!
Do try my recipe for Farali Misal made with Potato and Sabudana. This is eaten on days of fasting such as Navratri and Ekadashi.
Given how long this post has gone on, you must wonder, if I will ever get to the recipe. 🙂 Here it is!
How to Make Kolhapuri Misal
Soaking Time for Sprouts: 12-16 hours
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Ingredients for Kat or Rassa
- Red Chilli Powder – 2-3 tbsp (if you don’t like it spicy, use Kashmiri or Deghi Mirch)
- Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
- Cumin Seeds or Jeera – 1 tsp
- Cinnamon – 1/2″ stick
- Cloves – 3
- White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Shredded Copra or Dry Coconut – 2 tbsp
- Fresh grated Coconut – 1 tbsp
- Peppercorns – 6 to 8
- Saunf or Fennel Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Onion – 1 Large
- Tomato – 1 Large
- Garlic Pods – 3
- Tamarind Paste – 1 tsp
- Jaggery – 1 tbsp (you can use sugar instead)
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt to taste
Ingredients for Usal
- Matki or Moth Beans – 1 Cup ( I used a mix of matki, moong, and safed vatana)
- Potato – 1 Large
- Peanuts – 1/4 Cup
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Pav – 4
- Farsan – 200 gms
- Onion – 1 Large
- Tomato – 1 Medium (optional)
- Lemon – 1
Method to Make Sprouts
- Soak the Matki in 2 cups of water for about 6 to 8 hours.
- After the matki has been soaked, drain the water.
- Wrap in a cotton cloth and set aside in a warm place for 6 to 8 hours.
Place the soaked sprouts in a casserole and set aside for 6 to 8 hours.
Method to Make the Masala
- Chop the onion into fine pieces.
- Chop the tomato into fine pieces.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corns, cloves, sesame seeds, fennel seeds.
- Set aside to cool.
- Grind the roasted spices to a fine powder.
- Add the red chilli powder and mix well.
- Set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat 1 tbsp oil.
- Add the garlic pods and stir fry till it starts to change colour.
- Add the onion and stir fry till it starts to become golden brown.
- Add the tomato pieces and stir fry till the tomato pieces are stewed.
- Add the ground masala and stir fry for 5 to 7 minutes till the raw smell disappears.
- Let the mix cool.
- Grind the tomato-onion mix, dried coconut and fresh coconut to a smooth paste.
Method to Make the Kat or Rassa
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil.
- Add the ground masala, turmeric, and asafoetida.
- Stir fry till the oil leaves the sides.
- Add about 4 cups of water.
- Add grated jaggery, salt and tamarind paste.
- Bring to a boil.
- Set aside till required.
Method to Make Usal
- Peel and chop the potato into 1/2″ cubes.
- Dry roast the peanuts.
- Heat the oil.
- Add the potatoes and stir-fry till it starts to turn light-brown.
- Add the peanuts and stir-fry till the peanuts start to pop.
- Add the sprouts and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water.
- Cook covered till the potato and sprouts are soft. Stir occasionally.
- Add just a pinch of salt and mix well.
- Set aside.
Putting the Misal Together
- Chop the onion and tomato into fine pieces.
- Cut the lemon into quarters.
- Take a deep dish.
- Ladle about 1/4 cup cooked usal/sprouts.
- Pour about a cup of Rassa/Kat over the usal.
- Garnish with farsan, onion, and tomatoes.
- Serve the Kolhapuri Misal with Laadi Pav and Lemon Wedge.