It is not an everyday thing to have Matkichi usal on the menu here in Blr at our home unlike in Mumbai. While in Mumbai we would have it almost once a week. In Blr I have to hunt for these legumes.
Matki, Moth or Moat is a small brown bean. It is particularly popular in Marathi and Gujarati cuisine, both make a slight variation of this Usal. Now Usal can be a dryish stir fry made with beans or a liquid curry. We like both the consistencies. It is a dry stir fry when I need to carry in the lunch box and watery for enjoyment at home.
Matki Usal is so much loved among Maharashtrians that it is one of those dishes that is enjoyed at any time of the day. A lightly flavored one for morning breakfast topped with grated coconut, for lunch, as an evening snack converted to a Sprouts Dahi Misal or at dinner time.
Yet the real secret lies in the spice, one may use simple spices for flavoring bean curries but for optimum taste a true Matkichi Usal has to be spiced with Goda masala or Kala Masala and jaggery adding an extra dimension to it. Yes those masalas are the ones that churned discussions all over the blogosphere sometime ago.
Though this is a traditional Marathi recipe it is not much popular with the carnivores that Kolis are. It's too tame for a Koli, almost to the point of dislike. However our family is a Matki Usal freak as much as a dal freak and has therefore earned the comment "Bhat zalet ho!" (They actually mean they have tamed, I won't do transliteration of the comment as I don't take pride in the conversion ;)).
1/2 cup Matki/ Moth Beans
Wash and soak Matki in water all night, the beans should be covered with sufficient amount of water. Drain the water in the morning and put onto a sieve or tie it up in a muslin cloth. It takes a day to sprout in summer, once the sprouts are as big as the beans they are ready for use. While they are sprouting just toss them around to aerate so they don't become slimy. A 1/2 cup of matki gives about 2 cups and a little more of sprouts
Making the Usal
2 cups matki sprouts1 onion chopped medium
2 tomatoes or 2 tablespoon tamarind pulp1/2 teaspoon Kala Masala or Goda Masala
1 green chili1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder1.5 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon jaggery powder
Heat oil in a wok. Fry the onions till translucent. Add the cut green chilies, turmeric, red chili powder, Kala or Goda masala mix thoroughly. Add the sprouted matki and stir to coat it with the masala and pour water enough to cover the sprouts. Cover and cook. It takes 20 mins to cook well. Check if done by pressing a bean between the finger. Once cooked add the chopped tomatoes and jaggery, boil once. Tomatoes should be added at the end so that the matki is allowed to cook well and quickly. Tartness normally slows down cooking so this needs to be taken care of. Put off the heat. Serve with Chapati or bread of your choice.
To add the Koli untamed attitude to this post I must add my tuppence to the fart manual. Prudes don't read any further, you can go straight to the last line.
"Ada pada kon pada, damboricha ghoda pada". This used to be a game we played when someone liberated themselves while in a group. One points a finger at each member in the group and the one who gets the last word is the artist in hot air creation.
A riddle that was very popular, "Don dongrachye madhin Bhikya Bombalte!" I'll try to say it in English, "Who is this Bhikya(name) that shrieks between two mountains? Guess it? (trying to keep a straight face)
Lets celebrate the Beans 'n Lentils fest with this sweet Punjabi Fart song, please sing together and dance to beats that drown the human sound effects. Dhum, Dhumak Dhum Dhum Dhola Re~~~
Hope Bee and Jai enjoy this post, I did writing it! Thank you!