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Whole Green Gram Usal

Whole green gram usal is stir fry popular dry curry dish from the Maharashtrian cuisine. It is commonly known as Mugachi usal. This stir fry curry is made with green gram cooked with flavorful garlic, coconut and various spices. This dish is also specially added with the special black Maharashtrian masala that enhances the flavors of the dish. The whole green gram usal is delicious, spicy and mouth watering. It is a refreshing and appetizing side dish that can be served with either roti or chapatti. Apart from being delicious the dish is also very healthy and nutritious. Usal or Oosal is a well known Maharashtrian dish generally made with matki (matkichi usal), moong or waal etc. Beans are usually soaked in water and allowed to sprout. The sprouted beans are stir fried along with onions, spices and curry leaves in oil adding little water to cook the sprouts. It is usually a thick gravy dish and the use of spices varies according to the sprouts used and according to taste. The addition of black Maharashtrian masala or goda masala gives a new dimension while enhancing the flavors of this dish. It is one of the main spice ingredients in most of the Maharashtrian dishes especially in Amti (spiced Tur dal), Usal curries (moong, matki etc) or stuffed eggplant etc. The common ingredients in making this aromatic masala includes roasted cumin, fried mustard seeds, dhania seeds, ginger, garlic, green chilies, coconut and so on…..all these being natural spices. Spices are the cornerstone of Indian cooking and the perfect blending of spices gives any Indian food its subtle magical flavors, aromas and textures. One such wonderful and unique spice mix form the mid western coastal state, Maharashtra is the Kala masala or Goda masala. Black Maharashtrian masala is a classic spice mix that is dark brown in color, spicy-sweet masala and is the base for most of the Maharashtrian vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes just like the garam masala used in most of the popular Indian foods. What makes the Kala or Goda masala unique is the use of rustic ingredients and the method of individually roasting and grinding an array of spices that are mixed in to make a dark aromatic blend. 'Kaala' means black in Marathi, and hence the name. The difference between 'Kaala Masala' and 'Goda Masala' is due to the proportions of certain spices and the degree to which they are toasted. The recipe and name for this masala can vary from family to family but, the basic ingredients or the flavor will never change drastically. Whole green gram usal is a healthy protein loaded dish that can be served as a side dish with chapatti, rice or pav. This dish has a distinctive taste and aroma that is mouth watering, appealing and appetizing. Generally the moong beans soften when they are sprouted and have a pleasant, nutty flavor making it a healthy and nutritious meal. This preparation hardly takes any time to make, needs very less oil and is extremely nutritious as its rich in proteins. To prepare this mouth watering and delicious whole green gram usal, firstly put the unwashed whole green gram in a pan and fry for 5 minutes without oil. Wash them and keep aside. Roast cumin seeds and coconut together and grind into a fine paste. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil and when it gets hot, add mustard seeds and when they crackle add turmeric powder and garlic cloves. Add green gram and water. Cover and cook till soft. Add ground coconut, black masala, salt, jaggery to the usal and mix well. Simmer for few more minutes. Crush red chilies or if you are using green chilies, chop them finely. In a separate pan, heat 2 tsp oil. Add asafetida and crushed red chillies and asafetida. Pour it over the usal and mix well. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve. Whole green gram usal can be made in various ways and this is quite a simple, delicious and easy to prepare dish. The dish healthy, nutritious, low fat and must be included in your everyday meal. To try this recipe, do click on the below link for detailed recipe: Sprouted beans are considered as comfort and wonder foods. They are the freshest and most nutritious of all vegetables. Mung beans provide all the essential vitamins and minerals and form a vital component of our diet. Lentils include pulses, beans, dals and legumes. They are rich in protein, vitamin B1, dietary fiber, minerals, iron etc. Lentil are generally used to make main dish such as Khichdi (rice and lentil dish), Moong bean curry etc.

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