Misal – Spicy Street food

Misal is a popular Maharashtrian street food item. You will see several shacks selling this snack almost all over the state. In a town called Kolhapur, this snack is especially famous and you see small shops specializing only in this item. Every family apparently has their own special shop that they like to go to about once every 2 weeks or 3 weeks. I would say that’s a lot of loyalty.


I was in Kolhapur with my husband soon after we got married. We went to visit his cousin and they insisted that we go eat Misal in the absolutely the Best shop in the town. See? told you about loyalty. That Misal was an out of the world experience. Thinking back, I have no idea how I could handle the heat and the spices. After living in U.S. for several years, my taste buds prefer milder taste. The recipe is below is for those who cannot handle the heat of Kolhapuri Misal but would like the taste at the same time. Try it and tell me how it was. I hope you like it as much as my family did.


Serves 2


  • Moth Beans/Matki  1 cup dry
  • Onion 1 large chopped into small pieces – divided
  • Tomato 2 medium – chopped into small pieces – divided
  • Farsan/Fried snack available in Indian stores
  • Cilantro a handful per taste
  • Lemon juice 2 Tbsp – divided
  • Bread – preferably white 3 slices per person
  • Oil 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala 2 tsp
  • Date-Tamarind chutney – available in Indian stores


For the Spicy Gravy mixture
  • Ginger paste ½ tsp
  • Garlic paste ½ tsp
  • Cinnamon ½ inch
  • Cloves 3
  • Black Pepper powder ½ tsp
  • Bayleaf 1 large
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder ½ tsp
  • Dry coconut powder 1 Tbsp
  • Red chili powder 1 to 2 tsp per taste. Use more if you need more spicy/hot gravy
  • Oil 1 Tbsp
  • Salt per taste


  • Soak Moth beans in water overnight with water coming about 3 fingers above the level of beans
  • Next day pour out extra water, wrap the beans in double folded paper towel, place it back in the same utensil you had soaked them in and place the container  in the oven. Do not turn on the oven.
  • After 7-8 hours, remove the beans from oven and they should have sprouted.
  • Place the sprouted beans in the pressure cooker with water about 2 fingers above the levels of beans and cook for 3 whistles. Remove from the heat and let the steam get out on its own cooking the beans fully.
  • While the beans are cooking, cut the Onion and Tomato.
  • Grind the dry spices for the gravy in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  • You will need two separate containers. In one of the containers, heat 1Tbsp of oil and add all the ground spices except Red Chili powder.
  • Once they have turned fragrant, add Onion and half the Tomato. Let it cook for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally so as not to burn.
  • Add the coconut and sauté for another minute.
  • Finally add the Red chili powder and 1 to 1 1/2 cup of water. Remove from the heat and keep aside.
  • Once cooled, pour the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. If needed add a bit more oil.
  • In the smaller container, heat ½ Tbsp oil, add Onion and sauté for 3 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the Garam Masala and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add Sprouted and cooked Moth beans and sauté for 5-6 minutes.
  • Finally add a splash of Lemon juice and remove from heat.
  • To serve, place 1/2 cup of Moth beans mixture in a bowl, top it with as much gravy as you would like, generally about 1/2 cup. Remember its very spicy and hot.
  • Then top it with Frasan, Onion, Tomato, Cilantro and a splash of lemon juice.
  • Add Date Tamarind chutney if you like it but a lot of people don’t.
  • Enjoy with Bread slices.
  • If you find it too spicy, you can add a dollop of yogurt on top.





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