In the world of culinary treasures, Indian cuisine stands out for its rich and diverse flavors, encompassing a wide array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. One such gem in the realm of vegetarian delights is the Matki Usal, a spicy and nutritious dish originating from the western state of Maharashtra, India. In this article, we will delve into the world of Matki Usal, exploring its history, ingredients, preparation, and why it’s a must-try for food enthusiasts worldwide.
A Glimpse into Matki usal’s Origins
Matki Usal, also known as Matki Bhaji, is a traditional Maharashtrian dish with a history that dates back generations. It was originally created as a simple, yet flavorful meal for the farmers who needed sustenance during their long and arduous workdays in the fields. Over time, it evolved into a beloved household favorite and a popular street food across Maharashtra.
For the Matki Usal:
- 1 cup dried Matki (moth beans)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2-3 green chilies, slit
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
For the Tempering (Tadka):
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- A few curry leaves
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Step 1: Soaking Matki
- Take 1 cup of dried Matki (moth beans) and wash them thoroughly.
- Soak the Matki in water for about 5-6 hours or overnight. This will help in quick cooking.
Step 2: Pressure Cooking
- After soaking, drain the water from the Matki.
- In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
- When they start spluttering, add a pinch of asafoetida (hing).
- Now, add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it turns translucent.
- Add minced garlic, grated ginger, and slit green chilies. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of red chili powder, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder, and salt to taste. Mix well.
- Add the soaked Matki to the cooker and sauté for a few minutes.
- Pour in enough water to cover the Matki.
- Close the pressure cooker lid and cook for about 3-4 whistles or until the Matki becomes tender.
Step 3: Tempering (Tadka)
- In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds and let them crackle.
- Add a few curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida (hing).
- Pour this tempering over the cooked Matki Usal.
Step 4: Garnish and Serve
- Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala over the Matki Usal and mix gently.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Your delicious Matki Usal is ready to be served!
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Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180-200Total Fat: 6-8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 500-600mgCarbohydrates: 25-30gFiber: 6-8gProtein: 8-10g
- Matki Usal pairs wonderfully with hot, steamed rice. The combination of the spicy and protein-rich Matki curry with plain rice is both hearty and satisfying.
- Serve with freshly made roti or chapati for a wholesome and balanced meal. The soft texture of the bread complements the slightly spicy and saucy Matki curry.
- It can also be served as a side dish alongside other Maharashtrian specialties like Misal Pav or Batata Vada. It adds a burst of flavor to your plate.
- Enjoy the dish as a sandwich filling. Slather some mint chutney on bread, add Matki Usal and create a delicious Matki Usal sandwich.
- For added texture and crunch, top your Matki Usal with some sev (Indian chickpea flour noodles) or crushed papad (thin, crispy Indian flatbread).
- Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime juice over the dish for a refreshing twist.
- Serve with a side of tangy Indian pickles (achar) or yogurt raita to balance the spiciness.
- Present Matki Usal as part of a traditional Indian thali, along with a variety of other dishes such as dal, vegetables, and rice or bread.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Can I use canned Matki beans instead of dried ones?
A: While dried Matki beans are traditionally used, you can use canned Matki beans for convenience. Just make sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before adding them to the dish.
Q: Is Matki Usal spicy?
A: Yes, It is known for its spicy flavor. However, you can adjust the spice level to your preference by varying the amount of red chili powder and green chilies used in the recipe.
Q: What are the health benefits?
A: Matki beans are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. As a result, Matki Usal is a nutritious dish that can provide essential nutrients while satisfying your taste buds.
Q: Can I make Matki Usal in advance?
A: Yes, you can prepare the dish in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat it on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
Q: Can I make Matki Usal without coconut?
A: While coconut adds a unique creaminess and flavor, you can make a coconut-free version if you prefer. Simply omit the coconut and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Q: Is Matki Usal suitable for vegans?
A: Yes, It is a vegan-friendly dish as it does not contain any animal products. It’s a great option for those following a vegan diet.
Q: What makes Matki Usal a popular dish in Maharashtra?
A: It is beloved in Maharashtra due to its delicious taste, nutritional value, and its ability to be served as a complete meal. It’s also an integral part of Maharashtrian cuisine and is often prepared during festivals and special occasions.
Q: Can I freeze Matki Usal for later use?
A: Yes, you can freeze for longer storage. Store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw and reheat it when you’re ready to enjoy it again.
In the vast landscape of Indian cuisine, Matki Usal stands as a testament to the art of blending spices, textures, and flavors. Its humble origins and rich taste make it a beloved dish not just in Maharashtra but also among food enthusiasts worldwide. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a delectable Indian meal, don’t forget to try your hand at preparing Matki Usal. Your taste buds will thank you for this flavorful adventure.
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