Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Usali the Goan Way


I have been living in Goa for many years but still one article that was printed in the Times of India was an eye-opener.

The author of the article was Melinda Pereira Kamat and she wrote about The Perfect Usali, in case you are interested it is featured in the Times of India, Goa edition on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.  I was supposed to scan and post it here but... hope will do so in near future. 

Till I read this article my view about usal or usali was that it is made in Karnataka and Maharashtra/Gujarat and the method that I followed was about similar to what my mother and MIL made. That is it has garlic and onion for Kaku (my MIL) made it that way and it had coriander and coconut ground for Amma. So I had mixed both and made my usal.


Melinda says that Usail or Usali is a pure vegetarian dish prepared from either pulses, bamboo shoots, crushed jackfruit seeds, banana flowers, bread fruit, raw banana or tubers like sweet potato, suran, kadoo karande, godd karande, Asiatic yam, etc. no onion, no garlic.

Again she has described different varieties and ways of making the same dish in the same article. The small Goa has varied ways of making usali.

So can you keep away the Mad Scientist after reading this? The recipe was at the back of my mine from the time I read it and I finally made it now.

Like I have said The Goan way of making usali is different, for one they use a mixture of pulses and it is sweetish, no garlic or onion, there is an addition of boiled sweet potato or potato which gives it a distinct flavour.  There is a predominant use of moong as it is light for digestion. The whole dish is favored in the month of Shravan for fish and chicken is generally avoided by the Hindus.

Here is one of her recipes adapted for I have used onion (forgot I was not to use it and it was chopped to go in the daal). The green peas were a last minute addition as they would have to be binned else.

Ingredients:
2 cups mixed pulses (I have used moong sprouted and kulith)
1 cup green peas (optional)
1 onion chopped roughly (this is a forgot item not in the original recipe)
1 sweet potato boiled (I used 3 small)
2 tblsp thick tamarind juice
Jaggery
Oil
2 tsp hing/asafetida powder
2 tsp mustard
Green chilies slit
Curry leaves
5 peppercorns
2 cloves
½ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera/cumin powder
Salt

Method:
1.    Pressure cook the kulith soaked overnight for 4-5 whistles with enough water. (Yes it takes a long time to cook). Let the pressure down naturally.
2.    Strain the kulith seeds and water. Reserve the water for making rasam.
3.    In a kadhai/wok heat oil and splutter the mustard, add hing/asafetida, green chillies and curry leaves give a quick stir. Tip the onions and stir fry till translucent (if using).
4.    Meanwhile you can peel the sweet potato and cube them (I don’t peel them). Coarse grind the pepper, cloves.
5.    Add the moong and cook till the moong is cooked add the kulith and the peas. Stir cook covered for about 3 minutes. As I prefer to cook it on the stove and not in the pressure cooker. You can cook it in the cooker if feel like it..
6.    Add the tamarind juice, jaggery, salt, masalas and the sweet potato. Use more water from the kulith if you feel the usali is dry.
7.    Cook on low flame till the aroma fills the kitchen and spills over to the other rooms and draws in your family to check what you are cooking.
8.    Serve hot. We had it with rotis but you can serve it with rice also.

The usali in Goa that I have eaten are generally dry dishes. You can keep some water for the gravy if you so desire.


Sending this to Vardhini's  Event Healthy Diet Vegetarian Side Dishes started off by Priya 

 Photobucket

27 comments:

Aarthi said...

this is my fav..awesome

Aarthi
YUMMY TUMMY

Sayantani said...

is it the same dish that Gujaratis have with pavs and lots of sev on top? loved it once I had it at a friend's place. very healthy dish.

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking side wonderfully done

Sensible Vegetarian said...

Very yummy looking usali, super healthy too.

Julie said...

Very delicious usali..yummy!!
Erivum Puliyum

Mythreyi said...

Good to know about Usali, Archana! Never heard about it before..

-Mythreyi
Yum! Yum! Yum!

Sravs said...

Nice healthy one !!

Ongoing event
CC:Spring Seasonal Food

Priti said...

Looks delicious ...new for me ...thanks for sharing

Akila said...

Makes me drooling here

Pushpa said...

Healthy and delicious meal.

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Its amazing how the same dish is prepared in a so many different ways in different parts of the country...will try the goan way

Ramya said...

That is such a healthy and flavorful dish!

Spice up the Curry said...

nice flavorful recipe. love it

saffronstreaks said...

never come across it, but sounds so healthy, will chk times article.

cookingvarieties said...

hi archana, many tahnks for coming over. glad you like my blog, hope to see you again... this is a great post, never tasted this before of course.. i kind like your funny "mad scientist kitchen" name. ha ha
nice pic too, have a nice day

Sobha Shyam said...

so healthy and delicious..:) Please check out the Round Up of Just 4 Fun event..an award is waiting for you :)

Vardhini said...

Healthy and tasty and new one. Thx for linking to the event.

Vardhini
Event: Legumes
Event: Side Dishes

Jay said...

new to me..looks perfect & great

Tasty Appetite

La @ FoodSlice said...

Never heard of usali before Archana, but sounds like an interesting twist with pulses.

Priya said...

Wat a healthy and protein rich dish, awesome..You are welcome to host healthy diet event Archana, sure u can go for April 13 with healthy salads as theme..

Plateful said...

Never heard of uslai, but maybe it's just the name. Looks delish!

Maayeka said...

very different and delicious too..loved your fusion version :)
Anjana

Unknown said...

Super Archana ....looks awesome. Haven't tried this dish yet so definitely going in my list of "To try" dishes.

Archana said...

Thanks all for your lovely comments.

Satya said...

i heard a lot about this dish before,but never got a chance to try...ur usali looks very healthy n tempting too ...thanks for sharing
thankq for posting ur lovely comment on my blog Archana
Super Yummy Recipes

halal foodie said...

love your blog, your about page was very touching, will be coming more often :)

Rosh said...

Very interesting recipe. So healthy too!

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