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The story of Misal Pav

As an immigrant from India, I love telling stories of Indian street food - the most popular foods, where to eat it, and street foods from different parts of the country.

Recently, I recreated my version of a dish called Misal Pav - a dish made with sprouted beans that brought back fond memories. This item comes from the Indian state of Maharashtra and is often a breakfast or a snack offering but my mom sometimes made the one-item dish for dinner too. I thought the dish looked great (see photo) and tasted wonderful too.

Misal Pav is definitely a popular item in the city of Mumbai, where I was raised. In 2015, it was in the limelight when the misal pav served at Mumbai's Aaswad restaurant was named the world's tastiest vegetarian dish at the FoodieHub Awards in London, beating dishes from across the world!

So what does this dish taste like? There are two parts to this dish. Misal and Pav.

My version of Misal is a balanced concoction of a sprouted and slow-cooked legumes called mat-beans, coconut milk, home-made tamarind-date chutney and some spices. It is then dressed with sautéed onions, peanuts and a crunchy savory mix. It is served with bread or Pav (in Hindi). We often dip the bread in the Misal. When it soaks up all the curry juices, it tastes delicious.

In general, it is a super-healthy dish because the sprouted mat-beans offer lots of protein. It is gluten-free, the bread you serve could be gluten-free too.

There are many different kinds of misal varieties. Many substitute mat-beans with moong beans. Most add fresh coconut instead of coconut milk. I stick to what I know, and what my mom taught me. But - I am sharing two videos that can guide you through the cooking process, should you choose to make it. The second video is in Hindi but there are several guidelines in English and the demonstration is great. Enjoy!


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