A delicious Maharashtrian breakfast, Misal Pav made as a one-pot recipe in the Instant Pot or stovetop. Misal Pav is a wholesome meal, that can be enjoyed as a nutritious breakfast or brunch. Misal is a spicy sprouts curry (usal) cooked with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and coconut. This is then topped with onions, lemon juice, farsan and enjoyed with pav (dinner rolls).
Mumbai is famous for it’s variety of street foods. Misal Pav is one of them, similar to the Mumbai Pav Bhaji and Vada Pav. To get the perfect and most authentic recipe, I learnt this from my close Maharashtrian friend Shweta. So you will certainly not miss the authentic flavors with this one-pot recipe in the Instant Pot.
Looking for more easy Instant Pot Recipes? Here are 29 Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes for you to try!
What is Misal Pav?
Misal Pav is a spicy sprouted beans curry served with dinner rolls. The curry, also called “matkichi usal” is topped with onions, lemon juice, farsan and enjoyed with pav (dinner rolls).
There are 4 main components of Misal Pav –
- Usal or Sprouts curry – Misal pav can be made with only sprouted moth beans or a combination of sprouted moth, sprouted moong, peas and soaked black chickpeas. The cooking method remains the same whether you use a single bean or a combination.
- Kat or Rassa – This is the spicy gravy
- Toppings – onions, farsan and cilantro. Farsan is a crunchy snack used in Indian chaat or snack dishes.
- Pav or dinner rolls
There are also local variations of Misal Pav:
Mumbai Misal, where the sprouts curry (usal) and the spicy gravy (kat) are made together. This is the one we will make in this one-pot recipe.
Other popular variations are Puneri Misal and Kolhapuri Misal. In these two variations, the usal and kat are prepared separately. Then while serving, they are mixed together as per taste.
Kolhapuri is the extremely spicy version. Puneri is mild and served with pohe (flattened rice).
Misal Pav vs Usal Pav
Usal is a curried dish made with sprouted legumes or mixed sprouts. Usal is a regular dish that is even prepared as a side vegetable in the daily household meal and is an important addition in the authentic Maharashtrian thali.
Once the Usal is prepared then it’s topped with farsan, sev, onion, coriander and lemon wedge is called ‘Misal’. Both Misal and Usal can be eaten with Pav.
Misal has two parts one is the thick curry of matki/ sprouts called “Usal” and the other is red spicy watery gravy is also called “Rassa” or “Kat“. Usually people mix these two according to their taste.
You can either buy sprouted beans or sprout beans at home. I find freshly sprouted beans at our local grocery store, but you can also find them in the frozen section at indian grocery stores.
Here is my detailed recipe to sprouts beans or lentils at home.
- First soak the beans for 4-6 hours in lots of water.
- Then remove the water and keep them in a wet cloth for 10-12 hours or until you see white sprouts coming out.
- Instant Pot yogurt mode also works great to sprout beans.
The sprouts are then cooked in a onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and coconut sauce, with aromatic spices and lots of water.
The water makes the kat/rassa, which is great for dipping the pav.
We will make misal medium spicy in this recipe. You can make it as spicy or less spicy depending on your taste preference.
How to make?
Prepare the ingredients and it is really easy to follow the steps to make authentic Misal Pav.
Instant Pot Method
We will start with sautéing the onions, ginger and garlic in some oil. Then saute with the tomatoes and desiccated coconut powder. You don’t have to finely dice or mince these ingredients, as we are going to grind them.
After sautéing them, transfer to a blender and grind to a smooth paste.
Now in the instant pot we will temper mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves in oil. Then add back the ground masala paste. Add the dry spices.
The main dry spice is the misal masala. If you don’t have misal spice blend, you can replace it with Goda Masala or make it at home.
The main difference between misal masala and garam masala is the addition of sesame seeds and dried red chili to the misal spice mix. I also like to add some Kashmiri red chili powder to get the bright reddish color to the curry.
Then add in the sprouts along with ample water, and pressure cook the curry.
After pressure cooking, stir in the lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Usal or Sprouts curry is ready. Check above for how to serve Misal Pav.
We love the crunchy farsan on the sprouts curry. Dip the pav in the Misal and enjoy!
- In a large pot, add oil, onions, ginger and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the desiccated coconut and mix well with the onion-tomato masala.
- Transfer ingredients to a blender and blend to a paste. If needed, add ½ cup water while grinding. Keep aside.
- Heat the pot again on medium-high heat (Note: It is not necessary to clean the pot). Add oil, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Add the blended masala paste. Stir well. Add the spices and mix well with the masala paste.
- Add the sprouts and water. Stir well. Let the misal come to a boil, then change to low heat, and cook the curry covered for 20 minutes. Stir in between at about 10-15 minutes. If the liquid seems less, add 1/2 cup more water.
- Open lid and stir in the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
- Misal curry is typically spicy, but adjust the spice level to your taste by reducing the amount of Misal masala.
- Misal is usually a thin curry, so don’t hesitate to add the amount of liquid suggested. You can also adjust the amount of liquid to your taste. If it seems less after cooking is completed, you can add some hot water to the Misal.
- Add the farsan on top only in the serving plate, else it will get soggy and not taste as good.
How to serve Misal Pav?
The special thing about Misal Pav is the way it is served.
Firstly the cooked sprouts are added to the serving bowl, then topped with diced onions, farsan and cilantro. Then the spicy liquid from the curry or kat is spread around the bowl. Serve with pav or dinner rolls.
Another pairing is with poha. This one is popular in Pune.
Try this easy Mumbai Misal Pav recipe and let me know if how you like it.
Check out more Maharashtrain recipes:
Maharashtrian Misal Pav (Sprouts Curry)
For the Usal (sprouts curry)
- 2 tablespoon Oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds (Rai)
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing), optional, skip for gluten-free
- 6 Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta)
- 1/2 cup Onions , chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon Ginger , chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon Garlic, chopped
- 1 cup Tomato , chopped
- 1 tablespoon Desiccated Coconut
- 2 cup Moth Bean or Mixed Bean Sprouts
- 4 cups Water
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
For Misal Pav
- 8-10 Dinner rolls (Pav)
- 1/2 cup Onions, chopped
- 1 cup Thick sev or Farsan , Fried savory snack mix
- 1/4 cup Cilantro
Instant Pot Method
- Start the pressure cooker in Sauté mode and let it heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, onions, ginger and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the desiccated coconut and mix well with the onion-tomato masala.
- Turn off the pressure cooker. Transfer ingredients to a blender and blend to a paste. If needed, add 1/2 cup water while grinding. Keep aside.
- Start the pressure cooker in saute mode (Note: It is not necessary to clean the pressure cooker). Add oil, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Add the blended masala paste. Stir well.
- Add the spices and mix well with the masala paste.
- Add the sprouts and water. Stir well. Press Cancel and close the lid with vent in sealing position.
- Start in manual or pressure cook mode for 12 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
- Open lid and stir in the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
- Follow the same steps as above in a large pot on medium-high heat. After adding the sprouted beans and water, let the misal come to a boil, then change to low heat, and cook the curry covered for 20 minutes. Stir in between at about 10-15 minutes. If the liquid seems less, add 1/2 cup more water. Open lid and stir in the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
To serve Misal Pav
- In a serving plate, add the sprouts from the curry. Then top with onions and farsan. Add some rassa (liquid) from the curry around the farsan.
- Serve with pav (dinner rolls). Enjoy misal pav by dipping the pav in the misal curry.
Other recipes for you to try in your Instant Pot: