Usal is a simple and healthy dish made using sprouted beans such as matki, moong, kala chana (black chick peas) etc., or sometimes even green peas. Besides being freezer friendly, usal is extremely easy to make and the variations are endless.
Ever since Trader Joes's started carrying shelled edamame (Japanese for soybeans) in the freezer section, I use them instead of green peas.
Here is one such dish that I now make using edamame: Edamame Usal.
The original recipe came from Ruchira, which I have tweaked just slightly.
1 packet edamame (16oz)
1 cup kothimbir (cilantro) loosely packed
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 tsp khus-khus (poppy seeds) lightly toasted
2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 chillies, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
salt, to taste
The phodni kit (mustard seeds, turmeric, and asefetida)
Heat 1 tbsp of oil, add the edamame and cook them slightly. You may need to add a little water.
Meanwhile, grind the coconut, cilantro, chillies, cumin, and poppy seeds to make a coarse chutney.
Add the chutney to the edamame and mix well.
Do the phodni (heat 1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, when they start dancing add the asefetida and turmeric) and add it to the edamame.
Add the salt, sugar and a bit of the lemon.
Cover the edamame and cook till soft (about 5-6 minutes). Stop cooking before the edamame get mushy-gooshy. They should retain a little bite.
Adjust the salt. Add more lemon juice if required.
We enjoyed our usal with poli. (Check Tee's step-by-step pictures for making Maharashtrian rotis: poli.)
This is my entry for Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables series.