I visited Kolhapur at least 3-4 times a year as a kid. We have a small house in Kolhapur, and my father took care of it on a regular basis. Either me or my brother would accompany him on the trip. Later when I was in college, I spent some summer vacations visiting our relatives in Kolhapur. I remember spending summer vacations playing cards, embroidering, chitchatting with cousins. We also watched hindi movies from time to time. Everyone there has a fast on Sankashti Chaturthi (4th day after full moon) and they wait till the 'chandroday (moon rise?)' to have dinner. And in summer this chandradarshan is invariably late, sometimes even at 10.30pm. So one of the uncle would take whoever was ready to go watch 6pm-9pm movie show! I still remember seeing some Madhuru Dixit movies like this. And then there were trips to Rankala lake to have nice bhutta and/or bhel. We sometimes packed some snacks and ate in Hutatma Park or some other nearby parks.
Every morning ladies of the house would decide on the menu for the day, including breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner. And one particular day would be decided as 'Misal day'. Misal was usually made in the evening but preparations would start in the afternoon with cleaning up sprouts, boiling potatoes, chopping onions etc. We would just watch how it is made and fill up the dishes when it was done. I still remember sitting in the kitchen on black tiled floor with steel plates filled with this delicious misal and enjoying it with nice chitchat.
There are various good misal places in Kolhapur like Kasaba-Bawadyachi misal, Khasbag Misal, Phadtare Misal. But going there with whole family was not always possible so we always preferred homemade misal. Later when I went to stay in hostel then we went to these places once in a while. Here is how it was made back then and I still make -
For Usal -
4 cups Sprouted Mataki (Moth beans)
1 Large Red Onion
2 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp Kanda Lasun Masala (Adjust according to taste)
3-4 cloves Garlic
Salt per taste
For tempering - 5-6 curry leaves, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, pinch of asafoetida and 1/2 tsp turmeric
Water as needed
For Kat (or Tarri) -
2 Large Red Onions
1 tsp Byadagi Chili Powder
2-3 tbsp Kanda Lasun Masala
2-3 tbsp Grated Dry Coconut
2-3 tbsp Fresh Coconut (I used frozen)
5-6 cloves Garlic
1 tbsp Grated Ginger
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
3-4 tbsp Oil
Salt per taste
5-6 cups water
Other ingredients needed -
2 medium size boiled potatoes
3-4 cups of hot mixture/farsan mix
fine sev (optional)
1 red onion chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 limes quartered
Usal Preparation -
Pick over and wash the mataki sprouts and set aside.
Finely chop onion.
Heat oil in heavy bottom pan and add cumin and mustard seeds. Add curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric when cumin-mustard start spluttering. Let it sizzle for a minute. Add smashed garlic and saute for couple of minutes.
Add chopped onion and saute until golden brown. Add washed sprouts and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup water, cover and lower the heat. Let it cook partially. Add salt and Kanda-Lasun-Masala. Mix well. Add little more water if needed and let it cook completely.
Adjust seasoning when its completely cooked. Add chopped cilantro.
Usal is ready.
Kat(tarri) Preparation -
While usal is cooking, slice onion and separate the slices. Heat a flat griddle on medium heat. Layer the onion on it. Spray little bit of oil. Let it roast, moving occasionally on lower medium heat. Raw onion smell should all be gone and onion is roasted completely. Add fresh coconut and roast for couple more minutes. Dry roast dried coconut. Grind roasted onion-coconut, dry roasted coconut, ginger and garlic together. Add as little water as possible.
Now heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom utensil and add masala paste. Saute until oil separates. Now add Kanda-Lasun-Masala and saute for couple more minutes. Add water, salt and let it boil on a very low heat. Do not cover the pot.
Now in a small kadhai, heat remaining oil on medium heat. Switch off the gas when oil is hot enough but not smoking hot. Add red chili powder and let it sizzle for a minute. Pour this oil over boiling kat. The oil will float giving nice and bright red color to kat. Slowly add chopped cilantro and switch off the heat.
Take about 2 ladle full of usala in a flat bowl. Add 3-4 chopped pieces of boiled potato. Add 1/4 cup farsan mix and pour 1/2 cup of kat. Sprinkle chopped onion, cilantro. Sprinkle some sev if using. Serve with bread and lime slice. Enjoy it while its hot.
- Kolhapur Kat Misal does not have tomatoes or kurmure/murmure/pohe.
- Stir the kat well before every serving.
- Instead of boiling the potatoes separately, you can add it in the usal itself.
- Farsan should not be too sweet.
- Please do not add sugar/jaggery in either kat or usal.