My uncle is driving in peak Mumbai traffic around 7pm. He has come home earlier to go meet his cousin(my aunt) who has come to Mumbai to attend her friend's wedding. We are traveling from Colaba to some suburb and traffic is as awful as it can get. My cousin and I are constantly chatting in the car. We can see that uncle is tired of sitting in the car after long day. Fast forward 2 hours and we reach at the destination. Uncle takes us in this old looking building. We knock on the door and first thing we notice very tempting smell and that reminds us that its dinner time. Everyone there is busy with pre-wedding preparation. They are about start serving dinner. The lady of the house requests us to stay for dinner, uncle says no. The lady requests again then my uncles agrees and calls home to tell that we will be eating dinner there. A very homely dinner is served. I ask names of lentil dishes and I am told that its called 'Birade'!!!
That was my first introduction to this delicacy from coastal Maharashtra. I traveled back to my town and described the birade to mummy. Mummy bought Kadave Vaal in the next grocery trip, soaked it one night. Next day she drained it and kept in warm place to sprout. I though it was ready to cook when I saw the beautiful sprouts. But mummy told me we are supposed to peel the beans as it is easy to digest. It takes very long time to peel each bean and takes skill not to divide the bean or break the sprout. An hour later peeled sprouts were ready to cook. Mom made very tasty usal but it was not anywhee close to what I had eaten. My mom kept on making it her way and I started liking it her way.
After coming to US, I got to know three or four ways of making it from my friends. All of them have their own way of making things and I combine all their techniques to make mine.
2 cups Peeled Sprouted Vaal (Its called Dalimbya in Marathi)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
1" Piece of Ginger
2-3 tbsp Oil
1/2 cup Cilantro
1 tbsp Jaggery
2 tsp Malwani Masala
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 pinch Hing (Asafoetida)
2-3 tbsp Freshly Grated Coconut
Warm water as needed
Grind ginger and garlic together.
Wash and drain peeled dalimbya.
Mix with turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and salt. Set it aside for 10-15 minutes.
Finely chop onion and cilantro.
Heat oil in heavy bottom kadhai add cumin seeds and hing and let it splutter.
Add vaal mixture and chopped onion.
Saute it until onion becomes translucent, approximately 5-6 minutes.
Add 2 cups of warm water and let it boil.
Add Malawani masala, coconut, kokum, and jaggery and let it cook properly.
Add chopped cilantro, adjust salt.
Serve warm with rice or chapati.
- If you do not have Malwani masala, you can grind cumin seeds, couple of cloves, and small piece of cinnamon together. You will have to add red chili powder as well.
- I have tried it with Gode Vaal (with white skin) and and that is little less bitter and tastes good as well.
- If you peeled too many vaal, you can use some to make this Khichadi.