Recipe: Misal Pav – how to make missal masala, usal and tarri

Preeti Deo

A traditional Indian dish made of sprouts and spices, Misal Pav is most people’s hot favourite on a rainy day and is enjoyed either for breakfast, snack or even as main meal.

Although the dish requires a wide variety of ingredients, its preparation is fairly simple and its mouth-watering aroma can whet anyone’s appetite.

Recipe to make misal pav -- misal, usal and kat or tarri
Recipe to make misal pav -- misal, usal and kat or tarri

Here’s the traditional recipe of misal pav (serves 4) which includes Misal masala, cooked sprouts, kat/tarri and buns/bread or pav

Ingredients for Misal Masala

1 cup of coriander seeds

1 tablespoon of cumin seeds

1 tsp of poppy seeds

1 tsp of sesame seeds

1/4 cup of desiccated coconut

1/4 cup red chilli powder

1/2 onion

2 garlic cloves

Method to make Misal Masala:

First, sauté the onion piece and garlic cloves with 2 teaspoons of oil (sauté until this goes brown). Cool

this. Then, dry roast the rest of the spices separately and cool. Grind this mixture of spices with the sautéed onion and garlic. This masala keeps well in an air tight container for a month so you can store it for reuse.

For tempering and cooking the sprouts you need:

Sprouted Moth beans 1 cup

Oil 1 tablespoon

Cumin seeds ½ tsp

Hing (asafoetida) a pinch

Turmeric ½ tsp

Chilli powder ½ tsp

Misal masala (prepared in advance) 1 tbsp

Tamarind pulp 1 tsp

Jaggery 1 tsp

Salt to taste



Make the tempering with oil, asafoetida and cumin seeds in a pressure cooker. Add in the sprouts and the rest of the ingredients. Mix and add in 1.5 cups of water and pressure cook.

To make the Kat/tarri

Oil 1 tsp

Asafoetida a pinch

Cumin seeds ½ tsp

Turmeric ½ tsp

Red chilli pd 2 tbsp

Jaggery 1 tsp

Tamarind pulp 2 tsp

Salt to taste

Misal masala/ garam masala/kala masala(used in Marathi preparations)


Method to make kat/tarri

In a pan, temper with a teaspoon of oil and cumin seeds. Add in the asafoetida. In a bowl, mix turmeric, misal masala, red chilli powder, salt, jaggery and tamarind pulp. Add this mix to the tempering and stir. Add in 2 cups of water and let this simmer. You may add in more red chilli powder if you like your missal really spicy. Place this kat in a different bowl.

When assembling, you will need:

Boiled potatoes (chopped) 2

Chopped tomatoes 1 cup

Chopped onion 1 cup

Chopped coriander ½ cup

Lemon chopped into quarters to serve

Bombay Mix and Shev as much as you like!


In a hollow serving dish, spoon two tablespoons of cooked sprouts. Add a tablespoon of Bombay mix. Top this with a few pieces of boiled potato, chopped onions and tomatoes .To this, add a ladleful of prepared Kat. Garnish with coriander. Serve this with pav (buns) or bread and enjoy on a wintry or rainy day!

Expert tip:

Sometimes Misal is also topped with beaten yoghurt or even bhajis (pakoras) – if you are big yoghurt fan.

Kamalabai Ogale (Author of Marathi cookbook Ruchira) suggests using different types of chutneys in a misal prepared with sprouted green peas.

The three chutneys’ mentioned are:

  • Coconut chutney with green chillies
  • Tamarind-dates chutney
  • Dry coconut, dry chana and garlic chutney

 Try preparing it the authentic way or go on and experiment with Kamalabai's chutney idea or with your own quirky twist -- whichever way, spicy Misal Pav is yummy!

Preeti Deo, India News Bulletin’s food expert, works in a Special Needs School and is passionate about cooking and experimenting with traditional Maharashtrian recipes.

Recently she has started a project whereby she is cooking up dishes following the recipes from the traditional Marathi cookbook Ruchira by late Kamalabai Ogale. 

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