Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Moogachi Usal (Stir Fried Mung Sprouts) - Blog Bites #1

In India, the first loud sound that babies hear is probably the pressure cooker! I realised this when I saw the startled expression my daughter had when she was 9 months old and sitting in her high chair, when she heard the pressure cooker whistle (we had an open kitchen in that house). To make sure she didn't bawl in fear, we immediately laughed and said "cooker" - thats how one of the first words she spoke was "cookah".

The pressure cooker is also probably the first kitchen appliance we learn to cook with - rice and dal were the basics that I learnt when I was in college. On the days Mom was tired after a long day teaching at school, she would ask me to keep the rice and dal; she would then only have to complete the tempering and prepare a vegetable side dish, once she was rested.

Moong Dal and Rajma were the first non-South Indian dishes I learnt to cook (even before sambar and rasam!) - courtesy my Punjabi room mate when I was living on my own and doing my post-grad degree. It was so good that I used to polish off 2 bowls of dal even before dinner was ready. And this with our very limited kitchen facilities - we didn't even have a mixer/blender.

So, I just had to participate in Nupur's first edition of her new event Blog Bites which is dedicated to Cookers - Pressure cookers, Rice cookers and Slow cookers. There are so many of my own favourite recipes I make in the cooker that it was going to be even more difficult to pin down one from another of the many blogs I frequent.

Well I did and it was from one of my favourite browsing places when I am wracking my head for something to cook - Meera's Enjoy Indian Food - it is so evident that she does "Enjoy Indian Food"!. She is positively prolific in her posts and I love the wide variety of dishes she shared with us - especially the Maharashtrian and Gujarati dishes which I love and miss a lot.

So, I picked this recipe for Moogachi Usal - a traditional Maharashtrian stir fry made with sprouts - something I haven't made for a long time. I usually make sprouts into a salad - but since I tasted this recently on my trip to Kolhapur, I remembered that I really missed having this simple, nutritious dish. The only thing different from the recipe was that I used mixed sprouts - mung as well as moth beans (turkish gram).


The knife said...

True, the sound of a pressure cooker is such a big part of growing up. I like pressure cooker cooking as it helps blend in curries. I use a pan though which is what singletons or DINKS prefer.

Was always intrigued by misal and ussal at Mumbai. Missal's a often a part of canteen fare but wasn't too sure of ussal till now

Nupur said...

Cookah- so cute!

Thanks for a wonderful post and for participating in my event :) The moogachi usal looks tempting.

indosungod said...

The sounds of the pressure cooker make me feel right at home. I was visiting a neighbor here and when her cooker whistled it made me feel like I was at a neighbor's back home.

This mung stir fry is a comfort food.

Meera said...

Thanks so much for trying. Thanks for your kind words too. I have bookmarked several posts from your blog too. That poee is on my to do list from the day you blogged. I will try it soon and let you know.

Cham said...

One day she gonna see this post and laugh! The usal is very new and delicious!

Miri said...

I use a pan too when I need to make one pot dishes and soups. And yes, I used it much more when we were DINKS...


Miri said...

My pleasure Nupur and Meera! :)

Mallugirl said...

cookah was one of my little one's first words too!! amazing!
i always make the salad so u are right.. have to try this.