Adulated for its “brilliant textural colours and contrasts”, the Foodie Hub Global Awards held in London this week recompensed the Mumbai Misal Pav as ‘The World’s Tastiest Vegetarian Dish”. Joined with Pav (bread), Misal, a curry of peas, potatoes, cleaved onion and tomatoes, and farsan is a local top pick.
The Mumbai breakfast delicacy is also a much loved local snack. While there are variations across the state, it is the recipe from Aaswad restaurant in Mumbai’s Dadar, that won this honour. Aaswad chefs Vilas Gangaram Taral and Tukaram Shankar Utekar, gave away this recipe to Asian Age: “We start with boiling moth beans and other pulses and then add spices and curry leaves. Later we temper it with garlic, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Our special missal masala is added to complete the dish. This is the basic usal recipe; to this, we add farsan, lemon juice and coriander leaves to make authentic missal.”
You’ll see Misal served with curd or sev, and varying spice palates. In Pune, the spices are toned down, but Mumbaikars prefer it spicy, says Mumbai Foodie Hub Expert Kalyan Karmarkar who nominated the restaurant’s dish. The home of the Misal though is Kolhapur, where it is said to be the spiciest.
But for Mumbaikars, Aaswad is the heart of Misal. The restaurant is a part of Mumbai’s legacy – it was inaugurated by Bal Thackeray in 1986, and today churns out 400 plates of its favorite dish, at Rs. 48 a plate.
Suryakant Sarjoshi, Aaswad’s founder regarded the use of home made spices as the winning element in his recipe. The humble Misal has beaten Vegan Spinach Pie (Athens), Baby Beans with Quail Egg (Barcelona), Black Barley (Perth) and Palmito Assado na Casca (Rio de Janeiro) .