Usal – An Irresistible Protein-Rich Snack

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

Usal! The classic Maharashtrian comfort food! It is the perfect breakfast recipe – bursting with nutrition, so satisfying and incredibly scrumptious. It works well to quell those afternoon hunger pangs too.

The quintessential Bombay street food!


The usal is an explosion of flavours and textures in the mouth! Fortunately, it is packed with a multitude of health benefits as well. In fact, the usal ranks high up on the list of wholesome foods – given that it is made up solely of bean sprouts. Comprising of sprouts, tomato, onions, garlic, coriander leaves, and a concoction of spices, you just can’t go wrong with this recipe! The recipe uses the famous goda masala, which is fairly similar to the garam masala but has a suggestion of coconut and plenty of sesame seeds in it. Its complex taste and healthfulness make it the ideal breakfast and snack option. For the super health conscious, you can skip the sev. Substitute the sev with roasted peanuts and sunflower seeds for the crunch factor.

Squeeze lots of lime juice, toss generous amounts of coriander leaves and finely chopped onions and sprinkle some sev. Scoop the usal with soft pav for a delicious meal!

What beans can I use for my usal?

You can pick from a wide array of legumes to make your usal. Moong, moth (matki), vaal, chana and chawli can be used either separately or in a combination.

The beans are soaked overnight and sprouted. All the ingredients are then stir-fried and made into thick gravy. Let’s explore the outstanding health benefits of the various pulses (100 grams):

  • Moong:protein – 24grams, folate, manganese, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B complex
  • Moth:protein - 23 grams, vitamin B complex, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus
  • Black peas: protein – 20 grams, iron, copper, folate
  • Vaal:protein – 4 grams, sodium, potassium, iron
  • Chana: protein – 19 grams, iron, phosphorus, copper
  • Chawli: protein – 13 grams, folate, copper

All sprouts are chockfull of protein and fibre. Fibre helps reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity and GI tract disorders. The soluble fibre along with the low glycaemic index of the beans improves sugar and lipid control. The sprouts are filling and keep you fuller for longer and prevent oscillations in the blood glucose profile. The insoluble fibre helps digestion. Sprouts are fantastic for weight watchers as well and help reduce undesirable weight easily.

Tata Sampann pulses – moong, chana, chawli, masoor are sourced from reputed farms and scientifically manufactured and packaged adhering to strict quality-control measures to ensure that you get the most amount of nutrition from each dish. The usal is an absolute riot of flavours on a plate and exceedingly hard to resist. Luckily, being a powerhouse of nutrients and goodness, we can tuck in, guilt-free!


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