Matki ki Usal is one of Maharashtra's most famous snacks.Matki is a tiny kidney bean also known as Moth, Mat or Mother Bean, (Phaseolus aconitifolius). It is indigenous to India and the tender pods are used as a vegetable while the dry beans are used as a dal.
What is so great about indigenous plants are their ability to survive in particularly harsh conditions which are sometimes so common to India. Matki resists drought and protects the soil because it is a low growing, matted plant which works well against erosion.
Since any number of recipes are available for matki dal and usal I'd rather share another simple vegetable recipe made from the sprouted lentil.You could sprout the lentil yourself quite easily by soaking it overnight and then keeping it in a damp muslin cloth for a day.
I can't be bothered with all that and one of my favourite spots in the market is where Ujjwala and her mother sell an array of sprouted lentils which they make at home.They live in a small hut in Kawdewadi and sell their sprouts every day, next to the vegetable market in Suyojana Society.
250 gms (1/4 lb) of matki cost Rs 7 today ( approximately 15 cents)and since all the vegetables had not yet arrived from the wholesale market for the day, I picked some up and cooked it for lunch.
Besides being great for your health....you know, fibre, phytoestrogens, very high in protein content etc etc I love their nutty flavour and often just dunk them in boiling water for 30 seconds and eat it with a bit of salt , pepper and a squeeze of lime. This is a great snack, or to add to a salad.
Another recipe is simple matki sabzi (vegetable) :
1 tsp vegetable oil
1-2 slit green chillies
1 tablespoon chopped coriander mixed with 2-3 sliced garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
250 gms sprouted matki/moth beans
1/2 tsp haldi /turmeric
Salt to taste
Heat the oil and when hot fry the green chilli, garlic and coriander mix and ginger. As the garlic browns and the ginger sticks to the pan add the washed matki. Add the turmeric immediately and saute for a few minutes. Add salt , cover and cook for 5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander.
Can't get simpler than that can it ?