A stir-fry of sprouted moth or mat beans, seasoned with the classic Indian tomato-onion masala sauce. Matkichi Bhaji is a hearty, healthy, and vegan main dish that pairs well with Indian flatbreads such as whole wheat phulka rotis, chapatis, or gluten-free millet breads like jowar or bajra rotis for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Matkichi usal (oo-sal), a rustic stew made with sprouted matki, small brown legumes also known as moth or dew beans, frequently graces our dinner table at least once a month. The family eagerly devours it, especially when paired with freshly made whole wheat rotis straight from the stove. This dish is a highly popular Maharashtrian main course, where sprouted beans are simmered in a spicy yet slightly sweet broth. Its distinctive flavor comes from the kala/goda masala and jaggery used in the recipe. It’s an excellent vegan option, rich in both protein and fiber due to the bean sprouts. Given that it’s one of the quickest and easiest dishes to prepare, beloved by everyone in the family, it has become one of my go-to recipes for busy weeknights.
Misal made with Sprouted Matki or Moth Beans
A New Recipe with Sprouted Matki or Moth Beans
However, a few weeks ago, I grew tired of preparing the same old stew (not that the family ever complained about it!), so I decided to experiment with something new – Matkichi Bhaji. This is a stir-fry featuring the sprouted beans, seasoned with the classic Indian tomato-onion masala sauce. It turned out wonderfully, and my family thoroughly enjoyed it!
Sprouting the Beans
Of course, preparing the original stew or this stir-fried dish with the moth beans requires some advanced planning – about 2-3 days for the beans to sprout! While I’ve experimented with various methods for sprouting the beans, one approach has consistently proven to be fail-proof and highly effective for me – using a sprouter kit. I have a how-to video on my Youtube channel showing how to sprout the beans using a sprouter kit.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the time to sprout the beans, you should be able to find ready-to-use fresh or frozen sprouted beans at Indian grocery stores. They work very well, and I’ve frequently used them to prepare a hearty and healthy dinner that’s ready in minutes. Additionally, you can also use sprouted moong beans instead of moth beans, and they will taste just as good.
My Recipe for Matkichi Bhaji
When I decided to create this new recipe, I made some significant changes while keeping it simple and straightforward. Instead of using the typical Maharashtrian ingredients like kala/goda masala and jaggery, which are used for making the stew, I opted for the classic Indian tomato-onion masala sauce as the base and then mixed in the sprouted beans. The masala sauce typically has enough moisture, which worked out very well for the sprouts to fully cook while absorbing the flavors of all the spices and aromatics that went into it. I didn’t need to add any water, resulting in dry, stir-fried sprouts that differed in texture and flavor from the usual stew made with them. I’ve linked a short video below that I put together for you that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.
In a medium pot or a deep sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil starts shimmering add in the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and asafetida.
When the seeds sizzle and the turmeric and asafetida froths, add the onion. Season the onion with salt to help it soften. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring it frequently, until it is translucent.
Stir in the ginger and garlic and sauté the ingredients for 1 minute. Stir in the red chili powder and garam masala. Sauté the mixture for about 30 seconds to let the spices bloom, and then add the tomato paste and the chopped tomatoes.
Season the mixture with additional salt and stir the ingredients to combine them well. Cover and cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes on medium-low heat.
Toss in the sprouted beans and mix well to combine. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes, till the sprouts are fully cooked.
Garnish with cilantro and grated coconut. Serve immediately with warm whole wheat phulka rotis, chapatis, or gluten-free millet breads like jowar or bajra rotis and a side of raita/salad
Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.