Madaki Usali

Madaki kaal is a kind of lentil and is used a lot in north Karnataka and Maharashtra. It is called Usal in Marathi and Usali in Kannada. Sprouted lentils are a high source of protein and ofcourse tastes good too.  


Madaki kaal, cooking oil, fresh curry leaves, ginger, garlic, grated coconut, red chilli powder or 2-3 green chillies, turmeric, onion, lemon, cumin powder, dhania powder, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, a pinch of asofotida, jaggery, salt and cilantro


To get sprouted usal:

  • Soak one cup of madaki kaal and whole peanuts (a hand full)in water for 5-6 hours.
  • Drain all the water and wrap the madaki in a thin cloth and tie it up.
  • Keep the cloth in a closed container and keep the container in a warm and dark place.
  • In about a day and half, you will see sprouts sticking out of the cloth. So your kaal is ready to cook!

To make the subji

  • Add about a tablespoon of cooking oil in a pan.
  • Add fresh curry leaves, mustard seeds and when the seeds crackle, add cumin seeds.
  • Add a pinch of asofoteda (this prevents gas formation)
  • Add onions.
  • When the onions turn translucent, add half a tea spoon of turmeric powder, a teaspoon of cumin powder and a teaspoon of dhania powder.
  • Grind together two tablespoons of coconut grated, cilantro, ginger, garlic and green chillies. If you plan to use red chilli powder, leave out the green chillies. You can add water too.
  • Add this paste to the pan. If you have not added green chillies, add chilli powder to the pan.
  • Add the madaki kaal.
  • Add lemon juice, salt and jaggery according to taste.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro


  • The warm place could be in an oven with light on – the light provides just enough heat for germination. If you live in a warm place, then you just keep it in a dark place. The idea is to make the environment similar to under ground where seeds germinate and produce roots.
  • Adding peanuts is not necessary but it makes it taste better :-).
  • A variation of this is to not use sprouted usali. Instead cook the lentils in a cooker (1 cup of lentils with 1 cup of water).

 Typically Served with:

Hot chapatis, rotti or rice.


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