- 1 ½ cups dried green peas
- 3 tablespoon olive or canola oil
- 1 medium sized red onion, finely diced (reserve half for serving)
- 2 jalapeno or serrano chilies, finely minced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 ½ inch piece of ginger, finely minced
- 2 sprigs of mint
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
- 1 cup thin sev (crispy chickpea flour noodles), for serving
- ½ cup tamarind-date chutney, for serving
- ½ cup cilantro chutney, for serving
- Water as needed
- Pick through peas to remove any impurities and soak them in 3 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Remove excess water to keep just enough water to cover peas. Cook in a medium sized Dutch oven or soup pot with cover until peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Can also be cooked in a pressure cooker according to manufacture direction and then transferred to a Dutch oven or soup pot.
- Uncover, add mint sprigs, green chilies, ginger, turmeric, dhana-jeeru, salt and sugar. Let it simmer while you prepare vaghar (hot oil with spices).
- In a small heavy bottomed pot, heat oil until simmers. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add garlic and sauté it for 30 seconds. Add half of chopped onion, garam masala, and chili powder and sauté them until onion is light golden brown. Pour over simmering peas (usal). Stir the peas to blend spices. Let peas simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add lemon juice and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. If usal is too thick add some water. Remove mint sprigs. Garnish with cilantro.
- To serve: Pour hot usal in a soup bowl, spread about ¼ cup of sev on top. Top with tamarind-date chutney and cilantro chutney. Garnish with about teaspoon of chopped red onion. Can be served as an appetizer or lunch.