Kitchen Stories Meals

Peas Chili – Usal Pav: vegan street-food

September 3, 2019
Peas Chili - Usal Pav: vegan street-food

How to make Usal Pav ~ Peas Chili? Vegan and Gluten-free street food.

We are bringing you the recipe of the Mumbai street-food Usal (Pea’s chili)  Pav (bread) “, made with dried yellow or white peas soaked for 8 to 10 hours and cooked and flavored with a variety of herbs and spices to bring the delectable taste that evokes the want for more, by anyone who gives it a try.

Have you ever cooked with dried peas? Green, Yellow, or White? Share your go-to peas selection with us in the comment below.

Usal Pav, the recipe is borrowed from Palak (my sister-in-law). It belongs to her mom’s recipe repertoire; I would like to thank them for allowing sharing the recipe on the blog. It’s Palak who is making the Usal in the photographs, and I am behind the camera shooting away. We shot this back in 2018.

We devoured the Mumbai street food style recipe in the comfort of our home so much that we decided to bring this healthy hearty meal option here to the blog and what better time than now when we are almost transiting from summer to fall.

It’s an option to beans, other lentils, and legumes.

Ingredients: 3-4 servings

  • 250 gms Dry yellow/white peas (soaked and cooked)
  • 3 Onions (diced ~ medium ~ roughly the size of ping pong ball )
  • 4 Tomatoes (diced ~ medium ~ roughly the size of ping pong ball )
  • 2-3 Garlic cloves paste
  • 2-3 Green chilies (slice them in the rings)
  • 1 Jalapeno (slice in the ringlets)
  • 7-10 Fresh curry leaves
  • 1-2 Limes
  • 2-3 tbsp Oil
  • 3-4 cups water


  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1-2 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp Coriander and cumin powder
  • 1-2 tsp Pav bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp Chaat masala
  • Salt to taste


  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Diced onion (optional)

Served with:

  • Sev (optional)
  • Pav (bread(optional)

Tip: Opt for gluten-free bread for gluten-free option.

Usal Ingredients: Onion, Tomatoes, Spices, and herbs

Usal Ingredients: Onion, Tomatoes, Spices, and Herbs.


  • Heavy bottom pan and Pressure cooker or an Instant Pot
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Spatula or ladle
Soaked and cooked white dried peas

Soaked and cooked yellow or white dried peas.

Direction: Prepare the dried peas:

  • Soak the yellow or white dried peas for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Pressure cook the peas with water and salt for 8 to 10 whistles.

Tip: While pressure cooking:

  • Keep the peas submerged in water, aleast 1″ above the pea level.
  • Do not over salt.
Saute cumin seeds

Saute cumin seeds.

Direction: How to make Usal (Chili)?

  • On medium heat, add 2-3 tbsp oil to a heavy bottom pan.
  • Saute cumin seeds to light brown and add diced onions to that.
  • Saute diced onion to translucent and add garlic paste to the mix.
  • Add curry leaves and chopped ringlets of green chili and jalapenos.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and simmer until the tomato pulp thickens.
  • Add the powdered spices – red chili, coriander and cumin, garam masala, pav bhaji, and chaat masala to the mix and let it simmer until the oil separates from the tomato pulp on an excellent gravy base. Season according to your spice level.
  • To the tomato base gravy, add the cooked peas with the remaining water and let it simmer for 30-45 mins.
  • Maintain the chili consistency, hence add water if required.
  • Add the salt to taste.
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro to the Usal (Chili).
Sautee diced chopped onions.

Sautee diced chopped onions.

Curry leaves

Curry leaves

Diced tomatoes

Diced tomatoes

Simmer the cooked peas with the gravy.

Simmer the cooked peas with the gravy.



Sev: It’s made of Gram flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour, or besan.

  • It is gluten-free and deep fried – Ah! now we are talking isn’t it? Let us know in the comment below if you would like the recipe for Sev.
Usal Pav. Garnish with - diced onion, cilantro, and Sev.

Usal Pav. Garnish with – diced onion, cilantro, and Sev.


  • Garnish the Usal while serving with cilantro, onion, and Sev. Have lime on a side to add a zestiness to the dish.
  • Serve hot with bread.

Usal Pav can very well be a Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner and an any-time party entertainig dish. Enjoy the Usal by dunking the Pav in to it.

Indian street food / fast food options:
  • Panipuri (Golgappa)
  • Pav bhaji
  • Bhelpuri
  • Vada pav
  • Dabeli
  • Chaat
  • And the list goes on.
More on vegan recipes below:
Useful details:

Please share your experience if you try the recipe.


Nidhi & Palak

You Might Also Like