Kala Vatana Usal

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Kala Vatana Usal means Black Peas Curry. It is a special and delicious dish prepared in Konkan Region of Maharashtra. Also known as Kala Vatanya Cha Sambara. You’ll find similar curry prepared differently in other states of India. In Konkan region, it is prepared with grated coconut and pieces of coconut. Adding cashew is optional.

While preparing gravy, if you add separate garam masala then it gives a different flavour and spicy taste. It is easy to prepare dish. However, preparation of garam masala requires an additional effort. This dish goes well with amboli, chappati, bhakri, puri/malvani vada or simply with plain rice.

Preparation Time – 20 mins

Soak Time – 8 hours

Cook Time – 20 mins

Total Time – 8 hours 40 mins (including soak time)


  • 1 medium bowl black peas (kala vatana)
  • 2 finely chopped onion
  • 2 finely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 small bowl fresh grated coconuts
  • 1/2 small bowl cashew (optional)
  • 1/2 small bowl coconut pieces (optional)
  • 6-7 Black pepper- Kali Meeri
  • 6-7 Cloves- Lawang
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel- Badhishep (Mote)
  • 1 teaspoon Poopy seeds- Khas- khas
  • 1 and ½ inch Cinnamon- Dalchini
  • 1 small Black Cardamom- Bade Weldhode
  • Very Small 2-3 piece of Nutmeg/Mace-Jaiphal
  • 1 teaspoon homemade malvani garam masala or regular garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
  • Finely Chopped Coriander leaves
  • 4-5 teaspoon oil
  • Water as required
  • Salt to taste

Serves:  5 persons

Directions / Procedure:

Steps to make gravy masala

  1. Heat the oil in Kadai or pan on low flame gas & add chopped onion, sauté for 2-3 minutes till the onion becomes reddish brown.
  2. Add grated coconut in it, sauté on medium flame while continuous stirring is required till the onion and coconut becomes reddish.
  3. Then add chopped tomatoes, mix all ingredients and sauté for 5 minutes. Keep aside.
  4. Heat the 1 teaspoon oil in pan and sauté the whole (spices) garam masala like black pepper, cloves, fennel seed, poopy seed, cinnamon, black cardamom and nutmeg for about 3-4 minutes on medium flame.
  5. In a mixture finely grind all ingredients like sautéed whole spices and mixture of coconut, onion, tomatoes. Make a paste and keep aside.

Steps to cook black peas and making Usal

  1. First wash the black peas 2-3 times in running water and soak the peas in water for about 8-10 hours.
  2. After 8-10 hours, wash the soak black peas in water.
  3. Take soaked peas in deep pot and add water as per the level of soak peas. Also add small pieces of coconut (square shape), half teaspoon salt and half teaspoon oil in it. Then cook the peas in a pressure cooker for about 20 -25 minutes on high flame. That means it requires 3-4 times whistles of pressure cooker.
  4. Simultaneously separately cook the cashew in water for about 5 minutes and keep aside.
  5. Take the cooked black peas from pressure cooker and keep aside.
  6. Heat the deep pan/ kadai and add cooked black peas and malvani garam masala. Add half glass water and stir it well. Cook the peas and garam masala for about 5 minutes on medium flame.
  7. Now add boiled cashew in it and further add above finely grind paste and salt to taste, stir the mixture very well.
  8. Without lid cook for about 2-3 minutes on low flame gas.
  9. If you like thick gravy, then switch off the flame or add some amount of water and cook 1-2 minutes further.
  10. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and serve hot with Amboli/Chapati/Pulkas/Puri/Malvan Vada/Roti/Bhakari (any type).

 Tips / suggestions:

  • Soak the black peas for about 8-9, while soaking add 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Always cook the black peas in pressure cooker, wait for 3-4 whistles
  • Adjust or add more spice ingredients like Red Chilli powder, readymade Garam Masala Powder/Homemade Malvani Garam Masala
  • Cashew nut and small pieces of coconut are optional

Ready to serve with your lunch or dinner.

Photos for reference:


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  1. Yummy! Marked this as a surprise delight for this Sunday. Thanks Varsha for helping me dish out variety.

    • Varsha Baikar

      Thanks Anagha 🙂 Do share your comments after preparing this dish.

  2. Hunger provoking dish!

  3. Mouthwatering post, let me see whether i can try this today or not, will share my experience.

  4. code2cook

    Looking very tempting, now craving it with rice. yummy

  5. This is one of the rainy days recipe with amboli.

    • Varsha Baikar

      Yes, we also serve with Amboli. Thanks for reminding 🙂 Rupali.
      I have just added the same.

  6. Healthy dish and so yum. I need to try this soon..

  7. This does look interesting. However I wonder can this be served Pav ? As in Missal Pav ?

    • Varsha Baikar

      Thanks Atul 🙂 Yes, you can serve with pav or bread. But don’t add Farsan in it like misal. For misal, you need to prepare usal using safed vatana or matki.

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