- 1 cup white vatana 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 1 pinch of hing/ asafoetida ½ teaspoon black pepper powder 1 tablespoon grated coconut ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder ¼ teaspoon dry red chilli powder 5-6 curry leaves 1 teaspoon jaggery Salt to taste
WHITE PEAS (DHAVO VATANA, SAFED MATAR) USAL
A simple usal or dry lentil preparation that is nutritious and simple to make, this Dhavo Vatano Usal
Also sometimes referred to as Chanya chi usal in Goa, though strictly speaking the dish is not made from Safed Chana but from safed vatana. It is traditionally made on Deepavali/ Diwali to break the fasting in early morning.
On the auspicious day of Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, the family members wake up at dawn for the “Abhayanga snaan”. This is a ritual of bathing which starts with massaging coconut oil (or other oils of your choice) all over your skin and this is followed by rubbing into your skin a rough coarse herbal powder called “Utne” or “Ubtan”. This works as a exfoliant, removing the dead cells from your skin. This is a mixture of many herbs and usually contain “Turmeric or Haldi powder” said to impart fairness to skin, alognwith “Chandan” or Sandalwood powder which is said to help prevent skin problems like acne and pimples, keeps the skin cool and also has a aroma that is soothing and pleasing.
This rubbing of the herbal pack is followed by a bath. This whole exercise is a ritual of cleansing the body and preparing for the “Puja” prayers with is a cleansing of the soul, before breaking the fast.
The senior (married) lady of the home will then start the “Ovalni” which is a ritual where all Male members in the family stand in a row and the lady shows them “Aarti” which is a “thali” or plate with holy “diya” lamps to spread happiness and goodwill amongst all and welcome health & prosperity into the family.
Then begin the celebrations by visiting friends and relatives and exchanging “Mithai” or sweets. Evening time is a time to light colourful lanterns in each household, lighting many small “diyas” or “puntis” or lamps followed by lighting many types of “Fatake” of fire crackers. This is done to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
- Soak the white vatana overnight. Dispose the water. Pressure cook the vatana till soft.
- Heat oil, add hing and mustard seeds. Allow the mustard to crackle. Now add the curry leaves.
- Add the safed matar/ pandhra vatana/ dhavo vatano / white peas, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, black pepper powder and jaggery.
- Garnish with grated coconut. Dhavo Vatana Usal is ready to serve.