I learnt about this particular dal at my In-laws house. When I first heard the name, I was taken aback. why would one want to add sugar to dal? That was pretty unheard of, and I wasn’t sure I even wanted to try it. However, once I tasted it, it sure was a very pleasant surprise, without the addition of any sugar! This dish now takes pride of place on my table most weekends!
This weekend, I had a new crop of amaranth in my home garden, so that’s what I made! 🙂
Fresh Thotakura from my garden
1/2 cup pesara pappu (moong dal)
1 bunch of thotakura (amaranth leaves)
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of inguva (hing, asafoetedia)
pinch of turmeric
Tadka: avalu (mustard seeds), mina pappu (urad dal), red chilli
- Cook the dal, chopped leaves, salt and turmeric till the dal is completely done and the amaranth leaves have cooked and mixed with the dal.
- Take off the flame
- In a wok, heat some oil with the tadka, add hing and add to the dal.
- Mix well with the dal
in a bed of hot rice 🙂
This dal is best served hot with rice and a spicy subzi to off-set the sweetness! 🙂
I have been eating this particlar preparation of bengulooru mirapakaya since childhood. It has also been one of my mom’s favorites. So it was made pretty often! 😉
After marriage I faced a different problem. The name. I always knew it as simla mirchi or capsicum, and suddenly I was asked if I knew how to make bengulooru mirapakaya. Took me some time to figure out, but I did get it in the end! It didn’t help matters that it was my mom’s fav, but pretty low on my preferred foods. 😦
- 8-10 small capsicum (select the smallest size – it’s easier to cook and tastes better)
- Stuffing: besan, salt, jeera, chilli powder, oil for mixing
- For every cup of besan, put in 1tsp salt, 1/2 tsp chilli and a pinch of jeera and 1tsp oil to help mix
- Oil for braising
- Clean the capsicum and make a neat slit along the side for stuffing.
- Stuff the capsicum fully. This takes a bit of manuvering around the inside to ensure its completely done. Be careful not to completely split it open
Stuffed, and ready to be cooked
- Heat some oil in a wok. Once heated, add the stuffed capsicum slowly and place lid.
- Keep turning them time to time so that they get evenly braised.
- Take off the flame when done. Drain the oil. Some of the stuffing may come out of the capsicum. They can get put back when the capsicum has cooled down
… and ready to eat!
The best part of this vegetable is that the capsicum retains its shape. It can be eaten with rice and dal.
This is a bit of a slow vegetable to cook. Mostly I make this by boiling the vegetable, and then adding the masala to the cooked vegetable and calling it done.
However, when my mother-in-law was here recently, she showed me this way of making it. This method apparently is a favourite of Hubby’s as well!
- Put in oil and chopped dondakaya as if to deep fry.
- Set the lid over the wok so that it (kind of ) can braize (in Telugu: magga pettu)
- Once the dondakaya starts to soften, take off the lid and deep fry normally. This method used up a little less oil that the regular method, and fries the vegetable evenly.
- Drain the excess oil into a container. This oil can be used for tadka and other frying purposes.
- Add the besan and mix well to ensure no clumps are formed, and the dondakaya pieces are properly covered with besan.
- When cooked, the besan will give off a nice aroma. Add the grated coconut and mix well.
- The coconut helps the pieces of dondakaya to separate and not clump together.
Serve hot with rice.