This dal was a learning experience for me. I’d never eaten or cooked this vegetable. So I’d like to share my experience here.
I received a few of the chow-chow / seema vankaya / seemae kathrikaya from my friend on a recent visit to her house. I was a bit curious about it, since it seemed to grow so well at her place. She and her MIL assured me that should it grow well, it was bound to give me a good and constant harvest, which would help my organic garden efforts. Her MIL took the help a little further by giving me a freshly sprouted plant to help me on my way! 🙂 And a couple of the vegetables to cook this weekend.
Double-checking with my own MIL helped me understand a little more about how to cook it. Since i wasn’t too sure about the taste, I opted to make teeya pappu or moong-dal pappu. It turned out pretty well (if I may say so myself)! 😉 The flavor was pretty bland, but paired with a slightly spicy curry/sabzi, it tastes good with hot rice.
Seema Vankaya / Chow-chow
- 2 medium sized chow-chow/seema vankaya
- 1/2 cup moong-dal/ pesara pappu
- 1 tsp salt
- a pinch of turmeric
- Tadka: 1/2 tsp of aavalu (mustard seeds) and urad dal and 1 broken red chilly
- wash, peel and chop the seema vankaya into small pieces. If the vegetable is a bit mature, you may find a core. Cut the core out and use the rest of the vegetable.
Chopped into small pieces
- Was the pesarapappu and add enough water for cooking.
- Add the seema vankaya pieces, salt and turmeric and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
- After the cooker cools, mash the dal without crushing the vegetable pieces.
- In a small wok, heat a tsp of oil and add the tadka.
- When the aavalu start to crackle, add it to the dal.
- Mix well and let it sit on heat for a few mins.
Ready to serve!
Serve hot with rice and ghee. 🙂
This past year I’ve been mostly AWOL from my online presence for a lot of reasons. And getting back to blogging is something i wish to focus on this year. A huge development that did take place was the growth of my kitchen garden. I became a part of a group of gardeners here in Bangalore who encouraged to grow-what-you-eat-and-eat-what-you-grow! My focus is to be healthy, and a great way of doing that is to eat organic foods. Adn the best way I found to achieve that, is to grow organic!! 🙂
Today’s recipe is made using vankaya that I grow in my garden!
There are 2 varieties of vankaya pachadi in Telugu cuisine. One is the way I will describe below. The other is one that Telugu cuisine shares with other Indian regions and is called baingan-ka-bharta. Hopefully, I’ll get around to featuring that too soon!
While baingan ka bharta relies on the violet colored brinjals, this pachadi can be made with any variety. That is a blessing, given that my kitchen garden doesn’t feature the violet ones (yet). What I do have are these 2 kinds of brinjal:
Veggies from my garden!
The picture was taken along with other produce from my garden that day. I’ve used the single big whitish vankaya in this recipe.
So here goes!
- Brinjal/eggplant/vankaya – 1 large (or abt 100 gm)
- green chillies – 10-12
- red chillies – 5
- Tamarind – about 1/2 lemon size (approximately)
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
- Seasoning: mustard seeds (aavalu) – 1 tsp, urad dal (mina pappu) – 1 tsp, fenugreek seeds (menthulu) 1/3tsp, asafoetida (inguva) – 1tsp
- In a lidded saucepan, pour in the oil and place the uncut vankaya in it. The saucepan needs to be deep enough for the lid to set properly after planing the vankaya.
- Keep turning the vankaya time to time to ensure the whole thing in braised. The skin will seem to split a bit, or at least part from the body. When lightly pressed, the skin will fold into the vankaya.
- Remove from the saucepan, retaining the oil. Set the vankaya aside for cooling in the final serving dish.
- Add the seasoning into the oil. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add the red and green chillies and let them stay in the oil till all the chillies start changing color.
- Take off the flame immediately and add the washed tamarind, turmeric and salt, and set aside to cool.
- Once cool, grind the seasoning into a fine paste.
- Peel the skin off the cooled vankaya. This will actually peel off easily if the vankaya has been braised properly.
- Mash the peeled vankaya lightly. You may opt to keep pieces or mash the whole thing finely.
- Mix the seasoning paste into the mashed vankaya welland set aside for some time.
The pachadi is best served with hot rice and ghee! 🙂
This is a very common morning snack in most Andhra households. The premise is to make last night’s leftovers into a fresh dish, without too much effort.
Idli is one of the most favoured breakfast and dinner dishes. Its light, and yet filling, and versatile, allowing for any kind of accompaniment – sambhar, podi or chutney.However, sometimes we are left with last night’s idli, and don’t know what to do with it. The best thing to do would be “upma“!
- In a large wok, heat a little oil and add the tadka.
- At the same time, crush the idlis by hand making it dry and crumbly
- once the tadka starts popping, add the chopped green chillies and let them fry in the oil for about 3-4 seconds
- add the crushed idli and curry leaves and add turmeric. Add a pinch of salt to settle the flavours
- Mix well. You may splash a bit of water to help with the mixing.
- Keep stirring constantly to prevent if from sticking to the wok. After 1 minute take off from the flame and add the lemon juice.
- Mix well, set lid and set aside for 2 minutes before serving
- Setting it aside will allow the lemon flavour to mix well with the upma.
Serve hot, and watch your family enjoy this quick and tasty breakfast!