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.
Puri-Kurma is one of the most popular tiffin items in Andhra. Almost every restaurant and tiffin center will carry this particular item immaterial of the day and time. Made properly, its a fun meal with various spices tickling the palate.
Puri – Kurma
For the Puri:
- Add 1/2 tsp salt to 1 1/2 cup of wheat flour and knead into a soft, dry dough adding water intermittently. Ensure it is not soggy.
- Set aside for some time
For the Kurma:
- 3 medium-sized potatoes
- handful of green peas
- Optional vegetables: cauliflower, beans
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1tbsp khus-khus
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 6 green chillies
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger
- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
- curry leaves and coriander for garnishing
- salt and turmeric
- Boil the potatoes and vegetables (except onion and tomatoes) and set aside
- Grind the khus-khus into a fine powder.
- Add grated coconut, onion, green chillies and ginger with water and grind to a fine paste
- In a wok, heat some oil and add the chopped tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes are softened, add the vegtables and khus-khus pates with salt and turmeric.
- cook till the gravy thickens.
- turn off the flame, add curry leaves and chopped coriander over the curry without mixing, put the lid and set aside.
- Make small sized rotis with a rolling pin, and deep fry in heated oil. If done properly, the puri will puff up. If not, it’ll become a crispy papad.
- While the soft and puffed puri is considered the ideal, there are lots of people who prefer the papad type, and make sure they get it that way! So its up to the cook to make the way he/she wants, and to make it properly… with a lot of practice. 🙂
Serve hot, as breakfast or dinner! It works great for both!
Kakarakaya Kura (bitter gourd curry) is probably one of the most vilified curries ever made (in my opinion). A poorly made vegetable will leave a bitter taste in the mouth. But a well-cooked curry is sheer ambrosia. It has all the flavour and richness, with none of the bitterness.
Obviously, I’m a fan! 🙂 And the only excuse I have for not publishing a photo for this blog is that once its done, I’m too focussed on getting it into my plate and eating it! 😀
3 mid-sized kakarakaya
Soaked Tamarind, lime-sized ball
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- Chop the kakarakaya into rings, about 1/2 cm thick.
In case there are seeds, leave them in, they will come off during the cooking process anyway, and will add flavour.
- Extract thick juice from the soaked tamarind. This will form the base for cooking the kakarakaya
- Mix all the ingredients together, except coconut, and cook.
- Keep stirring intermittently, to avoid sticking to the pan.
- Check that the green-ness has left the kakarakaya by the time all the water has evaporated. If not, add about 1/4-1/2 glass of water and resume cooking.
- In a small wok, heat some oil and add tadka of aavalu (mustard seeds), mina pappu (urad dal), dry red chilly. Add curry leaves just before taking off the flame.
- Add to the curry, and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add the desiccated coconut, and cook till the vegetable is completely dry. The coconut will have covered the kakarakaya pieces and made it a little dry.
Serve hot with rice and dal.