Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kerala yellow split pea & snake gourd stirfry---parippu-padavalanga thoran

A simple Kerala meal has three main dishes to accompany rice. One dish with a sauce that can be mixed with the rice, called chaarukoottan. This could be a lentil-based vegetable stew-like dish, a yogurt-based dish with sauce, a broth-like vegetable dish, a coconut milk based dish, or a fish or meat or egg dish with sauce. The second accompaniment to rice is a dry or semi-dry dish -- this could be a vegetable stirfry called thoran or a mezhukkupuratti, or meat stirfry, or a lentil, or egg. The third side would be a varavu -- a fried something. Again, this could be a fried fresh or dried, salted fish, a fried vegetable or fried meat. Salads like pachadi, kichadi are other sides. Pappadams, pickles, relishes and kondaattams and yogurt are always there, as sides that enhance the whole meal.

This recipe here is a tasty accompaniment to rice and sambar or rasam, or rice and any meat or fish stews. Basically, it is a lentil-vegetable stirfry. It is a "thoran" because it has coconut in it. A really simple meal would be if we had this with rice and yogurt and a hot or tangy pickle.




Ingredients:

yellow split pea - 1/2 cup
snake gourd, cut in small pieces- 2 cups approx.
onion, cut in half and sliced, - 1/2 cup
garlic, crushed - 4 cloves
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
crushed red pepper - 1-2 tsp
coconut, grated - 1/2 - 3/4 cup
mustard - 1/2 tsp
dried red chili, broken into 2 pieces- 2
curry leaves
salt
oil - 3 tbsp

Soak the yellow split pea in water for a few hours. Cook with a pinch of turmeric till tender, not mushy.

Prepare the snake gourds. Cut into pieces, and cook in a little water, till tender but firm.










Heat oil in a wok or skillet. Pop the mustard seeds. Add onion and garlic and curry leaves.Add the dried red chili peppers, and the crushed red pepper. Saute for a few minutes till onion is wilted and garlic is a light brown. Add the grated coconut. Stir well. Medium heat. Saute for a few minutes. Add the cooked lentil and snake gourd. Stir well. Add enough salt. Mix well till everything is incorporated.

Serve with rice along with a chaarukoottaan., or by itself, with yogurt, and a pickle, if you like.


A note about the rice -- all the above dishes go best with Kerala matta rice.



matta




However, the parboiled rice that we use here does the job all right too.




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