Ever since I’ve moved into the new city, I’ve tried using the local produce creatively in different ways and I must say I’m enjoying it thoroughly. It is always exciting to use new produce, to explore new flavours and taste.
I’ve been using the tuvar beans/pigeon peas, surati papdi/avarekalu/lilva beans and recently the Mango-ginger too in my day to day cooking and enjoyed them thoroughly. I’m in particularly a little obsessed with the lilva beans (fresh tuvar daal beans) and have been experimenting a lot with them, though have not been able to share all the recipes here as the things get finished before I could click them.
I was particularly interested in trying the combination of the lilva with the gongura leaves. I was too convinced that both the flavours will blend well and the resultant dish will be an instant hit. My instinct proved correct, the dish was loved by all especially S.
I made a traditional Maharashtrian curry called Paatalbhaaji. Now, ‘Paatal’ means liquid in Marathi and ‘Bhaaji’ means curry, so it translates to a liquidly curry or a curry which has a thinner consistency. This kind of curry is made using the greens and the gram flour is used as a thickening agent. It is then tempered nicely with spices and asafoetida (heeng). It is a must in a traditional Maharashtrian thali but is made without the garlic.
I used the gongura greens to make this bhaaji. As we know that the Gongura is a sour vegetable so this bhaaji has to be nicely balanced by the spice level of red chillies and also the jaggery, to reduce the extra sourness. Else Spinach and Gongura can be mixed in equal proportions too, to make this bhaaji.
1bunch gongura (ambadi/sorrel)
1 cup lilva beans (fresh tuvar beans)
4tbsp heaped, gram flour (besan)
a handful peanuts
2 green chillies chopped
salt to taste
For Tempering 1
1tsp mustard seeds
1/2tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
3tbsp red chilli pwd
a large pinch of asafoetida
For Tempering 2
5-6garlic pods, chopped
2tbsp chilli pwd
1/2tsp turmeric pwd
Pluck the leaves of Gongura and wash them. Chop them finely.
In a heavy bottom pan, cook together the green chillies, peanuts and Gongura leaves using a little water.
Once the leaves are cooked, cool it and then mash it using washed hand. using hand ensures that the vegetable is nicely mashed and later the gram flour does not form lumps.
Mix in the gram flour, turmeric and salt to taste. Also, mix about 3 cups water and put it on gas for cooking again. Once it starts boiling the curry will thicken and will get an even and smooth consistency. If you feel that the curry is too thick, add more water. And if the curry has a watery consistency then just mix in some more gram flour paste.
Once the curry thickens and is cooked, pour in the first tempering and mix.
Prepare the second tempering too but let it cool and use it at the time of serving to put on the top. The garlic tempering adds a good flavour and bite to the bhaaji/curry.
Serve it with hot rice and hand crushed onion.
Sending it to Vardhini’s New U
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