Monday, March 5, 2012

Of Poricha Kozhambu and Puliyitta Keerai

A short Google search tells me a completely different recipe, but what I made has been made at my home ever since I was born. It may also be one of my mother's inventions which she might have named after a slightly complicated dish. But it tastes so yummy and is so nutritious that I have always loved it. My grandmother makes it with yam. Since I am not a great fan of yam I substituted it with potatoes.

It all started with my Shivratri holidays. I have been kicking quite a lot of dust on how I am not able to go anywhere being stuck in this God damn city with no one around. It took a while and some quick decision making in going back to college for quest in March to get me out of the blues. As a part of salvaging this weekend, I decided to make this wonderful dish made out of predominantly Indian vegetables.

The broth

Grated Coconut - Half a cup
Red Chillies- 4 (less for people who don't like too much spice)
Pepper - Half a tea spoon ( I am always wary of adding too much pepper as I tend to hiccup quite a lot even with a tad too much pepper)

Grind the above into a nice paste and keep aside.

The Keerai

Buy Spinach (Thandu Keerai) and cut the lower part off. Pick the leaves from the upper part and keep the stems from the upper part aside. Clean the leaves and the stem separately and throughly. Soak them in water for about 10 mins just to be sure you get all the filth out. Once done, keep the stems aside and boil the leaves with half a cut of water until they get steamed along with a lemon sized ball of tamarind. Boil until the raw smell goes off . Use blender to mash the boiled spinach or just put it in the mixie for about half a minute. The trick is not to make it in to a paste. It should be mashed but you should be able to feel the leaves. Add red chilles, sesame seeds, urad dal in a tsp of gingelly oil and add this to the mashed spinach. Add salt. Your side dish is ready.

 The Thaan 

Snake guard - 2 palm sized pieces
Avarakkai (Apparently this called Hyacinth beans!)- a handful
Drum stick- half, cut into small pieces
Brinjal- One
Yam/Potato- One cut into small pieces
Spinach stems cut into small pieces
Sambar Dal- half a cup

Put all the above in a pressure cooker and steam for 4-5 whistles. After you open the cooker lid, add the coconut-chilly paste from the "broth" stage into the cooker and let the mixture simmer until it is nice and thick. Stir occasionally. Add salt

Once done, season with sesame seeds, red chilly and urad dal.

I love to eat this with rice and ghee. The keerai as the side-dish, will give the much needed sour taste to the combination.

It is very healthy as it uses all vegetables and it tastes SO good.

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