Monday, June 27, 2011

Pooshanikkai Kaaramani Koottu

For a whole month and a half now, I have been off kitchen duty since amma is visiting. She has completely taken over the kitchen, and I am not sure if I will be able to find my way around the pantry when she leaves! However, it has truly been a delight having her cook fresh meals for us every day. I am still amazed at how varied and interesting she keeps it.

One evening over dinner we were discussing dishes with white pumpkin ("pooshanikkai") and appa mentioned that amma "sometimes" makes a delicious "koottu" with black-eyed peas (kaaraamani). Most often he said, she simply makes "mor kozhambu" with the pooshanikkai. Amma said that is not quite so. V got quite excited and decided he had to have it pretty soon. So we promptly bought pumpkin and black-eyed peas on our next trip to the Indian store.

We were not disappointed! It was a delicious koottu that went well with both rice and with chapatis. Yum! Plus it has all the protein and nutrients we needed. It is going to be one of our staples from now on. Here is the recipe.

1 cup Black-eyed peas (Kaaraamani)
White pumpkin (or ashgourd) - 2 cups peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp Grated Coconut
3-4 green chilies
1 Tbsp Jaggery
1 small marble-sized tamarind - soaked and squeezed
Pinch Turmeric
Pinch asafoetida (hing)
Mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and 1 tsp oil for tempering
Salt to taste

Method of preparation:
1. Soak black-eyed peas overnight and cook with pumpkin and a pinch turmeric in pressure cooker (or until soft)
2. Grind together grated coconut and green chilies to a paste
3. Heat tamarind water in a pot. Add sambar powder and salt and bring to boil until raw smell of sambar powder is gone
4. Add the cooked pumpkin and black-eyed peas and bring to boil again
5. Add coconut paste and jaggery and heat through until it comes to a koottu consistency
6. Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and when they sputter, add urad dal, hing and curry leaves.
7. Add tempering mix to koottu and serve

Enjoy hot with rice or with chapatis. More of amma's recipes are on the way!

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