Saturday, August 4, 2007

Simple Lunches - 6

A friend of mine suggested I read the book In Spite of the Gods written by Edward Luce and while looking for it on noticed in the 'Customer who bought this item also bought' section Planet India, written by Mira Kamdar. On second thoughts before buying either of them thought I'd check the Public Library, they had both the books while for In Spite of the Gods I had to place a Hold, Planet India was readily available. It was a pretty interesting read about the economic fortunes of India and by extenstion the rest of the world. One particular catch phrase caught my attention "As Goes India, So Goes the World".

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Well the bitter gourd plant had 3 bitter gourds and the very first purple egg plant from the eggplant plant. It was the weekend and time for a Simple Lunch Menu and something with dal. I have never really cooked bitter gourd with dal. My mother suggested to use Thatta Payar because the sweetness of this dal would balance out the bitterness of the gourd, I was considering Toor Dal so we compromised on Split Thatta Payar. It turned out pretty taste and the bitterness hardly recogonizable.

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Split ThattaPayir with Bitter Gourd
1. 3 Bitter Gourds pits removed and chopped into small pieces
2. 1 Eggplant split in four
3. 3/4 Cup Thattapayir cooked till soft
4. 1/4 Cup Tamarind juice from a cherry tomato sized tamarind ball
5. 2 tbsp chopped onions
6. 4 cloves of garlic chopped
7. 2 tsp jaggery (optional)
8. seasonings: mustard, curry leaves

To Grind
1. 1/2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
2. 2-3 Red Chillies
3. 1/2 Tbsp Channa Dal
4. 1/2 tsp asfoetida

Dry roast the red chillies, channa dal and asfoetida and with the coconut blend to a paste with a little bit of water.

1. In a pan heat oil and saute the bitter gourd pieces and saute till they just start to turn black on the edges set aside
2. In a pan heat a little bit of oil, add the curry leaves and mustard and when it starts to splutter add the onions and saute till translucent, add the garlic and saute a few more minutes.
3. Add the eggplant and saute till the skin starts to wrinkle about 2-3 minutes and add the bitter gourd pieces, saute a minute or two
4. Add the tamarind juice and about 1/2 cup water and let the mixture boil till the bitter gourd starts to turn soft.
5. Now add the thattapayir, blended paste,jaggery and salt and cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes till they are mixed together.

Serve with Chapatis or rice with some roasted Taro root fry on the side.

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  1. Indo,those books sound interesting! Love the fresh veggies.If you had posted the plants pics,you could send this post to GBP to Deepz!
    Dish looks great.Enjoy the HOT weekend!It's 94F here!:)

  2. I loved the chinna morram. looks really cute. the curry reminds me of my grandmom's cooking. lovely lunch.

  3. OOh, a new combination with bittergourd, i;m a big fan... love the pic of the veggies in the moram... :) The taro root fry looks great too, nice cutting job :)

  4. looks very good


  5. What is thattapayir? Why don't you send this to Shaheen for her express cooking event?

  6. Indo, that dish is calling my name! :)

  7. dish looks comforting over the weekend :) taro root fry looks yum too!

  8. your veggies are strikingly beautiful.

  9. Shall check out for the book. But I am not getting time to read HP yet, which I want to finish first :)

    We make a Dal with Bitter gourd too, called Tetor Dal, if you can withstand bittrness try it some time but we add neither sour or sweet to offset the bitterness...strange now that I think of it

    Your produce looks so goos

  10. Asha, I should have, next time.
    Oh yes the heat is almost unberable, it rained a little bit last night, hope it cools things a bit.

    Sharmi, the chinna muram was DD's now I own it :)

    Sig, try this it is really tasty combo, I might make it a little bit spicier but otherwise perfect.

    Thanks my cutting skill have vastly improved :))

    Srivalli thanks.

    Jyothsana, it called cowpeas but I don't know any other name for it. here is a picture picture

    Cynthia give it a try. I guess any peas would work.

    Roopa comfort food for sure.

    Bee, thank you a bow on my veggies behalf.

    Inspite of the Gods is a very engaging and interesting book. Once you have finished the HP dome.

    I should try the tetor dal sometime. Have a few more bitter gourds coming up soon.

  11. I make thattai payir kuzhambu but have not tried adding bittergourd to it.
    Loved ur cumbu rice too Indo. thanks.. I do not know whether we get that here..

  12. Hi ISG,
    Curry with a difference, love to try this. Can I make this with Whole Thattai Payar??? Thanks for sharing.

  13. MT sure, whole Thattapayir would work well too.

  14. I too have never eaten bitter gourd dal.
    Did I miss it? Can you tell me what thatta payir is? Is it chana dal?

  15. Suma they are called cow peas. I have the link of the picture in the comment above.


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