The place in this post is a school in the outskirts of Coimbatore near the foothills of the Western Ghats. Sra and Kay you were both pretty close.
Mochai and Avrakkai (both hyacinth beans) had me confused like no other. I was talking to my inlaws and they explained it to me.
Mochai beans are a type of avrakkai whose pods are tough and cannot be eaten even when they are tender and grown for the beans. And the other varieties of avrakkai are grown for the pods and even when mature the pods are still edible.
saute the onions for the paste
I remember fresh mochai beans as being available in January around Sankranti. Mochai with brinjals was the most popular pairing cooked in a spicy tamarind gravy.
make the paste
Now getting fresh mochai beans is possible only in my dreams and till a few years ago the same was true for the dried beans as well.
onions and chilies for the rice
Then one day I found a packet at an Indian grocery store and pounced on it with glee but when I went back a while later when mine ran out they were no where to be found. Now I have a found a regular source for these beans.
heat oil, add the seasonings and saute the onions
I have a stash in the pantry though I don't cook them that often.
add the beans and the paste
add the rice
add water, let it come to a boil, add the weight and let cook for 8 minutes
Bharathy over at Spicy Chilly had a recipe for Mochai Sadam which I wanted to try the minute I saw it and the added bonus Nupur's Blog Bites event where the theme is Pressure Cookers. With sambhar powder in the mix I could not ignore it could I?
Serve with yogurt and vadagam
1. 1 cup of mochai beans soaked overnight
2. 1 1/2 cups of rice (I used ponni raw rice)
3. 2 tbsp onions chopped
4. 4 green chilies slit
5. 2 - 3 garlic cloves minced
6. seasonings: curry leaves and mustard
7. ghee or oil
For the paste
1. 10 small onions (I used frozen) or 1/2 cup chopped red onions
2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
3. 1 tbsp curry leaves powder (or use 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves)
4. 1/2 tbsp sambhar powder
5. 2 tsp turmeric powder
Saute the red onions till they are browned , add the cumin seeds and saute for a minute. Add the powder, give a good mix and blend to a smooth paste without adding too much water.
1. Cook the mochai beans in the pressure cooker and set aside.
2. In the pressure cooker , add the ghee and when hot add the seasonings, when the mustard starts to splutter add the curry leaves followed by the onions, slit green chilies, saute till the onions are soft, add the slit green chilies and garlic.
3. Now add the beans, followed by the blended paste. Mix it well.
4. Add the rice and mix it gently so the masala paste is coated well.
4. Now add water just enough to cook the rice along with salt and let the water come to a boil. [Ponni rice require 1: 2 1/2 cups of water)
5. Close the lid, put the weight on and cook for 8 minutes (time may vary but cook for just enough time for the rice to be cooked)
Serve with yogurt and a few vadagams.