The everyday lunch in those regions normally includes a dhal based curry and on Sundays it is religiously ;), a Non-Vegetarian lunch. Every recipe with the dhal from kongunadu would sound similar when we read, but with minor changes made in the way of cooking and adding different vegetables to the dhal give a unique taste to each and every curry. I 'll post them as and when I make them :) .
Pasalai Keerai Kadainthathu (Click for the recipe), Okra Raitha and Vathal
1 medium size onion finely chopped
1 medium size tomato finely chopped
6 to 7 garlic pods peeled and chopped lengthwise
1 1/4 cup chopped ridgegourd (peerkangai)
1 3/4 to 2 cups of cooked toordhal and moong dhal (4:1 ratio)
2 to 4 Dry Red Chillies
few curry leaves
2 to 3 tbsp shredded coconut(fresh/frozen)-Fresh the best
1 tsp black mustard
1 to 2 green chillies cut lengthwise(optional)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp oil
1.Cook the dhal with enough water.Reserve the stock too.
2.In a pan, add oil. Once it is hot, add the mustard and red chillies. Once it starts spluttering add the onion,curry leaves,green chillies and garlic. Saute until the onion turns translucent. Add the tomato and saute until it turns mushy(Do not allow the tomato to dry).Half the way while the tomatoes are getting cooked, add the ridgegourd and saute both the tomato and ridgegourd.
3. Once the ridgegourd is cooked, add the reserved dhal and half a cup of water or less.(The consistency we need is a thick sambhar consistency, but not too thick - Hope you get it right ;) )
4.Cook covered until the dhal comes to a boil. Now, add the shredded coconut and stir.Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
5.Serve it hot with rice.
- The authentic curry is made with toor dhal alone, but I add moong dhal is small proportion.
- Do not use sambhar powder or tamarind to this curry.
Keerai Poriyal / Spinach Poriyal
DH brought a big size ridgegourd and I made the curry twice. First time I made it, I did not capture the picture properly. On that day, I served it with keerai poriyal and the next time I made it, I decided to do Kadaindha Keerai(Mashed Spinach).
3 cups chopped spinach
1 small onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 dry red chillies broken
2 tsp shredded coconut(optional)
1/2 tsp urad dhal
1/2 tsp channa dhal
3 tsp Oil
Salt(as per taste)
1.Clean and wash the spinach in water.Chop the spinach finely.
2.Add oil in a pan, once it is hot add the dry red chillies, urad dhal and mustard. When it starts spluttering, add the onion,garlic cloves,turmeric powder and saute until the onion turns translucent.
3.Now, add the spinach and saute once and cook covered just until the spinach turns tender. As it gets cooked unattended, it will start leaving all the moisture which is what we do not want.
4.When it turns tender, add shredded coconut and stir.
5.Serve it hot.
For any leafy vegetable poriyal ,the above recipe can be followed.
Shallots substituted with onion give a very good taste, but I have got used with the big onion :)