Here's wishing my dear friend Sig and her partner of 10 years Siv a very Happy Anniversary! Here's to many many more decades of togetherness, love and warmth sweetheart.
Nothing much to ramble or 'show' today. The menu was an attempt to clear up the Sword beans (English equivalent of Avaraikkai ) my help had chopped up yesterday. The fat sweet carrots found themselves sliced and being thrown into the Carrot sambar...where they swam until they were devoured by us.
Recipe for Avaraikkai Curry (Dry Sword Beans Saute)
3 cups finely sliced beans (first top, tail and remove the stringy fibre if any from the sides)
1 tsp oil
1 pinch asafoetida
1 long dried red chilli
1 tsp udad dal
fat pinch turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp scraped coconut
1. Pressure cook the chopped beans in one of the separators of the pressure cooker, for two whistles and on sim for another 4-5 minutes. Take care not to add water to the container in which you are cooking the beans or they will get mushy on pressure cooking. Cooking them dry is akin to steaming and they get soft yet hold their shape at the end of the cooking process.
2. In a wok, heat the oil. Put in the asafoetida, then splutter mustard seeds.
3. Add the udad dal, saute till golden. Throw in the cooked beans with salt and turmeric. Stir to mix well and garnish with fresh coconut.
Recipe for Carrot Sambar
3/4 cup tur dal pressure cooked in 2 cups water, mashed well
3 medium carrots, scrubbed and thickly sliced
1/2 cup thin tamarind puree or 1 tbsp tamarind paste
3 tsp sambar powder
1 tsp oil
Tempering: asafoetida, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, fresh curry leaves
Salt to taste
1. Pressure cook the carrots in the other separator while cooking the beans with a sprinkling of water and pinch of salt.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil, temper with asafoetida, mustard seeds, curry leaves.
3. Add the cooked carrot slices. Saute for a few seconds. Add the mashed dal and tamarind puree / paste. Bring to a simmer.
4. Make a slurry of the sambar powder in 1/2 cup water, add it to the pan, simmer for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, taste and adjust.
5. Serve hot with steamed rice and a dry curry.
You can also add raw carrots in stage 3, add some water, cover and let the carrots cook in the pan itself. Pressure cooking makes this very quick, and you can save over 8 minutes while waiting for the carrots to cook in the pan. You can leave the sambar thick or thin it with some water to get a desired consistency.
Making a variety of sambars using the same technique
Sliced radish, beetroot chunks, bitter gourd slices, pumpkin chunks can be similarly used as a substitute to carrot to get radish, beetroot, bitter gourd, pumpkin sambar respectively. Capsicum squares can also be used, but these can just be sauteed in stage 3 instead of being pressure cooked.