Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Mochchai kottai (Pidukku paruppu) Kozhambu

Mochaikottai (Hyacinth Beans or Val Dal) is a favourite variety of beans in the south. It is available twice a year, during the June-July monsoon and year-end, December-January.
When it is in season, we use this in almost every dish we make at home; upma, akki (rice flour) rotti, pulav, and poriyal (boiled dry vegetables) and gravy for rice or chapathi.
My husband feels that this beans simply invades the household. I have to resist myself from cooking this everyday, so as to not put him off :).

Any preparation with this bean is delicious. But the most delicious item is the pithukku paruppu.
The beans have a thin transparent skin. We need to soak the beans in hot water for a few hours, and then hold the bean between the thumb and finger and yank the bean out of its cover. It yields an incredibly soft bean pulp.

This laborious process is usually undertaken by the old people at home or the younger ones to keep them busy :). But in today's hectic schedule, no one can spare time for this luxury, and hence we get fresh pithukku paruppu in 1/2 kg or 1 kg packets in certain vegetable shops. I am guilty of not taking time for the "pithukku" action at home and procuring the beans from the vegetable store.

So what do we do with the pithukku paruppu. We make a delicious gravy that can be served as a side for idli, dosa, chapati or rice.
Here is how:
Pithukku paruppu - 1/2 kg
Onion - 2 medium
Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 8-10
Tomato - 1
Ginger - 1/2 tbsp
Garlic - 1/2 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp  (I use 1/4 tsp Amti masala)
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Rice flour - 1/2 tbsp
Coriander leaves - for garnishing
Wash the pithukku paruppu and keep aside. Take care since the pulp is really soft and it can get mashed in the process. Slice the onions, tomatoes, slit the green chillies into two and chop the curry leaves. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add the onions, green chillies and curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes until the onion turns golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes. Fry till the raw smell of tomatoes is gone. Add the ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder and salt and keep frying until the raw smell of masala is gone. Finally add the beans. Do not stir the beans at this stage. Add some water just to cover the beans, stir and close the lid. If using a pressure cooker, just 1 whistle, with the cooker on high flame, should suffice. If using a kadai, cover and cook until the beans are cooked throughout (approximately 5-7 minutes)

Finally make a paste of rice flour and add it to the curry. This will thicken the consistency of the gravy. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve as a side with dosa/idli/roti or mix with rice.

Verdict: Well, what can one say about the most tasty beans ever! Here I have said it all :)
priya's signature image at photobucket

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