Vazhakkai can be cooked in many different ways. You could prepare a simple thoran, or use it in combination with yam or use it in kootu or kuzhambu. But this vegetable is not liked much by my kids, so I don’t prepare it often. This week when I went to the market I saw some really fresh vazhakkai and picked up a few of them. I remembered this curry which my mother makes using freshly ground spices. It is slightly on the spicier side but tastes great even when paired with a simple rasam.
What you’ll need
- Vazhakkai – 3 Cup, Chopped
- Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
- Salt to taste
To roast and grind
- Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
- Channa Dal – 1.5 tbsp
- Dried Red Chilly – 1 or 2
- Whole Black Pepper – ¼ tsp
- Cumin – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida – a small piece
- Oil – 2 tsp
- Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
- Urad Dal – 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves - few
- Heat a heavy bottomed kadai with 2 tsp oil, add the asafoetida, and fry till it puffs up.
- Next add the channa dal, and fry next add the black pepper and coriander seeds and finally the cumin seeds and dried red chilly. Fry everything till the dal changes to golden brown and a nice aroma starts coming.
- Transfer to a plate, cool and grind to a coarse powder, set aside.
- In the same Kadai, add the oil for tempering, temper with mustard seeds, then add the urad dal and fry till golden, add the curry leaves and the chopped Vazhakkai pieces.
- Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well, sprinkle some water and cook covered on low heat.
- Keep stirring once in a while and sprinkle more water as and when required.
- Once the vazhakkai is cooked, remove the lid, and fry for a few minutes on medium heat.
- Finally add the ground powder and mix well.
Serve warm with white rice and Mor Kuzhambu, or Rasam.
- Adjust the quantity of red chilly and black pepper according to your spice tolerance level
- Cut the vazhakkai in any desired shape, I have sliced it into pices of medium thickness. Don’t keep the pieces too thick, it may take a long time to cook. Don’t slice too thin also, as it will turn mushy.
- Always, keep the vazhakkai pieces immersed in water to which a spoon of buttermilk is added.