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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A tale of two veggies

When I was a kid, I thought I'd eat chicken every day when I grew up. Not only it isn't a wise diet choice for 365 days, it gets monotonous even if you drink elixir for the rest of your lives. Aiming for variety makes me rewrite some of my original recipes on most days I cook, and makes me look at the vegetables I did not have much regard for with a fresh perspective.

In my undergraduate hostel life, we were often served tinda curry for dinner- so often that I swore to myself- I will never eat it again in my life. Though I loved its distant cousin the parwal- my mother makes amazing parwal(Pointed gourd or potol in Bengali) stew (dalna) with potatoes. One summer afternoon, I was reading a book at the dinner table( which I often took permission for), and discovered my undying love for the vegetable. On that rare occasion, I put down the book and concentrated on relishing the food instead.

My mom's elder sister(my mashi) makes amazing stuffed parwals (Potol er dolma), which I will soon share the recipe for. But right now, I am going to share the simplest of a tindora recipe, which I often encounter in Indian grocery stores. The parwal I find here is cut and frozen- not suitable for dolma. Well, tu nahi to aur sahi, aur nahi to koi aur sahi...

Tindora fry

Tindora sliced
Cumin seeds
Green chilies slit lengthwise or red chili powder
Thinly sliced onions
Diced potatoes, small enough to cook with the tindora, or you could microwave before sauteing.
Turmeric, salt to taste
Cooking oil

1. Heat a wok, oil, add cumin seeds till they splutter. (Some might prefer mustard seeds or kalonji seeds. Curry leaves go well with the former, and grated coconut)
2. Add onions, fry a little, add tindora, potatoes, chilies, salt turmeric.

As simple as that. Keep an eye on the heat - taking care not to overcook or burn. Can add tomato puree or amchur powder if you want a tang of sourness.

Goes well with flat breads, or dal and rice.

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