Lunch Box Series : LBS#2

Today's lunch is a very simple one with basic dal made with Brinjal or Eggplant and gojju as we call in Telugu. I was reading Bee's Gotsu pizza which was truly amazing. I guess there are lot of people out there who dislike eating eggplant in its natural form. Bee, if you want to camouflage eggplant completely and still eat it...then this Vankaya pappu, as we call it telugu, is the thing to try.

I too normally don't prefer eating eggplant in its fullest form except my Amma's Nune or Guthi Vankaya. But my Athamma introduced me to Vankaya pappu, well she makes it frequently and at times prepare side eats like Mirakaya Bajji to go with it. The combi of tender chilli bajji with this pappu is just excellent. She selects very tender chillies to make the bajji, and lightly roasts it on hot tawa and stuffs little cumin pw and salt. You got to eat to believe the heavenly taste of this combination.

Vankaya pappu is very simple and easy to make. In fact, until someone tells you that it actually has brinjal in it, we will never know. The technique of tadka is also very important. The inviting aroma in the end, is sure way to complete a big bowl of pappu.

My lunch box today had the following
Vankai Pappu
Munnakaya Gojju
Plain rice for pappu
Curd rice.

Vankaya Pappu,

Ingredients needed:

Toor Dal - 1 cup (100 gms)
Brinjal - 3 - 4 medium (depends on how many you have)
Green chillies - 4 - 5 (depends on how spicy you eat)
Onion - 50 gms
Tomato - 2 medium
Tamarind - 1 inch (2 tsp if its a paste, but for pappu the fruit is more tastier)
Coriander leaves - few
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

For tadka,

Crushed garlic - 4 pods
Curry leaves - few
Mustard seeds + Urud dal + Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp (all together)

Method to prepare:

Wash tur dal, chop onions, tomatoes, Brinjals, green chillie. Take everything in a pressure cooker along with tamarind and coriander leaves. Put it for 2 whistles or until dal cooks.

Take it down and with pappu guthi (masher used for mashing down cooked dal), nicely mix like how its done while grinding. The result, everything in it gets mixed nicely, you will not be able to get the chilli seeds away from brinjal seeds if there any.

Take a tadka pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and garlic pods. Once they are little fried, add the chopped onions. Fry the garlic is nice brown in colour. Speciality of this dish is how strong your garlic smell is.

This goes well with rice or chapattis.

Munnakaya Gojju:

This is another dish my Athamma is known for. I have never eaten Drumstick in anything else other than Sambar, but got to know this method when Athamma first made it. She makes it different every time. This time round we added Ginger garlic paste and coconut paste.

Ingredients needed:

Drumstick - 2
Onions - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 1 medium
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric pw a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Coconut paste - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds + Urud dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves

Method to prepare:

Clean and cut drumstick. Chop onions and tomatoes.

Heat oil, add mustard seeds, once they sputter, add onions. Fry till they are brown in colour, then add ginger garlic paste. Once its cooked, add tomatoes. Add salt to make it soft.

Then add chilli pw, coriander pw and turmeric pw. Cook till oil comes out. Then add drumstick pieces.

Add required water and bring to boil. Add coconut paste and cook on high flame for 5 mins. The drumstick gets cooked within 10 mins. Simmer and cook till the gravy covers the drumstick nicely.

Final result is a thick gravy coating the drumstick. If you want it as gravy you can adjust the flame accordingly. Since I made this as side dish for dal, the gravy is very thick one.

Pappu of any variety is a comfort food at home. Anytime we feel vexed on what to prepare, we end up preparing this.

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