Lunch Box Series : LBS#29

We have been having unexpected showers since two days. A shower is most welcome on any day, atleast for me. It feels like heavenly paving through misty lanes with dews falling all over you. I rarely try to cover myself when I ride through it. If I am caught in one, while way back home, I don't even bother thinking of taking a cover. Wading through a drizzling, in a bike almost makes you feel you are liberated and flying in the sky with freedom that can come only with this feeling. Moments like these, I feel I am reborn, feeling blessed by the sky god, one more time! My companions I see, running hither and thither, trying to shelter from pouring rain. I feel sorry for them, those who can't enjoy a good rain, haven't really enjoyed life to fullest! And as each time, I remembered those many times, I have continued my journey heedless of the pouring rain, feeling cleansed, not just me but the whole world too and giving us hope again. And there have been many times, I have indulged in a hearty cry, sure that my flowing tears would never show through the pouring rains, for joy or sorrow, I never know. Most its been for the simple reason that we are blessed with another shower.

Well blame the rain for my outpour and let me get back to business. Today being a Friday, makes things easy for me. I referred my Lunch box series and decided to post one that I prepared last week. Athamma got in a Sorakkaya planning we make a kootu out of it. But I said I will do a sambar instead. So it was a sambar. Members of the gourd family, excepting the bitter one, don't normally make a frequent appearance at our table. And this, I wanted to address. Think about it, how many times should I end up making the same veg sambar. Sambar, anyway is decided for most days for lunch offlate. Most oft, I feel I got to prepare something new just for my lunch box series. But how many can I think on myself. So I thought I will make a Sorakkai Sambar and a new veggie that is not featured in the series yet as a poriyal. Well I remember our dear karamani and realized I haven't cooked with this for quite sometime. Amma makes this frequently but somehow this stopped featuring in our regular veggies list. So finally got this down for the lunch.

Today's Lunch Box had

Sorakkai Sambar ~ Bottle Gourd Sambar
Karamani Poriyal ~ Cowpea or Black eyed Pea Fry
Pepper Cumin Rasam
Curd Rice

Sorakkai Sambar ~ Bottle Gourd Sambar

Ingredients Needed

Toor Dal - 1 cup
Sorakkai / Bottle Gourd - 150 gms
Sambar Onions - 100 gms
Sambar Powder - 1 tsp
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Tamarind pulp - small lime size
Coriander Leaves - few chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Turmeric a pinch

For Seasoning

Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal + Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - few
Garlic - 4 pods

Method to Prepare:

Clean Toor Dal and pressure cook it with 2 drops of Oil and turmeric. Keep it for 2 whistle or till cooked. Remove and let it cool down.

Peel skin from the bottle gourd and chop into 2' size pieces. Pressure it with Dal for another whistle. Keep it aside

Soak tamarind and extract pulp from it.

Soak Shallot (Sambar onions) for 5 mins, this way the skin comes out easily. Chop Onions and tomatoes.

Heat oil in a pan, add the seasoning ingredients. Then add chopped onions. Sauté till they are cooked, add tomatoes, Sambar powder. Cook till the tomatoes are soft.

Remove the vegetable and mash the dal well. Then add the cooked toor dal along with sorakkai, tamarind pulp.

Cook on high flame for 5 mins, then simmer for 10 mins till its cooked well. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Karamani Poriyal ~ Cowpea or Black eyed Pea Fry

This stir fry with whole karamani is very peculiar to Tamil Nadu. I made this once for my relatives, they didn't know what this veggies was. In andhra we used the bean and not the tender one with the whole skin. It was quite surprising as I have always known this vegetable.

Ingredient Needed:

Karamani - 250 gms
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Mustard + Urud dal - 1/2
Bengal Gram - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few

Method to prepare

Wash and chop karamani into 2' size pieces. Heat a kadai with oil, once its hot temper with the seasonings. Then add the chopped Karamani. Stir well and add salt and turmeric. Cover with lid and cook for 10 mins. Remove and let the stream go into the vessel.

Add chilli powder and coriander powder. Cover again and cook for 10 mins or till cooked.

Karamani gets cooked with its own stream. The last 5 mins, we can cook without lid to have more crunchy stir fry.

Sorakkaya Sambar was different from our usual one and along with karamani, it was a different but a wholesome experience. Hope you enjoyed!

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