Coming back to the tale, Amma always tells her mom's Beerakaya pappu was the ultimate dish she loved. It was so thick that even a slash with knife would be hard to cut it neat and was so delicious. They were a family of 10, yet the dal was never runny. It will have that thick consistency of Kaati Pappu types. All you need is just this dal with steaming rice, you sure will have a ticket to heaven! Of course, I might serve this with a dash of Avakaya. Still I knew and could understand her sentiments. I always loved her dal. Its not your spicy dal mind you. But not very bland too, just right enough to elevate your taste buds. This not being a seasonal veggie, you get it round the year or so I think, as Amma used to make this quite often. She never had anybody complain on being served this.
Then entered the prodigious son-in-law, for whom 2 tsp of fiery chili powder or bright green chilies are not really spicy enough. So this not so bland dal, was a sore experience! Thus came the end of this favorite dal at home, never to be made so often, reserved for certain days during his absence. Many years passed, months ran away, when one fine morning I received a call from Amma. They were then in the city of joy and found their joy too. The flowing Ganges, the cool breeze, added to their excitement came this discovery that sublime dishes got elevated to a different level in that place. I could hear the excitement in Amma's tone when she said it almost felt like a memory from her childhood, thinking of the way it tasted as how her Mom makes. I was so happy hearing it.
Forward a couple of years ahead, and you find me with two beerakaya on hand. Not knowing what else I should contrive on it. I was itching to make that beerakaya pappu and so gingerly asked hubby dear if I can. He sure showed surprised that I should still remember that, but years have bowled it soft and he pleaded that I should make it a bit more spicy for it to be palatable!
So this found its way to our lunch box today and I was chicken enough not to ask him how it tasted. But I knew it must have been good as hubby dear was obliging enough to click these pictures as I had to leave in a hurry for the office!
Today's Lunch Box had
Beerakaya Pappu ~ Ridge Gourd Dal!
Beerakaya / Ridge Gourd - 1 medium
Toor Dal - 150 gms
Tomatoes - 1 big
Green Chillies - 5 -6 long
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Dried Tamarind - 1"
Water, enough to pressure cook.
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Onion - 50 gms
Oil - 1 - 2 tsp
Red chilies - 2
Chopped garlic - 1- 2
Method to Prepare:
Grate the outer skin of the Ridge Gourd and chop into small pieces.
Wash the dal well and take it in a pressure cooker along with chopped tomatoes, green chilies, tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, add enough water and pressure cook till the dal is tender.
Once the pressure is off, heat a pan with oil, temper with the seasoning ingredients and pour the dal into the pan and bring to boil. Cook till you get the required consistency!
Serve with Rice or Roti!
For all I have spoken about this dal, I hope you try this out and enjoy!