Kakarakaya Ulli Karam ~ Lunch Box Series : LBS#80

After an unexpected miss of this Cooking from Cookbook Challenge last week, I am back with a traditional dish from Andhra, especially from Amma's dairy. She saw this in a cook show and had noted it down.
 
While Ulli Karam is quite famous in Andhra, we somehow never make it quite often at home. Of course a similar take on this recipe finds itself on the table often, though never this in this particular fashion. If you are bored of the never ending dals, sambars and like, day in and day out, like me, this is a delicious variation. Trust me, I don't like Bitter gourd, take my word, you won't find me even wanting to try. All the elders at home love bittergourd, especially Hubby dear is so very fond of this vegetable.

So Amma says we should try out different recipes for him and this happened to be the latest experiment. He forced me to taste it and yes, even though the koora itself is sort of bitter, the masala tastes very delicious. I am told that Ulli Karam is typically prepared with Kakarakaya/Bitter gourd and Brinjal/ Vankaya.

And apart from just onion paste, they even add coriander to the masala and grind it. Ulli is onions in Telugu and Karam is Dry Red Chili paste. This sort of gravy is called Koora, which means a side dish to be served with Plain Rice. Pulusu refers to any thin gravy prepared with tamarind. I haven't tried this koora with Chapatis, with Rice it tastes very good.

This was our meal today, a simple Kakarakay Ulli Karam, Pudalangai Kadalai Paruppu Poriyal. Just looking at the thali that was made a year ago, I wonder where the days have gone! Imagine I made it for Cookbook Challenge as well. This is our latest favorite way of making snake gourd at home, with loads of chana dal for your lentil intake!

After a long time, I spent my Saturday roaming around with Hubby dear followed by shopping with Parents. Which meant, yes I didn't work today and I felt writing this post should at least happen. We went to a restaurant for breakfast, I remembered the Aloo Punjabi, a dish that will forever be in my memory, I asked the supervisor for the tandoori master to see if he remembers the recipe. I guess they were reluctant to share their recipe and gave me titbits of how they make. Guess its one dish that might simply have to be in the memory, always reminding me of my younger years, of a time so different from now. Maybe I will just visit again with kids and see if they can make it again and we could enjoy with Naans.

So while I enjoy more thinking about that dish, you enjoy this simple meal!

Kakarakaya Ullipaya Koora

Ingredients Needed:

For the Bitter gourd:

Bitter gourd, diced into 2 inch cubes - 2 cups
Tamarind - small lemon size, soaked and extracted
Salt a pinch
Turmeric a pinch

To be ground

Onions - 2 medium
Garlic - 3 -4 cloves
Ginger - 2"
Dry Red Chilies - 4 -5 nos

For the Tempering

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves handful
Coriander Leaves handful
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water as required

How to make the Koora

Prep the Bitter gourd, dice it into 2" pieces. Soak and extract the pulp from tamarind. Add a cup of water or as required to this extracted pulp and bring to boil. Add the bitter gourd pieces along with salt and turmeric. Cook for 5 mins, drain the vegetable and keep it aside.

Grind the ginger, garlic, onions and dry red chilies to a fine paste.

Heat a pan with oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and then add the ground paste and saute well. Now add the boiled bitter gourd and combine everything together.

Add the coriander powder and cumin powder and let it get mixed well.

Add water as required and bring to boil. Finally add the chopped coriander leavers and remove when the gravy reaches a thick consistency.

Serve with rice.


This goes for the June Week 2, Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.


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