Friday, March 12, 2010

బీరకాయ పచ్చడి- Beerakaya pacchadi (Ridge gourd chutney)

Serves: Fills a 16 fl oz bottle. Preparation time: 40 minutes including washing/chopping vegetables, assembling ingredients, cooking & grinding. 
2tsp split bengal gram (Dhula chana dal, Senagapappu)
2 tsp split black gram (Dhuli urad dal, Minappappu)
1 tsp Mustard seeds (Rai, Avalu)
7 pieces Dry red chilli (Endu mirapa)
1/2 Tsp Fenugreek powder (Methi, Menti)
3/4 tsp Asafoetida (Heeng, Inguva)
1 tsp Turmeric (Haldi, Pasupu)
1.5 tsp Cumin powder (Jheera, Jilakara)
1.5 tsp Coriander powder (Dhania)
4 pieces green chillies
2 Large sized Ridge gourds (Tori, Beerakaya)
3 tsps Oil
5 stems Cilantro (Kotimeer)
2.5 tsps Salt
3 tbps boiled tamarind paste

1. Wash and peel ridge gourds. (You could use the peel to make Beera kaya thokku pacchadi.) Chop into pieces. Chop the cilantro and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tsp oil, add gourds, salt and turmeric. Cover and cook until done, approximately 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
3. Heat 2 tsp oil. Add senagapappuminappappu, dry red chillies. When they brown & give off an aroma, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add green chillies, add the powdered spices (Fenugreek, Asafoetida, Cumin, Coriander). Switch off flame & cover, the heat from the oil is enough to cook the spice powders & green chillies. Leave to cool.
4. Finely grind the roasted spices of step 3.
5. Add the tamarind paste, the cooked vegetables of step 2. and coarse grind with quick spurts of power on pulse/whip mode.
6. Transfer into a jar and add the chopped cilantro.
7. Refrigerate.

Serve with hot rice, with a generous topping of ghee. Can be used as a spread/dipping with savoury snacks, accompanies Idli/Dosa/Pesarattu.

Useful Tip/Trick:
Makes a delicious instant Raita/Perugu pacchadi if mixed into yogurt, the resulting raita even goes with north Indian dishes like Pulao or Alu parantha.

1. Some recipes do not instruct to peel the ridge-gourd. It can be used whole with its skin, especially if it is young & tender. 
2. You may substitute Cumin/Coriander powders with seeds as they will get ground in the mixer. However, seeds will need more time to brown/splutter, adjust the sequence of adding into oil accordingly.
3. If using fenugreek seeds: Roast them to a black-brown, cool and powder. Add this pre-roasted powder to the cooled tempering from step (3). 
4. The ground spices resulting from step (3) and (4) can be used as a base for many other pacchadis. Instead of ridge gourd, one can add cooked red tomatoes or round yellow cucumbers (Dosakáya).
5. If you like the spices whole & crisp, do not grind them after step (3). Instead, pour the cooled tempering over the ground vegetables. 

Culture & Health:
A very good for health pacchadi, ridge gourd is low in calories, rich in vitamins & minerals. It is an excellent source of dietary fibre. This pacchadi is great taste with great health as it needs very little oil. It is best prepared fresh in small quantities, enough to last for three or four days. This is a typical Telugu preparation.

I learnt this recipe from my mom-in-law (Indira aunty). Krishna really adores his mother's pacchadis. I first started experimenting with pacchadis under aunty's guidance and I must say I am thoroughly addicted to her recipes, perhaps I eat even more pacchadi than Krishna!!

1 comment:

  1. na antaraatmani vinnavu Vine !!
    ee pachadi annam lo neyyi tho kalupukunTay......swargam anuko!