This post is dedicated to my aunt who is one of the best cooks I know. The recipe is hers, and for a change I did not make any changes to the recipe and followed it to the T. We ended up with a delicious lip smacking rice. As kids, me and my sister always used to get excited when we go to our aunt’s place because we know that she would have a spread of delicious food prepared for us. She loved to cook and more so, loved to feed her guests! I can still remember how we used to ask her to make her famous eggless date and walnut cake when ever we go there. I cannot think of any recipe that she hasn’t mastered yet.I am hoping to share more of her recipes in future. Thanks for all the yummy food you’ve cooked for us perima 🙂 You are my inspiration and I wish I could cook as well as you do!
Now about the recipe. This makes a great recipe that you could cook for guests or on a special weekend when the whole family is gathered for lunch. If you want to be extra indulgent go ahead and deep fry the kovakkai/tindora. It gives the dish some crunchiness and makes it extra special. But if you want to make it healthy, you can saute it and add it to the rice.I have done both and they both are equally good. I have deep fried them in this picture as I was making it for the new member in our family, my bil who was visiting us for the first time 🙂 Enjoy this with some crispy papads and a raitha.
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- 2 small pieces cinammon
- 1 elaichi
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 to 5 red chilies
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch piece ginger
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
For the rice
- 1 1/2 cup rice ( I used basmati rice)
- 250 grams kovakkai/ivy gourd chopped or slit lenght wise
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 2 green chilies slit
- 5 to 6 curry leaves
- 1 to 2 tbsp oil
- extra oil (If deep frying)
- salt to taste
Cook rice and set it aside to cool. My water to rice ratio for cooking the rice is 1:2. You can spread the cooked rice in a big plate so that they cool faster and don’t form lumps.
To prepare the masala paste, dry roast all the ingredients listed for the masala paste except (garlic, ginger, turmeric and asafoetida) until you get a nice aroma from all the spices and the coconut starts turning golden. (Do no burn the coconut). When done, grind everything along with the garlic, ginger, turmeric, asafoetida and little water. Set this aside.
Deep fry the chopped/sliced kovakkai/ivy gourd and set it aside in a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Alternatively, saute them in couple of tsps of oil until they are cooked and soft.Set it aside.
Now take a large wok or pan, add 1 to 2 tbsp oil/ghee and add the curry leaves, green chilies and saute for a minute. Then add finely chopped onions and saute until the onions start turning golden brown. Then add the ground masala paste and peas to the onions and saute them until you see oil separating from the sides. The peas will also be cooked by then.
Now add the cooked rice, salt as needed and mix well. Add the deep fried or sauteed kovakkai/ivy gourd to the rice and mix everything well until the vegetable is distributed evenly.
Serve hot with some papads/ raitha.