Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Pavaykka Kichadi

This post is part of Onam and Sadya. The recipe below is enough to serve 6 - 8 people for Sadya. Measurements are only approximate.

Hmm... I've been sitting on this post for days. Looks like my capacity to write is wearing out. Tell me - what should I write about pavaykka kichadi. Pavaykka is bitter gourd and kichadi is again another Kerala
side-dish prepared in a coconut and yoghurt based sauce. But I've been writing the same sentence for almost all the dishes I prepared for Sadya. Though each of these dishes are unique in its own way, there is no way I can factually describe the taste of any of these dishes and be loyal to them.

So I decided on not writing anything about this dish. Well you know it is made with bitter gourd. So what do you expect it to be; yes, bitter. Nothing surprising there, right? But what if I say my kids love them. It is bitter, but they love them. So now, you are not from Kerala and haven't tried it yet, give it a go; keeping in mind that you get a bitter curry in the end - but your senses will surprise you.

  • 3 cups bitter gourd, sliced
  • 1/2 cup eschallots, sliced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp oil + extra for shallow frying
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • Salt to taste
To grind
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 green chilly
1.  Marinate bitter gourd with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. In a pre-heated oven bake this at 125° C for 20 mins. This will give you dehydrated bitter gourd slices. (If it is hot and sunny outside, go ahead and keep the marinated bitter gourd in the hot sun for a whole day.) You do not want it to dry completely; dehydrate it so that it absorbs less oil when you shallow fry them. Heat a pan and shallow fry bitter gourd until dark brown.
2. Grind all ingredients under 'to grind' to make a smooth paste. 
3. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds followed by escallots and curry leaves. Saute for a few minute until eschallots change colour. Add fried bitter gourd and stir for a few minutes. Add ground coconut paste, mix well and bring to boil. Remove from fire and add 1 cup of yoghurt and stir well. Season to taste.
Serve pavaykka kichadi hot or cold with hot rice. 

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