We had heard a lot about Kerala cuisine, but never had had the chance to relish it. Our holiday gave us THE perfect opportunity to do so.
On one of our canoeing rides, our guide, Anil, was very kind enough to invite us to his house for the Onam celebrations. Anil, Jayanti and Anandu ; one of the simplest, and the most down to earth family, who lived it king size with whatever they earned everyday or managed to fish out of the lake.....
Our delicious lunch that day had Vendekka Varathathu, prawns fry (caught in the lake RIGHT outside the house and tossed on to a pan!), parippu curry, avial, riace and poppadums.
I have never tasted anything so soo delicious! Ofcourse, cooking them on wood-fire gives it the best smoky taste, but apart from that, the combination and proportions of spices was just perfect! I had to get all the recipes from Jayanti and definitely try them out!
Hopefully I have made some justice to Jayanti's expertise.
Parippu Curry is a mild and light curry and is an essential part of the traditional vegetarian feast (sadya) in Kerala. It is usually served with plain hot rice, ghee and poppadams for festivals.
Moong Dal can be substitiued with Tur Dal, and fresh coconut can be substituted with dry / desiccated coconut.
10 - 15 Minutes
30 - 40 Minutes
2 - Portions
1/2 cup , fresh, grated
1 - 2, red
10 - 15
Wash and soak the moong dal in a cooker. Set aside till the other preparations are done.
In a grinder, add the onion, coconut, green chilli, coriander powder and turmeric powder. Make a fine paste.
Add this paste to the dal in the cooker, adjust the water consistency and cook on a low flame for 30 minutes / till 3 whistles are done.
Once the cooker is de-steamed, open the cover and mash the dal well. Add the salt.
Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and cut red chilies, allow them to splutter. Then add the curry leaves and cook for 10 - 20 seconds. Pour this oil over the dal and stir well.
Serve with plain rice and ghee.
Also tastes awesome with Vendekka Varathathu.
I prefer cooking the dals entirely in a pressure cooker, as this not only helps cook the dal quicker, but also saves a lot of gas, and gives the dal a lovely smoky taste.