I received my first Andhra cookbook – Cooking with Pedatha yesterday. It has a green hardcover, pictures in every page, simple instructions – what’s not to like.
In the introduction, the author’s write,
Of course, one thing we never questioned her about was how much time any recipe would take. We already knew her answer tot hat- ” As long as it takes for a good dish to be ready”. ” Don’t look at the time, look at the pan”, she once remarked.
I realized how true it was and how much I had forgotten that concept. Once back home, my grand father’s sister was staying with us for a few days. I remember helping out with sauteing some onions, and I was turning the onions left and right. She came over, took the spoon from me and said,” Not like that, be patient “, and she continued to stir the onions so tenderly and delicately on a low flame. The chicken curry for which the onions were intended turned wonderful, better than the usual. I had forgotten to do that slow stirring for sometime now but this cookbook has reminded me to slow down, and enjoy my cooking.
The recipe is for the lady’s finger roast from the book. Thanks to the many Andhra blogs, some of the terms were already familiar, but there is a list of ingredients in the back page which is a big help for me. The book is a delight!
Okra 1 pound – wash, dry with paper towel. I cut them lenthwise into quarters. The small ones were halved.
Red chilli powder- 2 tsp ( the original recipe needs 1 tbsp, but that was too hot for me)
Oil 2 tbsp+1tbsp
Salt to taste
Ingredients for tempering:
Split black gram dal/ urad dal 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder, Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp each
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Heat a pan, add about 2 tbsp oil. Add the urad dal, and when it turns golden, add the mustard seeds. Lower the heat, and add the asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves.
Then add the veggies, allow to roast on slow flame. Stir occasionaly.
After 8-10mins, when the okra starts to turn brown at some spots, add the salt and chilli powder. Stir to combine. Go easy when stirring so as to not turn it mushy. Add one tbsp or less oil at this point to mix well with the chilli powder. Adding the oil makes a nice chilli coating on the okra. Serve warm.
This dish is super hot. I didn’t imagine Andhra cuisine to be this hot.
I had this with rotis and some Kottayam fish curry.
Very satisfying meal, but my tongue was on fire. Cooled off with some lassi.
Can’t wait to try more recipes. Thanks Indira for introducing me to this wonderful cookbook.