Monday, April 20, 2009

Beets and Blackeyed peas

My little one loooves salad buffet places. Every week after piano, we have a little mommy and me dinner at this made from scratch soup and salad place which she totally looks forward to. Or if we are eating at home, on most days I would have toor dal as an easy option - as most South Indians do. As kids we grew up savouring it. I remember sitting on the floor in our porch during the scorching summer months with my great aunt feeding my little brother. I must have been nine or maybe ten. White rice, cooked and mashed toor dal with salt, turmeric powder, topped with ghee. I can't exactly remember what vegetables he had. The next course would be rasam saadam. Rasam and cooked white rice, topped with ghee. Rasam made with cumin and a dash of pepper. Nothing fancy. Just the right amount of spice. If there is still room in his little tummy, course three - thayir saadam (curd rice). Stories about Raja(s) and Rani(s). I would get so lost in mami's stories. Hungry for more now. Mami passed away a few months ago. So many memories are flashing through my mind.

Fast forward to 2009 - tired of starting to eat dinner with rice, ghee and toor dal my little one would whine - 'oh, no, not this again!'... please, anything but this!! ' I have borrowed the idea of mulakooshyam from my friend with reasonable success. But some days, I don't have the patience for it. I came up with this thoran in an effort to combine veggies and legumes, inspired by Mahanandi. I have tried a bunch of Indira's recipes, all with great success.

Ingredients -
Beetroot - 2 or 3, peeled and finely chopped
Beet stems and greens - separate them from the roots, rinse & clean extra well, chopped
Onion - 1 large, sliced
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds) - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 1, for flavor
Curry leaves - 1 sprig, cleaned
Garlic - 1 or 2 pods, sliced
Black eyed peas - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Method -
Clean and rinse the blackeyed peas and pressure cook with some salt and some turmeric powder. You want them to be cooked just right. Not mushy. Pressure cookers vary, in mine it takes 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan, add mustard and cumin. When they splutter add the garlic, red chilly, curry leaves and onion. Saute for a good couple of minutes until the onions are soft. Now add the chopped beetroot, along with the chopped greens. Add salt and turmeric powder and mix evenly. Sprinkle a handful of water and cover with a lid. Bring the heat down to low, and let it cook for a few minutes. The stalk and leaves wilt and this releases some moisture. However, keep an eye on it so it doesn't stick to the bottom.

After the beets are done, add the cooked black eyed peas to the pan. I like to use the cooking liquid from the peas in sambar or rasam - don't waste the precious nutrients. Saute uncovered for a few minutes until there is not much moisture left. In a mixer jar, add the grated coconut and green chillies and pulse for a second or two. Add this to the vegetables and mix well.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy with your loved ones!

Variation - French cut beans - I think this is already pretty popular. I remember eating this at a potluck. I also occasionally make this exact same recipe with carrots. In my case, Lil Miss Bubbly has no issue eating carrots, or for that matter, her dad - okra. Okra and carrots get snatched from my cutting board and I'll be lucky if they make it to the stove.

Carrots- yes. Okra?
The slimy fryable delectable sambar-makable okra? To be eaten raw?

1 comment:

  1. This looks interesting ..I love to add beets as they are so healthy..will try this too.


Welcome to my humming, happy kitchen. I really appreciate your input. Thanks for stopping by!