Friday, November 16, 2007

Alsande biye Bendi

This is my most favorite recipe for making black eyed peas. It is called "Alsande" in Konkani, "Chawli" in Marathi, "Chori/chora" in Gujarati. The name "bendi" suggests that the seasoning has to be of garlic. Bendi is on the fiery side. and it tastes just delicious with a heap of plain rice. It tastes even better the next day.
Here's how I make it.

Alsande Biye Bendi (Serves 4)
1 cup black eyed peas sprouts
Salt to taste

Grind to fine paste
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1 tsp paprika (or 12 byadgi chilies, roasted for the authentic flavor)
1 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tsp oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced

1. Pressure cook black eyed peas adding 1/2 cup water. Pressure cook for about 2 whistles. Do not overcook else the peas will be very mushy.
2. Grind the masala to fine paste.
3. Put the cooked beans in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil.
4. Pour ground masala in the saucepan. Stir well. Add salt to taste.
5. In a small saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic. Let it turn deep red. Do not burn.
6. Add to the beans curry immediately. Cover with the lid. Switch off the gas.
7. Serve hot with plain rice.

1. Traditionally, coconut oil is used for tempering. It imparts very unique flavor to the curry.
2. I slice the garlic, but it is really smashed so that you can actually see squished but still in tact garlic cloves floating in the curry.
3. Addition of paprika is my own twist. Amma used byadgi chilies roasted in a drop of coconut oil before grinding with coconut and tamarind. I use paprika because its spice level is very low and gives beautiful red color to the curry so even Gudia enjoys it.
4. Bendi can also be made with Kulith (Horse gram), Avre (Lima beans/Navy beans).


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