Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chawlichi Amti

As the new year approaches, all the American supermarkets start displaying "Black Eyed Peas" prominently in their shopping aisles. "Black Eyed Peas" are supposed to bring in good luck and hence they are eaten on the New Years Day Party every where - especially in Southern parts of - America. This always reminds me of my family's Gujarati tradition. Yes, Black eyed peas are eaten on "Bestu Varas" or new year's day and the curry is called "Sukun nu shaak" i.e. Good Luck Curry!!

I don't want to go in any philosophical or cynical view about how black eyed peas bring in good luck etc. instead how about embracing a new tradition and participating in the new year fun wishing each other a wonderful new year.

ChawLichi Amti
Black Eyed Peas Curry
2 cups chowli sprouts
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 medium onion, minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

1 tbsp fresh coconut (optional)
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped

1. Pressure cook black eyed peas for 2 whistles. Do not overcook as they turn into mush quickly.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for the tempering.
3. As the seeds sizzle, add onions. Cook till onions are soft.
4. Add ginger-garlic paste & tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes.
5. Add all the powders and 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
6. Add boiled chowli/black eyed peas, salt and jaggery.
7. Stir with care not to break the sprouts. Simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
9. Serve with rice or chapatis.

Note -
1. You can adjust the consistency of curry by adding water. If the curry is too watery, mix 1 tbsp besan/chickpeas flour with 1/2 cup water. And add to the boiling curry. Let it simmer for 5 minutes till the curry thickens.

May this New Year bring lots of happiness, good luck and peace to you and yours.


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