Monday, October 26, 2009

Vatanyachi Rassa Bhaji - Green Peas Curry


This curry is really a shortcut. The traditional recipe does not use ready made garam masala. Each spice is given its own roasting time and then ground along with coconut and onion. But when I am in a hurry trying to put something together at the last minute, I use these shortcuts. This recipe is somewhat similar to masoor palak.

Vatanyachi Rassa Bhaji
वाटाण्याची रस्सा भाजी
Green Peas Curry
Ingredients
1 lb fresh or frozen green peas
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tomatoes, chopped or sliced
2 kokums, rinsed
salt to taste
1 tsp jaggery (optional)

Roast & Grind
1 tsp oil
1 onion, roughly chopped approx. = 1 cup
2 garlic cloves
1" ginger, peeled
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup dessicated coconut

Grind with,
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp mild chili powder (or more)

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Garnish
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/cilantro

Accompaniment
Lemon wedges
Chapati


Method
1. Roast onion, poppy seeds, ginger and garlic till browned. Set aside. Roast coconut. Let it be uniformly browned. Let it cool down. Grind onion, poppy seeds, ginger & garlic. As they become mushy, add roasted coconut, garam masala and chili powder. Let the masala be of rough consistency.
2. In a saucepan, heat oil. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder and onion for tempering. Saute till onion is soft. Now add potatoes and some water. Cool till potatoes are cooked. Add green peas & tomatoes. Cook till soft.
3. Now add ground masala, salt to taste, kokum and jaggery if using. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil.
4. Let the curry simmer till it's not too thin and not too thick. Or adjust the consistency per your choice.
5. Switch off the gas. Garnish with cilantro.

Note -
1. If you are going to make this curry of thin consistency, grind masala to fine consistency.
2. Instead of water, you can add coconut milk for richer and creamier flavor.
3. Generally, fresh/frozen peas are sweet. So jaggery can be avoided if you do not like your food to be too sweetish. The same recipe can be used for dry green peas sprouts. In that case, use jaggery for sure.
4. More coconut can be used instead of the quantity mentioned for richer taste.
5. Instead of Garam Masala, Pav Bhaji masala can be used. It gives a delciously different flavor.

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