Monday, January 10, 2011

Boiled Turichya Shenga? Nope - Edamame


Winter arrives in the vegetable market of Mumbai with green fresh garlic (oli lasooN, leeli lasan), fresh toor in pods (turichya shenga), purple yam (kand, konfaL), fenugreek leaves (methi), freshly harvested grains (hurda, ponk), green peas, carrots. This is also the season for preparing Undhiyu - a Gujarati mixed vegetable delicacy. If you go in the Gujarati populated areas of Mumbai, the vegetable vendors will actually keep  tokries - baskets ready with all Undhiyu related veggies.


My mom makes two delicacies with the fresh toor in pods. One is fresh toor ambat. You can always make toor ambat by soaking dry toor beans but the taste of this fresh toor ambat is really out of this world. and the second delicacy is just ukdalelya turichya shenga - boiled toor pods. The fresh toor beans in pods are rinsed and then steamed with salt and turmeric powder. The boiled pods are then placed on a big dining table. The entire family gathers around it. There is another empty container placed to keep all the peels. It's a family bonding time - peeling, snacking, devouring the fresh bounty of the winter while chitchatting/laughing/catching up with the daily escapades of life . I have very beautiful childhood memories associated with this whole winter ritual. (just like fresh toor pods, boiled peanuts - bhuimoogachya shenga are also used for this event)


I have never seen fresh toor pods at our local Indian stores here. So I planted some last year. I got really beautiful toor plants. But I think what went wrong was the weather. When I try to analyze, the toor pods grow during winter time in India. and here I was expecting them to come up in the deadly summer heat. So I think instead of planting in spring and expecting them for summer, next time, I will plant them in summer and see if fall weather helps them to come out. Anyway, I will keep you posted.


Thought I can't steam fresh toor pods, I think the whole ceremony of eating this healthy snack while catching up with near and dear ones is a wonderful family event. I discovered edmame - fresh soybeans in pods a few years back at our Japanese friend, P. Saan's house. She had steamed the fresh edmames with some sea salt. What a nice gathering it was to peel, eat and chat away just like fresh toor pods back home. So till my toor doesn't grow, I will use fresh edmami!:-D


Steamed Edamame
Ingredients
1 packet organic edamame (I used from Costco)
1  tsp sea salt
1 tsp turmeric powder

Method
1. Place the edamame - green soybeans in pods in  the pressure cooker container. Add salt , turmeric powder, enough water to submerge the pods.
2. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Do not overcook.
3. Take out. Drain in the colander just before serving.
4. Transfer into a big serving bowl.
5. Serve warm. Enjoy with friends and family around the table!!:-D

Note -
1. Do not forget to keep a common container or individual containers to keep the peels.
2. If you do not have pressure cooker, these pods can also be steamed by placing them in a colander. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place colander on top. Cover and let them steam till done.
3. Drain the pods just prior to eating. So till then let them soak in the salty/Turmeric water. It will enhance the taste.

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