Saturday, January 31, 2015

Kalya Vatanyache Aambat

Initially, My maternal grandmother was not familiar with "Black Peas" or Kala vatana which is celebrated in Malvani cuisine. But due to many intercommunity marriages in the family, and her willingness to learn and include novelty in her daily cooking, she cooked these lovely black pearls using her traditional Konkani Masala.
As I have mentioned before, when a South Canara vegetarian curry has onion tempering, it is called "Ambat". So this is how "Kalya Vatanyache Ambat" was created. Its name conveys it all. It inherits the influence of Marathi and Konkani. Aren't food and language meant to nurture and connect people? Who are we to judge if it's authentic or not?
KaLya Vatanyache Ambat
Black Peas Curry 
2 cups black peas/Kale Vatane sprouts
1 tbsp onion, chopped
salt to taste

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh coconut
4 - 5 byadgi chilies, roasted in a few drops of coconut oil
2 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tsp oil (use coconut oil for the authentic flavor)
1 tbsp chopped onion

1. Pressure cook black peas sprouts and chopped onion, adding adequate water .
2. Grind the masala per the directions above. Make sure to grind finely, adding little water as necessary.
3. Pour cooked sprouts along with cooked liquid in a saucepan. Add ground masala to the saucepan. Adjust water to make not very thin but not thick gravy. Add salt . Bring to boil. Simmer.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add chopped onion. Saute till it becomes brownish but not burnt. Pour the sizzling oil in the curry. switch off the gas. Cover immediately.
5. Serve with plain rice.

Note -
1. You can add a pinch of turmeric powder when peas are getting cooked.
2. You can also add a spoonful of cooked peas to the coconut mixture while grinding.
3. Instead of onion tempering, you can give the garlic tempering. Just note that the name of the curry will change to "Koddel". :-)
4. Please do not confuse these black peas with whole urad or black beans. These are small black peas grown in Maharashtra.


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