As it’s winter, fresh peas are available in abundance and I spent one rather backbreaking night shelling a kilo or more of peas and watching a DVD. I even started out saving the pods for a peel stir-fry but quickly tired of checking each and every pod for a blemish.
Coincidentally, Pooja announced her weekly event would feature green peas and I wanted to participate, but probably the mind-numbing job of shelling so many peas in a single sitting had its effects on me – I couldn’t think of a single unusual recipe featuring peas. Well, it has to be unusual to me, at least, otherwise I’m not too keen on putting it up in my blog.
So I started hunting through my cookbooks and finally settled on this Rajasthani curry featured in Nita Mehta’s book. What I found unusual in this recipe was the addition of mangodi (vadiyalu in Telugu, I think, and the brown bits in the photo above), dried preserves made from flour, usually deep-fried to make crunchy accompaniments to chaaru (rasam/soup). In fact, the ‘vadiyalu’ made from urad daal/black gram are used in a sweet-and-sour tamarind-and-jaggery gravy in the parts I come from, but this one here is a spicy, somewhat tart, thick gravy that is accompanied by other vegetables.
In pic above: Home-made mangodis/vadiyalu
The books informs us that this is a typically Marwari dish and that Marwaris are very fond of mangodis. In their case, they are made from moong daal. The ones I had have been tucked away in the bottomless pit that passes for my fridge for a year or so now, and I’m not sure what daal they are made of, but I used them anyway.
Here’s the recipe adapted from the book:
1 cup mangodi
1 cup shelled peas (you can parboil them ahead)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced, mangodi-size
A pinch of asafoetida/hing
1 tsp – cumin seeds
1 tsp or less – chilli powder
½ tsp - turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tsp or less - garam masala/curry powder
A few coriander leaves
Oil – 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Grind to a smooth paste:
2 big tomatoes
1 inch piece - ginger
1 cup curds/yoghurt
1 tbsp besan/gram flour OR rice flour
Fry the mangodis till crunchy and brown in the 3 tbsp of oil. Add the peas and potatoes, cover and simmer till done on low flame. The mangodis have to become soft, don’t worry about keeping them crunchy.
In a larger frying pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Put in the cumin seed, when it browns, add the asafoetida. Then add the chilli powder and immediately add the ground paste. Let it fry/boil for a while, add turmeric and then the vegetable and mangodis. Cover and simmer till you get a thick gravy, or if you don’t have the patience, let it boil and roil till it thickens, finish off with a sprinkle of curry powder and coriander leaves, turn off the fire and get on with the rest of your day!
Tags: Peas Potatoes Mangodis Gravy