Kovakkai is only for birds you think? Nay I used to eat too as a kid. I remember eating those bright red juicy fruits, as a 6 year old, while we were living in a smaller town then. Dad was taking take of this district hospital and we were living in a house which was more like a farm house than a colony. We had many acres surrounding our house and finally ended up growing lots of vegetables. That’s my only exposure in ever growing and playing around in vegetable garden. Every yield was so much that, we used to give to the hospital and the entire colony and still much was left back unused. In those areas, a typical plant grows which gives out a violet or yellow colour flower. But its so confirmed to that soil and climate, I haven’t seen that plant grown in any other area. Its mostly used as a fencing plant. We used to grow this plant instead of having iron compounds. So see midst of this plant is the donda kaya plant that grows abundantly and yields so many fruits. When its bright red in colour, we will see many birds coming there ready to eat them. Mostly parrots are the ones that feed on them and it used to be great trill to see them in action. If we are lucky to have some left by the birds, we will be ready to eat them off. The other thing we used do with those wild plants, was to use its stem to play cricket or jockey. The stems used to be in shape of these bats and we used spend many summer afternoons, shining our bats. Since having left that town, I haven’t actually seen a Tindora plant. But when I think of one, all that comes to mind, is that picture of a compound made plants with bright red ripe Dondakaya hanging ready to eat.
I wish certain things remain as such for ever. But we can’t really think that will happen right. Now when I think of kovakka, I can only think of eating it as a stir fry. Given a choice, I would never eat but I have known parent’s “this is good for health and you are supposed to eat this” line oft with this vegetable that I find I can’t escape. Amma makes this as mostly talimpu and this variety is the best I like and mostly prepare only like this. Last evening we again had a cute little scene enacted by the three siblings. When all of three of them were playing, Konda playfully patted peddu on his back. For which he got excited and caught hold of Kond’s shoulders. With his baby hands, I think he didn’t realise his strength and so resulted in holding konda little tightly. She ended up shouting at him and told him, she isn’t going to talk to him anymore. Hearing that Peddu starting crying and going behind her to make her talk to him. But Konda didn’t budge and went on saying he can leave her alone and not pester her again. Till then, chinnu was with me but seeing this happening, he jumped down and ran to konda, who was facing the wall. He went straight and bit her back and started shouting something raising his hands. We all had to run to pull them from each other. None of them would stop, so finally we had to cajole konda to talk to Peddu, who was still crying and chinnu who was fuming seeing his brother crying. When she finally hugged Peddu and spoke to him, he was so jubilant and shouting and cheering. All three of them were hugging each other and trying to pacify one and other. It looked as if they were all grown ups and know what they were doing. Seeing them like that, all we could do was to wish, that they grow to be as affectionate with each other as they are now.
Today’s Lunch Box had
Endimirapakaya Pappu ~ Red Chilli Dal
Dondakaya Talimpu / Tindora/Tondli Fry / Gherkins Stir Fry
Pepper Cumin Rasam
Dondakaya / Tindora / Gherkins – 250 gms
Chilli powder – 3/4 sp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal – 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut – 2 tsp
Whole Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp
Wash and scrap on the Gherkins outer skin. It sometimes has that sticky thing on its top. Then trim the ends and slice into thin circles.
Heat a pan with oil. Once its hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves. Then add the sliced Tindora, stir well. Add salt and turmeric and cook it covered with a lid and keep stirring in between so that it doesn’t get burnt. Simmer for 10 to 15 mins.
Meanwhile, dry roast grated coconut and whole dhania in a skillet and grind to a fine powder once its cool.
When Tindora is almost cooked, sprinkle this spice powder on it and cover and cook for another 5 mins or till its well blended and cooked.
This makes a perfect Talimpu or vepudu for Dal!
Reminder: Today is the last day for sending in entries based on Greens for the Microwave Easy Cooking Event. Will be doing the round up tomorrow! Come to see the Greens!