Lunch Box Series : LBS#29

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We have been having unexpected showers since two days. A shower is most welcome on any day, atleast for me. It feels like heavenly paving through misty lanes with dews falling all over you. I rarely try to cover myself when I ride through it. If I am caught in one, while way back home, I don’t even bother thinking of taking a cover. Wading through a drizzling, in a bike almost makes you feel you are liberated and flying in the sky with freedom that can come only with this feeling. Moments like these, I feel I am reborn, feeling blessed by the sky god, one more time! My companions I see, running hither and thither, trying to shelter from pouring rain. I feel sorry for them, those who can’t enjoy a good rain, haven’t really enjoyed life to fullest! And as each time, I remembered those many times, I have continued my journey heedless of the pouring rain, feeling cleansed, not just me but the whole world too and giving us hope again. And there have been many times, I have indulged in a hearty cry, sure that my flowing tears would never show through the pouring rains, for joy or sorrow, I never know. Most its been for the simple reason that we are blessed with another shower.

Well blame the rain for my outpour and let me get back to business. Today being a Friday, makes things easy for me. I referred my Lunch box series and decided to post one that I prepared last week. Athamma got in a Sorakkaya planning we make a kootu out of it. But I said I will do a sambar instead. So it was a sambar. Members of the gourd family, excepting the bitter one, don’t normally make a frequent appearance at our table. And this, I wanted to address. Think about it, how many times should I end up making the same veg sambar. Sambar, anyway is decided for most days for lunch offlate. Most oft, I feel I got to prepare something new just for my lunch box series. But how many can I think on myself. So I thought I will make a Sorakkai Sambar and a new veggie that is not featured in the series yet as a poriyal. Well I remember our dear karamani and realized I haven’t cooked with this for quite sometime. Amma makes this frequently but somehow this stopped featuring in our regular veggies list. So finally got this down for the lunch.

Today’s Lunch Box had

Sorakkai Sambar ~ Bottle Gourd Sambar
Karamani Poriyal ~ Cowpea or Black eyed Pea Fry
Pepper Cumin Rasam
Curd Rice

Sorakkai Sambar ~ Bottle Gourd Sambar

Ingredients Needed

Toor Dal – 1 cup
Sorakkai / Bottle Gourd – 150 gms
Sambar Onions – 100 gms
Sambar Powder – 1 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 medium
Tamarind pulp – small lime size
Coriander Leaves – few chopped
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Turmeric a pinch

For Seasoning

Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal + Fenugreek – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – few
Garlic – 4 pods

Method to Prepare:

Clean Toor Dal and pressure cook it with 2 drops of Oil and turmeric. Keep it for 2 whistle or till cooked. Remove and let it cool down.

Peel skin from the bottle gourd and chop into 2′ size pieces. Pressure it with Dal for another whistle. Keep it aside

Soak tamarind and extract pulp from it.

Soak Shallot (Sambar onions) for 5 mins, this way the skin comes out easily. Chop Onions and tomatoes.

Heat oil in a pan, add the seasoning ingredients. Then add chopped onions. Sauté till they are cooked, add tomatoes, Sambar powder. Cook till the tomatoes are soft.

Remove the vegetable and mash the dal well. Then add the cooked toor dal along with sorakkai, tamarind pulp.

Cook on high flame for 5 mins, then simmer for 10 mins till its cooked well. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Karamani Poriyal ~ Cowpea or Black eyed Pea Fry

This stir fry with whole karamani is very peculiar to Tamil Nadu. I made this once for my relatives, they didn’t know what this veggies was. In andhra we used the bean and not the tender one with the whole skin. It was quite surprising as I have always known this vegetable.

Ingredient Needed:

Karamani – 250 gms
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tsp

Mustard + Urud dal – 1/2
Bengal Gram – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few

Method to prepare

Wash and chop karamani into 2′ size pieces. Heat a kadai with oil, once its hot temper with the seasonings. Then add the chopped Karamani. Stir well and add salt and turmeric. Cover with lid and cook for 10 mins. Remove and let the stream go into the vessel.

Add chilli powder and coriander powder. Cover again and cook for 10 mins or till cooked.

Karamani gets cooked with its own stream. The last 5 mins, we can cook without lid to have more crunchy stir fry.

Sorakkaya Sambar was different from our usual one and along with karamani, it was a different but a wholesome experience. Hope you enjoyed!

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Lunch Box Series : LBS#29
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  1. Gosh you loved the rain…hmmm! Hmm! Guess if fall under the companion running for cover 😀

    Anyway loved your writing..the cleansing rain and all…

  2. Karamani?…Never heard of it Srivalli..:( By your description and the look I guess it is alachandalu or bobbarlu. Back home only seeds were used.It is called chowli in Hindi and the whole pod is widely used just like french beans.

  3. You are a gal after my own heart. It is so liberating to just give way to letting the rain just wet and soak you through, it’s like a shower from heaven.

  4. The showers really have provided us with a brief respite from the heat, haven’t they???
    These beans are used in Kerala cooking too…we make it as a stir-fry….your version sounds good.

  5. I love love love the earthy smell when it rains after a dry spell, you do feel alive or happy to be alive!:))

    We call it Alasande in Kannada Sri, my mom always made gravies with green alasndekai too, I loved it. I don’t get green ones here but black eyed peas are southern US classic dish, so we get beans plenty.

    Greta looking lunch, my stomach is growling already!:)
    See you on Monday, my busy weekend starts now, I will be off the laptop until Monday!

  6. Srivalli,
    I loved playing in the rain in India. Here in the US the summer rain dosent feel the same as back home. Moreover rain in NYC is terrible because the streets get too dirty to be wade in. Geez I sound like the Grinch who stole monsoon hehe. Umm the weather that is, not the blogger ;o)

  7. I, too, love walking in the rain. SO refreshing and liberating!
    We actually get Karamani here in New York. In the Chinese stores it’s called Chinese Long Beans, and they’re tied together in 1 pound bundles.
    Nice post.

  8. Sia, thank you..glad you was really just too good…

    Cynthia, thats very nice to know..I have great friends… is indeed shower from heaven!

    sra, really now you got so so curious!

    Rachel, ehm..I didn’t get the first line though…glad you liked it..

    kamala, thanks..thats good to know..Karamani is tamil only, the whole pos is used as regular beans..

    Siri, thats funny…glad you liked the lunch box..

    Jayashree, yes indeed!..oh is it..good..

    Asha, ehm..good…what you said is so true..thats exactly how I feel..Alasande sounds good…:)…I am looking fwd to monday to come…you said you will post the dosa spread!

    Bharathy, ok ok..I know..:P…yup..with your spicy aloo roast too..

    Uma, thank you

    Anjali, thanks!

    Kamini, glad you love the rains too..thats a nice name its got..

    AnuZi, hahah..very funny…you make always crack me up!…

    Homecooked, thanks…glad you liked the box!

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