I made this traditional, spicy and tongue tingling hot vegetable curry on the 8th of September 2011 to celebrate the birthday of Our Blessed Mother Mary. It was a healthy, tasty and a perfect accompaniment for the lacy appams. The spice blend I used is a classic ( my moms) and is very versatile, can be used with most vegetables like cabbage, beans, potato, yam, raw papaya along with black eyed peas, tuvar dal or prawns.
I chose the broccoli, spinach and soyabeans combination, because not only are they are so full of vitamins and beneficial nutrients, but I also had them frozen, and ready to use in my freezer. The vegetables married beautifully in the flavourful gravy, it was a joyous meal.
Ingredients: Serves 2/3
For roasting and grinding
Dried red chillies: 5-7 ( Use 7 if you like it really hot)
Whole coriander: 1 tsp
Whole cumin: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Fresh grated coconut: handful
Garlic flakes: 1 large/ 2 small
Onion sliced: 1/2 small
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
For vegetable curry
Dried Soya beans: 1/3 cup ( soaked in water for 2-3 hours)
Frozen broccoli: 1/2 cup
Frozen spinach: 1/2 cup
Onion sliced: 1/2
Tomato chopped : 1/2
Tamarind concentrate: 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar
1. In a vessel take dried soya beans which have been soaking in water for 2-3 hours, 1/2 sliced onion and 1/2 chopped tomato, 1 cup water and salt to taste. Let the soya bean cook on medium- high flame till done. Will take about 10-12 minutes. Once soya beans have cooked, add the frozen broccoli florets and frozen spinach cubes and let it cook for another 5 minutes or till done.
2. While the vegetables are cooking, roast and grind the masala. In a non- stick pan take a 2 tsps oil and then roast onions and garlic first till onions are translucent, then add the rest of the ingredients (except turmeric) and roast till fragrant. Add turmeric and grind to a fine paste with a little water.
3. Add the ground masala to the cooked vegetables. Add masala water to make gravy of slightly medium-thin consistency. Add tamarind. Add salt to taste and a pinch of sugar. Let the gravy come to a boil. Add a tsp of vinegar if required.
Serve hot with appams or neer dosa/ panpole or white rice.
Seasoning the gravy with 1/2 a finely sliced onion, fried till golden brown, in a tsp of ghee, and poured over just before serving will give a very good flavour to curry.