Thursday, August 13, 2015

Vellarika Curry

Kerala style curry prepared with Indian yellow cucumber and lentils cooked in coconut milk.

Vellarika also called Indian yellow cucumber, is a special kind of cucumber that's more often cooked than eaten raw. A little more larger in size than ordinary cucumber, with a brownish yellow skin. Its texture and taste is more like melons, though not sweet. The other important ingredient needed in this recipe is Mung dal, which gives the curry the thick consistency. Like almost every other Kerala dish, coconut milk is inevitable, and for the final finishing touch, infuse it with the tadka (tempering).

Rice served with this Vellarika curry, a little pickle and pappadam (paappad), and fried egg (if you are a non-vegetarian), is all you need for a mouth-watering meal.. :) Yuummmmm... ;)

Ingredients :

Mung dal

1 cup
Turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon
Indian Yellow cucumber

1/2 of a large
Garlic (crushed)

2 cloves
Onion (sliced)

1 no.
Green chilli (slit)

2 or 3 nos.
Coconut oil

2-3 tablespoons
Mustard seeds

1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon
Dried red chilli

3-4 nos.
Curry leaves

2 stems
Shallots (finely sliced)

3-4 nos.
Coconut milk

1/2 cup (first extract)

2 cups

To taste.

Preparation Method :

Wash and drain the mung dal like how you would wash raw rice. Some people soak dal prior to cooking. But, I don't think mung dal requires soaking, since it cooks pretty fast. To the cleaned dal, add half a teaspoon of turmeric. Dal cooks faster if cooked with turmeric. But, adding salt slows down cooking, so make sure you add salt only after it is well cooked.

Then add the crushed garlic and some water and cook. Only till half cooked. 

While the dal cooks, wash the cucumber, cut it into half and keep the unused half covered with a cling wrap or keep it closed in a container and refrigerate until next use.  Of the half you would be cooking, remove the seeds and peel the skin off. 

Then cut off the end and cut into half. Then dice it equally. 

Finely chop the onions and slit the chillies.

When the dal is half done add the cucumber, onion and green chilli. 

Give a quick stir and cover with a lid and cook on low heat until dal becomes tender. But make sure it doesn't become too tender or it will become a paste.

Then add the coconut milk while the heat is still on low and cook until the curry begins to bubble on the sides slightly. Turn off the flame.

In a wok, crackle the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

Then add the sliced shallots and curry leaves and fry until the shallots begin to brown. Then add the dried red chillies and fry for just couple of seconds.

Add salt to taste and give a quick stir. Pour the tempering above the curry and close with a lid immediately.

Before serving stir the curry well. Goes well with any kind of rice and even roties

Serves 5-6
Wishing you all Happy and Safe weekend folks! :)

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