Monday, June 2, 2008

Helping Hands and Andhra Food Series : Dosakai Pachadi

We have been going through a harrowing time lately as we had a personal problem and as a result of which, we had to spend a large amount of time in Rajamundry ( a small town in Andhra Pradesh). Now, tho Rajamundry is supposed to be officially home to my dad's side of the family, we have never stayed there for any length of time. My only recollection of the place was short day visits to see family. This time round, however, we had to be there for nearly 3 weeks. It was a visit fraught with tension and worry. But you know the saying, an angel is always around when you need one. There was this family who extended such a helping hand, opened up their house and hearts to us. They were so hospitable and they made it appear that nothing was trouble for them. They were there when we needed them the most. To top it all, we had not met them earlier and this was the first time we were meeting all of them. Even so, we never ever felt like they were strangers. They made us immediately feel like one of the family. I just do not have the right words to thank them and don't think I ever will. Words cannot really express the deep sense of gratitude that I have inside me. It was wonderful to see how people can just step up to lend a helping hand and this has made me more determined than ever that I will always extend a hand when I can in for people in their time of need. Most people do not vocalise what they really want for fear of looking like they are trying to bum off you or that they are encroaching on your personal space. When someone extends a hand like this without even a question asked, it makes such a difference. All I can say is a big "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart.

Now that the serious stuff has been said, the icing on the cake was the food in their house. The taste of the food in their home was quite something else. They had their own cows, so the taste of the milk, ghee and the curd.. oh, the curd was something else altogether. Fully loaded with a layer of thick cream on top.. yummy. And the vegetables, the dals, the pachadis that R made tasted really divine. With all the worries I had, one would have thought I would lose weight but oh no, not me. I was happily tucking in at each meal and never did I once worry about mundane things like weight.
In the memory of all those lovely meals that we ate at her home, I am going to be doing a series of posts on typical Andhra food. She has promised to give me a few recipes and I am definitely going to hold her to her promise and will post them here in turn.

One of the most popular food courses in Telugu food has to be Pachadi ( this is comparable to the thovaigals that the Tamilians eat). Every meal has one pachadi at least which is mixed with hot rice and ghee and relished. I have already posted Usirikai Pachadi earlier but this time round I found nice dosakais in the vegetable shop and promptly decided to make Dosakai Pachadi which is an Andhra favourite. It is a little tangy and has a nice bittery/pungent taste from the mustard seed paste.

Now for the ingredients...

I medium size Dosakai diced into small bits
2 Red chillies
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pinch Hing ( asafoetida)
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 small lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in a 2 tablespoons of water
a lemon sized bit of jaggery
1 green chilli
1 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste
1 teaspoon oil

Heat oil. Add mustard seeds and the red chillies.
Grind to a coarse paste along with the turmeric, hing, salt, jaggery, tamarind, green chilli and coriander leaves.
Add the dosakai and just pulse once or twice.
Serve with hot rice and ghee...


Aparna said...

Hope things have settled down to routine.
This is certainly an interesting chutney. And yes a little bit different from out thogayal.

Asha said...

Beautiful color, good one!:))

Kamini said...

Thanks Aparna, Stillin the process of settling down. But things are looking up.

Asha, This is really a different taste (a little acquired one) but tastes really good with rice.

Sunshinemom said...

Sounds tasty:)

TBC said...

Glad to hear that things have been looking up for you.

ranji said...

a very tempting dish indeed..lovely color...delicious.

delhibelle said...

Hi Kamini,
Sorry to hear about the rough patch. Hope things have settled down now.

This pachadi looks as great as all the other pachadis on your blog(have bookmarked your gooseberry and kandi pachadi too!)

Do take care!