Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday Samayal - Vaazh Podalanga and Pavakai Maanga Pitlai

Bittergourd (Momordica charantia/Kareta, Karavella, Kathilla, Sushavi)
Vaazh Podalanga Snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina)
See its interesting white flower at: Chachinda
Ayurvedic health benefits: Patola
Wheat Jaggery Kheer, Pavaka pitlai, Carrot slices, Vaazh Podalanga, Bikaneri Papad
Was wondering, what is different in Vaazh podalanga that commanded a price differential in market, that i decided to make podalanga, even though pitlai with podalangai was something i never tried before.

Mom said, it was different from usual fatter snake gourds, i could not discern anything different. Vaazh podalanga is a longer, sturdy and leaner than its smooth, chubby cousins.

We started with wheat kheer, cloyingly sweet with lots of jaggery and 10+ aromatic cardamoms. Whenever, i cook, i don't use tamarinds. So for pitlai, i used mangoes for tangyness. No konda kadalai, instead i used a mix of split moong and chana dal. Whenever i come home in spring and summer, i have to walk through a maze of drying tamarinds and finely cut baby mangoes, in various stages of being pickled. At times, I have to watch out for drying baby mangoes and tamarinds when i get up from bed or sofa. Mom would not even throw the tamarind seeds. She said, some one in village needed it.

Talking of tamarind reminds of this school song - Ram chale van ko mata, hum bhi chale jayenge. In the song, when mom asks her kids what will they eat as they accompany Sri Ram to jungle, the kids say, they will eat tamarind leaves and pods. We used to rub one side of the tamarind seeds, till they turned white and play dhaayam (dice) with 12 such seeds. One of my favourites is koil puliotharai. But believe, every eatable has a phase in life. So good bye tamarinds, if am at home. If i eat outside, i eat nonchalantly.

Last time, bitter gourd was crunchy, so this time i let bitter gourd cook for some more time for mom, till they were soft. Still mom said, she didn't want to chew the vegetables, she wanted to swallow them without having to chew them. Mom said, cook it for some more time, i will eat them in the evening. I told her i won't reheat anything that has oil in it. So i told her, when she is toothless, i would cook, so that she would not have to chew. God! our body constitutions are poles opposite.

Saturdays are for bittergourds, enemas, rest

Arisi payasam, Pavakkai pitlai, Murungai keerai, Roasted papad

Yet Another Saturday

Navadhanya Payasam, Kothavaranga Paruppu Usili, Murungai Keerai Poriyal, Pavakai Pitlai, Rasam, Curd, Roasted Papad
Navadhanya Payasam - Sathu mavu sauted in ghee with jaggery milk cashews, cardamoms and raisins
Kothavaranga Paruppu Usili, Murungai Keerai Poriyal

Pavakai Pitlai



Full Meals

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