Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parikkai Pitlai ( Bittergourd Lentil Soup)

Jan 18th 2011

I know what you are thinking - bitter-gourd, really? But trust me, this lentil soup has its own special taste that will intrigue you if not wanting you to crave more. And also feel free to replace the bitter-gourd with Sundakkai (or Turkey Berry).

While the healing effects of this particular vegetable could be questionable for diabetes, read more here; there is no doubt about the fact that it has its virtues, so without further ado, here is the recipe.

Difficulty level : Medium

Time: 20 min ( Prep Time), 20 min ( Cooking Time)

  • Toor dhal ( 1 cup) cooked in the pressure cooker with water in the ratio 1:3
  • Tamarind ( a small lemon size ball)  or 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • Garbanzo beans ( a handful cooked - canned and drained is fine)
  • Chopped bitter-gourd ( 1 to 1 1/2 small nos)
  • Jaggery or brown sugar ( a pinch or more)
  • turmeric powder ( a pinch)
To season
  • oil
  • mustard ( 1 tbsp)
  • urad dhal  (1 tbsp)
  • curry leaves ( 3 nos)
  • Salt to taste
Roast and grind
  • piece of asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp chana dhal
  • 1 tbsp urad dhal
  • red chillies (2-3 nos)
  • 1 tsp pepper corn
  • 1/2 tbsp scraped coconut
  • oil
Method de Preparation
  1. Take a little bit of oil, slightly roast all the ingredients in the Roast and Grind list and grind once cooled. Forget about this for sometime now.
  2. Take a vessel and add the extracted tamarind solution. Extract tamarind juice by soaking it in water, squeezing pulp, and repeat till water no longer turns brown in color. Easy way is to heat the tamarind in water for a  min in the microwave. This softens the pulp and allows you to extract the juice easily. Meaning extract about 1 to 1 1/2 cups tamarind water from the tamarind pulp or the tamarind concentrate in which case just mix it with the water.
  3. Add salt and turmeric and the bitter-gourd and allow to cook.
  4. After about 5 min, check to see that the bitter-gourd is cooked, pick and squish method :)
  5. If it is, add the garbanzo beans and allow to boil for a min or two.
  6. Then add the ground ingredients and the cooked thoor dhal.
  7. Add salt and jaggery to taste and allow everything to come together turning off heat shortly.
  8. Season with mustard, urad dhal and curry leaves fried in oil. Serve hot with rice and appalam :)
Variations:  If you like, use lesser bitter-gourd and more garbanzos.


Priya said...

Delicious pitlai,very inviting..

Anu Karthik said...

Another parikkai fan ?

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