Our ancestors cooked their meals in simple ways from the simple ingredients available and lead simple lives which were devoid of any artificialities which we have so much in our lives! It was a win-win situation where the food cooked was delicious beyond words,was finished in no time and gave them the needed nutrition to make up for lost elements within the body! My ancestral home in Palakkad,Kerala used to reverberate with childish laughter,ladies gossiping,the pounding of spices on the stone mortar with the heavy iron pestle,the “squelch squelch” of wet grinding batter on the manual stone grinder with the heavy iron grinding stone (the ladies were strong and capable of lifting heavy objects and capable of doing heavy work which we would be afraid of these days).
Vengaya means Onion (referring to baby Onions in India) and Pachadi means a kind of chutney cooked with whole ingredients rather than grinding them to a paste.This classic accompaniment is a trademark of my great grandma’s kitchen and I am pretty nostalgic when she used to pair it with mild curries. The Tamarind in the Pachadi went beautifully well with the coconut laced curries which we had with plain rice! Recently the State of Kerala was enveloped in massive floods which was quite depressing to see and hear and for that reason the theme for the Secretly Cooking Challenge was Kerala! This can be paired with North Indian snacks as well as it goes marvellously with basting on meats as well as marinating chicken and fish,
I was paired with Sasmita Sahoo Samanta who blogs at First Timer Cook.
Sasmita gave me small/baby Onion and Tamarind and I gave her all purpose flour and sugar with which she made a delicious Malabar Parotta.This is the link to her delicious recipe :
However I could not get baby Onions here so used the small Shallots which went amazingly well.
The Shallots I used…
This Pachadi goes well with all curries and even with plain rice! It is the salt-sweet-acidic and spicy taste which makes everyone a complete fan of it! This was the recipe entered for the Secretly Cooking Challenge!
So let us go to the recipe :
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Makes : 2 – 3 servings
3 – 4 Shallots/Baby Onions
A lemon sized ball of Tamarind (soaked in 2 cups water for 2 hours)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds (rai)
1 dried chilli (split in 3)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Red Chilli powder
1/8/pinch tsp asafoetida
Peel and dice Shallots.
Heat oil and add the mustard seeds,asafoetida and split dried red chilli. Let the seeds splutter.
Add the diced Shallots and fry till translucent.
Add the turmeric and red chilli and mix well.
Now strain the Tamarind water into the cooked Shallots and stir well.
Add salt and sugar and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning here.
Lower the heat and let the tamarind water simmer till it reduces to half.
When it reduces to half the original quantity take off heat and leave to come to room temperature. The liquid will thicken and it will be extremely delicious!
Serve with any main course or as a dip.
The post Vengaya Pachadi (a Kerala main course accompaniment) appeared first on The Food Samaritan.