Monday, February 26, 2007

Indian Winter # 3 : Tender Toor Sukke with Baby Potatoes

The Sukke was fresh and fragrant, when I clicked this snap.
The snap is not exactly fresh, though.
I have not been blogging, I know. And no, it's not the New Boss. Actually, it's the old husband, who was so busy at the beginning of this month that he had no time for the house or the dauthter or the me. Since the me had to look after the earlier two, there was no time left for anything else. Including the blog.

So, what did I do? I just packed off the old husband to a faraway country, to the land of 'Sahib'. I wouldn't let anything or ANYBODY come between my blog and me, you see. (For fellow Hindi film buffs: Duniya ki koi taaqat mere blog ko mere se judaa nahin kar saktee...nahin...)

My agony was not to end here, though. The next hurdle showed up when I actually managed to switch on my PC at home. Although all else was fine, I could not log in to Blogger. I could see all blogs, including mine, but logging on to Blogger? Nah...that wasn't happening.

So, what did I do? Well, I fooled Blogger. I as in Vaishali, the Smarty Pie (oooh, I like that) somehow managed to log in through my old Blogger account. When I tried to go to my posts, it reminded me that I had switched to the 'new' Blogger, (it was YOU who was suffering of amnesia, Blogger, not me!) and asked to to log in to my new account. And it worked. Yipee!

Now, there I am. With my recipe and my pictures. It's not really winter here in Pune any longer. (Although you Guys out there reach out for that extra sheet early in the morning!) But hey, the winter veggies are still available. Also, there's gonna be a winter next year too. So, why not stock up on recipes before the next winter hits us? There...I got you convinced...I can see that. :-)

Anti-clockwise from top: whole Toor beans, shelled green/tender Toor, the 'everyday' Toor dal

Before I move on to the recipe, a little about 'tender Toor'. These are fresh pigeon peas. Once dried and split, they become 'Toor dal' or 'split pigeon peas'. As you can see in the picture above.

And now the

Recipe for Tender Toor Sukke with Baby Potatoes


1 heaped cup shelled tender Toor ( ½ kg. of the beans should yield that much)
12 Baby potatoes
¼ cup chopped onion
salt to taste

For the paste:
3 dried red chillis
1 tsp Urad dal
a lime-sized ball of tamarind, soaked in water
1 cup grated fresh coconut

1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves

Shelled tender Toor (left behind) and boiled & skinned Baby Potatoes (front)


1. Rinse the shelled tender Toor once and put them into a wide vessel that fits into your pressure cooker. Pour water over the Toor until just covered.
2. You could add washed Baby potatoes to the same vessel or you could arrange them on the lid that covers the vessel in the pressure cooker.
Any which way, please make sure that the Toor as well as the potatoes are cooked thoroughly. :-)
3. Roast the dried red chillis in a couple of drops of oil until they turn two shades darker. Then take them out.
4. Roast the Urad dal in the same vessel without adding any oil till it turns golden and aromatic.
5. Sqeeze all the water out of the soaked tamarind, and discard the residue. In case you do not want to have any impurities, pass the tamarind water through a strainer once.
6. Grind the roasted red chillis, roasted Urad dal and grated coconut with the tamarind water until you get a smooth paste.
7. Take the ground paste as well as the cooked Toor and boiled potatoes into a heavy-bottomed vessel. Add the chopped onion and salt to it.
8. Cook this mixture on high heat. Add more water, if necessary. However, please keep in mind that this is a rather dry dish; it's not expected to have a lot of gravy.
9. Once the dish appears to have come together, turn the heat off.
10. Heat the oil in a Tadka ladle. Add mustard seeds, and let them splutter. Then add the curry leaves, and take the ladle off heat.
11. Add this Tadka to the Toor+potatoes mixture. Cover it immediately with a lid so that all flavours blend well.

Serve warm with Rotis / Phulkas or with rice & dal.
By the way, this Konkani dish can be prepared using any pulse instead of the tender Toor. You could use fresh green peas too. I assure you that it will taste equally stunning. :-)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Jihva for POTATO

Call it ‘Kartoffel’. Or ‘pomme de terre’. Or ‘batata’. Or even ‘Aaloo’. Call it just anything. What you get at the end of the day is ‘POTATO’, the chubby tuber that almost all of us love…and probably hate too. :)

We love it, because it is so very adaptable. Add it to anything, and it takes on the flavour of that dish. No interference, only dedication. :)

But then, why do we hate it? Well, because it is infamous since preparations with this vegetable are usually fat-laden. Be it potato chips…be it crisps/wafers…be it Batata Wada. But hey, that’s not potato’s fault! It is always upto us as to how healthy or unhealthy we want to make a vegetable, right?

So, let’s get together and give POTATO, the world's most widely grown tuber crop the credit that it deserves. Use any type, size or form of potato. Use it fresh, tinned, uncooked, boiled, diced, mashed or even dried and powdered. Use it in an Italian dish or in a spicy Indian curry. Use it in a snack or in a breakfast dish. Use it as a surprise addition to a homely dish or in a gourmet preparation.

Flip through those recipe books. Sift through those newspaper cuttings. Use your imagination. You have unlimited choices with the POTATO.

What you need to keep in mind is

- Cook anything with Potato(es), and publish your post preferably on the 1st of March as your entry for Jihva for Ingredients.
(But folks, let’s not use ‘sweet potatoes’. They are a versatile ingredient, and they deserve to be a theme on their own.)

- Send me an email at with the permalink to your post and a photo of the dish in 75×75 pixel size.

- Include the name of your dish as well as of your blog in the mail.

- Come around to my blog around the 8th of March to check out the round-up.

! Non-bloggers: Please send me the photo of your dish along with the write-up . I’ll publish it here, and also include it in the round-up.

So, come on, Guys. Put on that apron, set the camera ready, and open the bag of POTATOES…

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