Monday, September 8, 2008
I have never submitted anything to the RCI event, but I love reading the round-ups. Indian food is so vast and this event offers snapshots of each region. However, this month the focus is Konkani cuisine, my homecooking. This was one event I needed to complete.
I was not sure what I would make but our visit to the market sealed the deal. One stand sells what Malabar Spinach. I remember as a child my mother attempted to recreate the recipes of her childhood with the ingredients we had in the States. Vaali roughly translates as spinach. However, the industrialized spinach of the states is not exactly the flavorful spinach of India. But, this Malabar spinach has every bit the robustness needed to counter the coconut masala and daal in Vaali Ambat.
In Konkani cuisine, coconut is the star of most dishes. It is either used fresh on vegetable dishes (something I have never really liked) or else ground with chillis to make a masala (something that can't be replicated with any other ingredient.)
This dish is so fantastic I would consume it by the gallon like soup, but it really should be served with a dry vegetable or two, rice, curds and some pappadams.
Cook until tender
1/8 cup toor daal
1 lb spinach
1/4 cup coconut
3 roasted chillis
1/8 tsp tamarind paste.
Add paste to the spinach/dal mixture.
Sautee 1 diced small onion in oil and then use this to top the ambat.
I am sending this over to RCI: Konkani run by Deepa from Recipes and More and started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.