Beerakaya is one of the Indian gourd variety vegetables, which is green in color and have sharp scaly longitudinal lines on it and can be peeled off (can be used as chutney). It is called commonly as Thori in Hindi, Thorai in Tamil. Sambars, Palacharu (made of milk), Pachadi (chutney), Tokkapachadi (chutney made by its peel) are its delicacies. Other than that, Pappu (thick dal), Pappucharu (dal Rasam), and few Nonveg varieties too can be made.
Beerakaya (Ridgegourd) is considered as best choice, after the fast because of its re hydrating nature and its taste. Gourds have more water comparatively and can easily be cooked. Gourds re-hydrate the body. I personally have researched about vegetables, spices, pulses, masalas and their combinations to make the dishes tasty. And few particular combinations make the dishes taste so naturally curated and authentic. It is mostly a little sweetish vegetable but few ones are bitter. Hence the taste can be checked before cooking. bitter ones can also be used to make chutneys and Gojju (a variety of cooked pickle).
I have a habit of making same dish with multiple tastes, each time choosing different ingredients and combinations, sometimes for taste, sometimes for health.Today I am discussing about Beerakaya Pappucharu.
Pappu is Andhra style of Dal, which is spicy, and is maximum made only with one Vegetable. It is cooked in different way depending on the taste chosen individually. Tuvar dal/ Kandipappu, Red gram is used to make this and it is generally thicker than the normal dal served outside. Red gram and rice is the staple food of Andhra pradesh as a matter of fact most of the south Indian states. Pappuchaaru can be called as a more easy and lighter version of dal. Lets talk about the combinations now.
Pappu chaaru can be cooked with or without onions, garlic, tomatoes. Sometimes even Ginger (my choice). Green chillies are preferred generally for Pappu, especially for gourds, Leafy vegetables. The taste of the dish varies how a vegetable can be cooked and how the ingredients are used. This is just one my styles of cooking Pappu charu.
- Serves : 4
- Red gram : 3 cups
- Water: 8 cups (lighter)
- Ridge Gourd : 1 (long), 2 (small)
- Green chilies: choice. ( mine at least 15)
- Curry leaves: 1 Twig (10 leaves)
- Green Coriander : sufficient.
- Tamarind: choice ( small round) and soaked
- Salt: choice
- Onions: 1-2 (choice)
- Garlic: 2-4 Pods (choice)
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Mustard seeds- 1tb
- Inguva/Hing (Asafoetida) : – A Pinch (choice)
- Turmeric/Pasupu -A Pinch.
- Add Gram (after wash), Ridge gourd, (can even add Onions, chilies, Tamarind or Desi Tomato) to the cooker and cook the vegetable and gram.
- After 3 Whistles, once Dal is cooked with Gourd, make sure water (Kattu) is more than normal dal, if less, add only warm water.
- Then take chilies, garlic and pinch of salt and grind them well and add them in the cooked gram.
- Drain the tamarind and add tamarind water to the cooked dal.
- Add sufficient salt.
- Cut the onions thin and transparently and add them to the dal.
- Then add all the ingredients and allow it get cooked for ten minutes.
- Then take a small Pan and add Oil, Hing, Mustard seeds, coriander, curry leaves and Turmeric.
- Close the lid and allow the tempering to settle.
- Dish out after ten minutes.
- Beerakaya Pappu charu is ready.
Onions garlic can be avoided and ginger can be added while preparing after fast. Onion, Ginger can even be added while Tempering the dish to give the flavorful tempering.
- Use Rock salt for cooking.
- Add a spoon of oil instead of salt before cooking gram to avoid Over cooking of vegetables and red gram.
- Use Red chilies for tempering.
- Extra Pinch of Hing is used for the people with digestive problems.
- Can be taken as soup. (Served during fasts with no onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, less chilies, and mild tempering)
Always with the Pappu charu, Tangy pickle or tangy chutney is chosen to eat along. Pachi Chintakaya (Green tamarind chutney) Tokku, Tomato Uduku Urugaya ( Coocked Pickle), Mamidi Avagaya (Raw mango Mustard Pickle) , Mamidi Uragaya (Mango Pickle) , Nimma Uragayi (Lemon Pickle), Donda uragaya (Thindoora, Gelkins Pickle) , Budamakaya uragaya (Squash Pickle) are the best combinations.