Kovaikai Podi Kari

Ingredients

250 gms /1/4 kg Kovaikai/ tindora
½ tsp mustard seeds
10-12 fresh curry leaves
pinch of turmeric pwd
salt to taste
1 ½ tbsp oil
1-2 tbsp roasted peanuts (garnish)
To be roasted in oil and ground to a coarse pwd:
few drops of oil
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chillis – remove stalk, tear into two and de-seed (adjust according to your spice level)
1 1/2 tbsp roasted peanuts

Method

Wash the Kovaikai and nip the tip and tail ends. Slit each gherkin into two, length wise, as shown in the picture and slice them into thin long strips (or in my case forzen kovaikai, a packet).

Heat a few drops of oil in a cooking vessel. Once the oil is hot, reduce heat to medium flame, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter and turn brown. Add the red chillis and fry for a few seconds stirring continuosly. Turn off heat and cool. Once cool, add roasted peanuts to this roasted spice mix and grind to make a coarse pwd.

Add oil in the same pan and heat it till hot. Reduce to medium flame and add the mustard seeds, let them splutter. Add the curry leaves ,stir them till the aroma come out.

Immediately add the sliced kovaikai and combine. Add salt and turmeric pwd and mix well. Saute on medium heat for 3-4 minutes , keep sauteing them so that it doesn’t burn. Now reduce to low flame and let it cook covered till soft, approx 12-15 minutes. Keep checking inbetween, sauteing them so that they dont burn. The sauteed kovaikai lose moisture and begin to have a wrinkled appearance and turns to a deeper color.

Don’t overcook the kovaikai, they should retain that, slight crunchy texture. Add the ground coarse pwd at this stage and combine well and let it cook, uncovered for another 2 minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat.

Finally adjust the salt and garnish with roasted peanuts. Serve hot with steamed rice, daal or sambar.

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