Today's recipe is not a regular Maharashtrian one but comes from the neighboring state of Karnataka, the North-Western part, to be precise. My dad was born and brought up in Bijapur and so, there are many recipes in our family that have the Kannadiga influence. The funny part though, is that, while my grand parents, uncle and my dad can speak fluent Kannada, neither my mom nor my aunt, nor my cousins, nor my sister and me can speak or understand this language! :) I just know a few words here and there and those too mostly related to food ;)
So lets get straight to the recipe now...'Mudda Bhaaji' or 'Muddi Palya' (in Kannada) is a regular at our place. This vegetable is generally thick in consistency (denoted by the word 'Mudda'), which is close to the Maharashtrian 'Gola' bhaaji. 'Palya' means Vegetable (bhaaji). We make 'Muddi Palya' with Paalak (Spinach) or Methi (Fenugreek) leaves. It goes extremely well with poli (chapati) or Bhakri (Jowar roti). It takes minutes to put together and is a tasty way to eat your greens.
For the Muddi Palya :
Ingredients: (serves 2)
Chopped paalak 2 cups
Toor dal 1cup
Besan (chickpea flour) 1 tbsp (optional)
Garlic cloves chopped into small pieces 3
Dried red chillies 2-3
Amsul / Kokum (can be replaced by tamarind juice/paste) 2-3
Mohri (Mustard seeds) 1/2 tsp
Jeere (Cumin seeds) 1/2 tsp
Hing 1/4 tsp
Halad 1/2 tsp
Cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp or to taste
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp
Wash and chop the paalak. Put it in pressure cooker vessel and cook it in the pressure cooker. Along with the paalak, also cook the Toor dal in another vessel. I generally add halad (turmeric) when cooking my dal in the cooker.
While the paalak and dal are cooking, chop up the garlic. Now, remove extra water from the cooked paalak (Reserve this water and use it later in some other curry or just add a little salt and cumin powder to it for a quick soup). Mash the cooked dal a little and add it to the paalak. If using the besan add this too. Also mix in some salt and cayenne pepper.
Now, in a kadhai/ pan, heat the oil. Throw in the mohri, jeere, hing, and halad to make the fodni (tadka). Next add the dried red chillies. Fry for a minute and then add the chopped garlic. When the garlic turns golden brown, add the kokum/amsul. Fry for a minute and then add about 1 tbsp water to it. Let the amsul cook in the water for a few minutes and then add the paalak mixture to it. If using tamarind juice/paste, add it after you add the paalak to the fodni. Mix well and cook for few minutes. Muddi Palya is traditionally very thick in consistency and so, if the palya (vegetable) becomes too watery, cook it till the water evaporates. Sometimes, I do make it slightly thinner, like today, so you can choose how you want it. Once the desired consistency is reached, turn off the heat and serve with chapati or bhakri (jowar roti).
Our lunch: Bhaakri, Muddi Palya and Phutanyachi chatni
While serving this traditionally, extra fodni/tadka is prepared with lots of garlic and dried red chillies, and served over the muddi palya. While this tastes great, my husband and me have stopped this practice to cut down on our oil intake. But do give this a try and I can assure you of a great culinary adventure.
My next posts will be in continuation to this one and will include recipes for bhaakri and phutana chatni.