Holidays and winter: two good reasons to think of comfort food. The holly comes out, the heater drones its monotonous tune, you start craving for some good comfort food. But like every Indian worth his salt, even the confused wannabes who tries to go far, far away from the Desiness, I prefer Kootu to Mac and Cheese, spicy Rasam to Meatballs.
So today, I decided to go ethnic here on LH and record something Indian and tasty at that! For people wondering why I don’t do that more often, I would like to inform you that this is a confused Indo-western blog that is still trying to find its footing (which it may never, I suspect). Hence, I decided to bring on the joy of Indian cooking by making Coconut Thuvayal with some hot rice and Appalum.
For the initiated and the un, here is some Gyan: Thuvayal or colloquially, Thogayal, is made of a combination of roasted Dals (lentils), dry red chilies and a variety of different veggies, roots or veggie skins and tamarind, which is optional. Today I decided on the Mister’s favorite, coconut. Though Thuvayal is generally considered an accompaniment, at home, it gets the special treatment of a main dish. So I made a whole lot.
For the ones still confused with the coconut-dal ratio, here is the recipe:
Grated coconut 1 1/2 cups
Tamarind water 2 Tbsp (a bit of tamarind rind, 2 Tbsp water- mix together and save the water)
Ulutham Paruppu (Urad Dal) 1/4 cup
Thuvaram Paruppu (Tuar Dal) 1/4 cup
Dry red chilies 4
Salt to taste
Perungayam (hing) 2 pinches
Mustard 1 tsp
Curry leaves a couple
Coriander leaves a sprig
Fry everything together except the coconut, tamarind water and salt. Mix with the rest of the ingredients. Add a little water and grind finely. When I say fine, I mean super-fine. Adding more water will not be a mistake because the Thuvayal tends to get thicker when stored.
Fry the mustard and curry leaves in oil. Pour on the Thuvayal, garnish with coriander leaves. I am going to let you in on a family secret. I learned this from my mum-in-law. She always saves the stalks of the coriander leaves bunch she buys and adds them in Thuvayal. This adds extra yummy flavor. Try it.
So result time! (At the risk of sounding like my lab instructor) Hubby came home to the wonderful fragrance of freshly cooked rice, Thuvayal and Appalum. Dinnertime came early, at 6pm. Need I say more?