This is my tryst with tradition, my experience of “Cooking with Pedatha“. My pedatha, She is one helluva woman. Growing up in Hyderabad, I spent most of my free time after school/college at their place. I don’t remember missing a get together or a festivity at their place and have fun. Every function filled the house with relatives, cousins and friends. Sankranti was all about chakkarapongal and kites and Deepavali was all sweets and firecrackers. Although the kites meant, getting onto rooftops climbing precariously placed ladders or bursting firecrackers meant the traffic on the road was at our mercy.
Come summers, and my mamaiya would treat us to movies. We used to hire a VCR and watch movies continuously for hours together. Attendance was mandatory and my cousin did the roll call. Whats movies without snacks? You name it, pedatha had it. Lemonades, samosas, pakodas, bhel puri was served in abundance.
I rarely saw pedatha rest or have an afternoon siesta . Constantly on the go, she found work for herself in the kitchen. My Pedatha is famous for her stuffed curries , pickles ,chutneys and podis.Here is one gold nugget from her precious traditional recipe collection.
15-20 Dondakaya/Tindora/Ivy Gourd
For the filling:
1/4 cup of senagapindi/besan/chickpea flour
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon red chili powder
Salt to taste
For the garnish:
1/4 cup Roasted Peanut(Optional)
Note: If you dont have dessicated/dry coconut you can use grated onions instead.
1. Make a plus shaped slit from one tip to almost the other, leave a few cms on one end. Microwave at high for 5 minutes by adding water and remove.
2. Carefully stuff the dondakaya with the filling
2. Heat a wide skillet with Oil and add the dondakaya. I dont deep fry them , instead use an age old trick b covering the skillet with a plate and pouring water over it. This is called “Maggapettadam” in Telugu , similar too steaming and works wonderfully if you dont want to use a lot of oil .
3.Cook on medium flame and keep turning once in a while, The whole cooking process takes a good 15 minutes.
4. If there is any filling left over, sprinkle it over the curry and cook for another 1 minute.
5. Remove from heat and garnish with roasted peanuts if you like. It gives a crunch to the stuffed curry