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Friday, August 7, 2009

Sweet Basil and Amla Dal, Lauki and mattar kootu

Fresh cut sweet basil from the balcony and two frozen Amla (Indian Gooseberries) inspired me to make this mixed dal dish. I ran out of onions at home so used spring onions and a small clove of garlic. Pressure cooked my dal with amla. And then the standard dal recipe with jeera and red chilli sauted with garlic, spring onions and a handful of chopped basil. Not to forget my ever so staple kuzhambu powder. I am sure this is nothing unusual but it is sheer joy to see a dish turn out well that too when ur kitchen has run out of supplies!

The other dish being lauki and mattar kootu ...Now that my mixie is broken, I had to made do with powders and pastes i made earlier. I generally prefer fresh ground sauce bases to make kootu. Today's version of the curry (which fell short of being a kootu) was boiled lauki and pre soaked mattar with salt, haldi, hing, puli inji paste, rasam powder and mint leaves ( fresh from the balcony)...Oh I m so proud of!

Indian gooseberry or amla is a good source of vitamin C. Ayurveda considers amla (in hindi) good for curing imbalances in Pittha. We find this fruit being used for culinary as well as medicinal purposes. A special mention here would be the amla pickle which is a great digestive and has anit oxidant properties.

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