Monday, 17 September 2012

Sichuan Pepper seasoned flat beans and bread fruit curry or "Avro ani Jeev Kadgi theppal Ghashi" in Konkani

"Avro ani Jeev Kadgi theppala ghashi" is nothing but Flat beans and Bread fruit curry which is seasoned using a unique spice called "Theppal". This spice is used to season dishes on festive days , just like the way Asafoetida and mustard seeds/curry leaves are are used, since these are considered as 'Sathvik" in the Hindu religion. These spices are used instead of onions and garlic on these auspicious and holy days.
"Theppal" is a spice which until recently I always thought was unique to Coastal Karnataka and Goa.
Its only very recently that I came to know that "Theppal" is nothing but "Sichuan pepper" that is used in Chinese cuisine and sometimes Japanese cuisine too.
However the Konkanis used it a bit differently.
They use it to season curries.
Breadfruit is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium and very high in Vitamin C, Dietary Fiber and Potassium. The nutritional value of breadfruit helps you to maintain optimum health. Breadfruit has been considered as a nutritionally beneficial fruit.
Flat beans are low in fat and offer an excellent source of protein.
Sichuan pepper is not only tasty, but is also reported to have a number of health benefits and is sometimes used as a blood purifier and digestive aid.
Here is a side-dish which is made using "Flat beans" and "Bread fruit" and then seasoned with Sichuan pepper.

Serves 4
Avro or Flat beans - 1/2 cup
Breadfruit - cut into pieces - 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - fresh/desiccated - 1 cup
Dry red chilly - roasted - 6
Tamarind - 1 small piece
Water - 1 cup
Theppal or Sichuan pepper - 1 handful - seeds removed
Boil the flat beans or 'Avro' or 'Avrekai', and Bread fruit or 'Jeev Kadgi' along with 2 cups of water in a cooker until soft.
Grind the coconut, dry red chilles, tamarind and water to a smooth paste using 1 cup water.
Once the paste is ready, pour into a vessel and keep aside.
Do not wash the blender but use it further for preparing the sinchuan pepper seasoning.
In the same blender or mixer, add the sinchuan pepper along with 1/2 cup water and blend for 3-5 minutes till the water mixes well with the sinchuan pepper and the remaining paste in the blender.
Now strain the pepper and remove it out of the liquid and mix this liquid with the ground paste which has been kept separate earlier.
You can discard the remaining pepper now.
The gravy would now be having the lovely aroma and taste of the sichuan peppers.
Now take a large heavy bottomed pan, add the ground paste and the boiled beans and bread fruit and mix well. Bring to boil on low heat.
Serve hot with rice or Ragi Mudde or Finger Millet dumplings"
This dish is the perfect dish to be served with Ragi Mudde and good for people who watch their weight.

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