Gold Rush

Teppal (also called tirphal), an unique ingredient to Konkani cuisine is pure culinary gold. It is valued not because it is rare or expensive, but because a mere whiff of it is enough to elevate a dish to a gastronomic experience. Of course gastronomic experiences are highly subjective, so don't expect to open a jar of teppal and fall in love at first sight. This won't be an instant infatuation, but a relationship that builds over time. You might perhaps wrinkle your nose at first, then gradually grow to like it's lemon scented aroma, then be adventurous enough to use it, and then finally acquire a taste for it.


If a recipe calls for teppal, beg, borrow or steal it. Or raid your sister in law's pantry and accidentally drop a packet in your bag when she isn't looking but get it by whatever means necessary. Because there is no close substitute (so stop judging me!)

Teppal is generally not ground in a masala or eaten. It is used fresh when in season then dried and stored for future use. The inner berry is discarded and the outer layer is crushed lightly and added (by itself or mixed with water) to a vegetarian or non vegetarian curry. Of course this dish is still worth a try without teppal so I'd suggest giving a smoky 'tadka' of garlic in coconut oil to compensate.


DUDHYA ROS (Dal with Pumpkin)
(serves 2-3)
1 cup large pumpkin cubes (use leaves too if fresh)
1 cup split red gram (tur dal)
1/4 cup coconut
2-3 red chillies
2-3 kokum (or 1/4 tsp tamarind paste)
jaggery to taste
3-4 teppal
1 tsp coconut oil

Wash dal and cook in 2 cups of water with a pinch of turmeric till soft. Grind coconut and red chillies (tamarind if using) to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Combine pumpkin with enough water to cook in a sauce pan. When cooked (don't let them get mushy), add dal and coconut masala. Lightly crush teppal and add to dal along with jaggery, kokum and salt. Bring to a boil. Spoon a teaspoon of coconut oil over dal and cover to let flavors blend. Serve hot with rice.

* So which ingredient would you nominate as 'gold'? Off the top of my head I can think of Kashmiri saffron because Anita raves about it so passionately, and marathi moggu, which adds that something special to Bisibele Bhaat...

* Use bamboo shoots, drumsticks, raw jackfruit, gourds etc. in place of pumpkin. To make dudhya khatkhate, omit red gram and use a seasoning of crushed garlic in coconut oil.



Blogger FH said...

Ambat looks mouthwatering. Not familiar with Teppal though.
I love Mace, any dish smells like Muslim delicacy with Mace,I love it!:)
See ya next week.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Rajitha said...

i read about tirphal in a recipe but was unable to find it anywhere...

5:36 PM  
Blogger Athika said...

Ambat looks yummy. Haven't heard about tirphal in a recipe. This looks different. Will try sometime.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great information about teppal, never have seen or came across one. Like the line beg, borrow or steal it...
After reading your post i want to see and smell some.
thanks.. pumkin curry looks delicious

6:16 PM  
Blogger TBC said...

I have never heard of teppal before.Your pumpkin dal looks very nice & I like the serving dish. My mom has the exact same one. I should "steal" it from her when I visit India next.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Suganya said...

You have tempted me enough to hunt for teppal. And thank you for suggesting various different options in the recipe. Me not a big fan of red pumpkin in gravy.

Saffron is my 'gold' as far as cooking. Second comes cinnamon. Be it savory or sweet, cinnamon rules.

8:30 PM  
Blogger bha said...

Ambat looks wonderful, my aaji drinks milk with triphal , she says its good for digestion and cleans your blood...

8:52 PM  
Blogger bee said...

dous your SIL know that you have a blog?

9:11 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Asha - come on.... there are trees galore in Karnataka. Mace is wonderful isnt it?

Rajitha - its not available in the U.S. In India you'll find it in Goa, Karnataka etc

Athika - its great with garlic seasoning too

Madhu - I wish we had smell over internet ;-)

TBC - I am of the opinion that mother's kitchens are fair game for stealing!!

Suganya - Cinnamon in a biryani is awesome isnt it?

Bhags - I have heard about its medicinal value, wasnt really sure. Thanks for telling me about it

Bee - mwaaahhhhaaaahha {evil laugh} NO..just kidding. She is too sweet to mind

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to get my hands on this elusive spice...must see if that friend of mine in Bombay can get me some!

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now, marathi moggu BBB recipe doesn't call for it...

11:26 PM  
Blogger Sia said...

u have tempted me enough to search for teppal. i am gonna beg, borrow or steal this time when i visit home:)

4:09 AM  
Blogger Nupur said...

I think tirphal is the same as Sichuan peppercorns (or maybe very similar). I was rather surprised to learn this! You are right, it is a unique flavor. Have eaten it only in a couple og Konkani/ Goan dishes.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Suganya said...

This is looking awesome... nice recipe....Lovely colour...

8:55 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

classic add ons instead of pumpkin is raddish,daikon(mula),drumsticks,ridge the "ros" as its called in our house

10:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

btw what kind of pumpkin are you referring to here? indian store or regular grocery store?

10:29 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Anita - you'd love it for sure...bribe that friend! I hadnt even heard about this just kept cropping up in all BBB recipes..maybe that's why the one I tasted in Bangalore was the best?

Sia - you should...I am surprised other cuisines in Karnataka dont use it?

Nupur - it is weird isnt it? There's a theory that Konkanis might have originally hailed from Far east :-) There are too many similarities thats for sure

Supriya - I think it is called ros in Goa right? We add whatever is available, but yes these veggies do taste the best. I bought the pumpkin in the Indian grocery store - the quarter wedge that they sell.

11:06 AM  
Blogger sra said...

Ashwini, your pic disputes everything you said about tirphal not being attractive instantly! I have a bit of it with me, will the taste register without the addition of coconut? so far, I've only tried it in fish curry (without coconut), and can't say it made a big impact until I bit into it.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

SRa - good to know you have a cache!! Teppal is strong by itself but kind of subtle in a curry. I dont have any recipes without coconut though I will ask my mom to be sure. Crush teppal lightly and add to curry or crush it in water and add water to curry. Hope this helps.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Bong Mom said...

Loved how you described Tepphal. Should look around for some as my sis-in-law sure does not have any :)

12:28 PM  
Blogger Swaruchy said...

Ambat looks great....will give it a try :-)

7:03 PM  
Blogger Menu Today said...

Hi Ashwini,
Different curry with triphal. This spice is very new to me. Thanks for sharing,

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my all time fav dish Ashwini. We don't eat it a gravy, but eat it as a side dish. Its a must in almost all the functions & devastan javan in our place.
My hubby can't live with his weekly dose of teppal dishes. I agree with you it is gold for Konkani cuisine :). The fish ambats with teppal are a pure bliss :).

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Btw..teppal was banned in US for a long time. Because they thought it is a threat to lime trees. I heard the ban is removed now(thank god!!).

12:11 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Sandeepa - sis in laws can be very useful ;-) You could steal some khejur gur instead!

MT, Sirisha - thanks

Shilpa - I especially love mackerel with teppal - a class apart! U.S. can be such a spoilsport where great food is concerned - alphonso mangoes, teppal...thank god its available now.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashwini, absolutely loved the presentation and pictures! Teppal is a favorite at our house and one of my favorite ambat too!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Mahek said...

i use tephal in mackeral fish curry which has to be ambat tikhat
dal with radish or mulyacho ross and offcourse in khatkhate.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Its so nice to see you back blogging regularly...I love this simple recipe, have never heard of this it freely available in Bombay? Also I want to know what Marathi Moggu is called in English..can I find a picture for it...a friend has been asking me about this spice...

My all time favourite spice is Cardamom - a pinch of it can elevate an ordinary dish into some truly royal!

10:05 PM  
Blogger KA said...

Never heard or seen tirphal before. Beautiful picture of them though..

7:39 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

RC - thanks

Mahek - I love bangda curry with tirphal. I think ambat is called ross in Goa?

Nandita - my mother gets her stock from Goa. But I think those quaint shops in Matunga might have tirphal. Its worth trying. I have no idea what marathi moggu is called in English, read somewhere that it is capers? Not sure. The link takes you to a pic posted by a blogger. Hope that helps.

KA - good to see you here! And thanks

12:23 PM  
Blogger Priyanka said...

Thats quite a unique dish with the pumpkin.....looks quite yummy!!!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Soulkadi said...

I actually have a small bag of these and my mom had told me to use them in fish curry. Will definitely try this recipe...thanks!

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Smiles (: said...

Hee-hee :D i just wanna say hi.

7:29 PM  

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