Let there be 'peas'

This dish has many, many memories attached to it. On our annual trips to Goa, we couldn't eat fish until we had visited all temples. And it invariably used to be a short trip because we had to head to my uncle's home soon after. So consider this -
seafood lovers + seafood paradise + (4 to 5 temples x 1-2 rituals each) - no seafood = really cranky seafood lovers!!

I am exaggerating of course. It wasn't that bad. Contrary to popular perception Goa has amazing vegetarian fare to offer and we didn't feel deprived at all. I remember we used to eat this peas curry with freshly baked buns and it was sheer bliss! Goa's bread deserves a post of its own. Poetry can be written on the subject and it would still not be enough. (See Mahek's post).

This curry is an example of how legumes are cooked in the region of Malwan/ Goa. Roasted coconut, use of whole spices like cinnamon & cloves and the distinct lack of bedgi chillies sets this cuisine apart from its Kanara counterparts (though there are exceptions on both sides, so no angry emails please!).

The recipe is a specialty of my mother's side and my 'maushi' (aunt) especially excels in making it. When family get togethers had to be strictly vegetarian, 'hirvya vatanyachi amti' was the unanimous choice. Only my aunt insisted on calling it 'popti vatanyachi amti' (parrot green peas curry)!

green peas

(serves 2-3)
1 cup dry green peas*
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp tamarind paste or 3-4 kokum
salt to taste
Masala -
1/2 tsp oil
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
5-6 peppercorns
3-4 dried red chillies
1" cinnamon
2 cloves
3/4 cup grated coconut
remaining 1/2 of onion, sliced
Seasoning -
mustard seeds
curry leaves

Soak green peas in water overnight. Drain and add just enough water to submerge. Combine with chopped onion and cook until soft (but holding their shape). Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet and roast the coriander seeds, chillies, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Set aside. Add sliced onion and coconut and roast till golden. Grind everything to smooth paste with a little water.

Heat a sauce pan with oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafetida. Add cooked peas and masala. Adjust consistency of the curry with water and still until everything is well combined.

Add tamarind/ kokum and season to taste. Bring to a boil and serve with bread, these buns or rice.

* You can use fresh green peas too, if you find the non sweet kind
* This masala is very versatile; use it for 'chawli' (black eyed peas), 'moong' (green gram sprouts) and the other famous dish from the region - 'kale vatane' (dry black peas)



Blogger KayKat said...

I love this picture!

And am always a fan of anything with green peas, especially the dried ones! That was always in my favorite sundal :)

11:42 AM  
Blogger FH said...

Love the black bowl! I want it more than the pea dish!:))

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peas! Yum. It looks so very delicious. So hungry now....

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well written Ashwini. Loved your 'Maushis' vatana recipe. I am so with you about Goa, the temples, the food it has to offer etc. Except the sea food part as we are vegetarians.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Shweta said...

Lovely picture and a very interesting recipe!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...

That sounds incredible, Ashwini. Bookmarked!

3:46 PM  
Blogger KALVA said...

WOW Peas looks YUMMO!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Kaykat - thanks, you will love this dish then

Asha - hmmmph! I got it at an oriental store...they have miniature bowls for dipping sauces that are adorable

Vegeyum - thanks

RC - Dont get me started on Goa RC. I can go on and on...sigh... now you have got me all nostalgic :-)

Shweta, Curry - thanks

Nupur - thanks dear

6:29 PM  
Blogger Pooja V said...

Loved this amti. Chhan aahe, try karin.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Sagari said...

pic looks beautiful

10:34 PM  
Blogger bee said...

oh, yeah. the kokum magic. i love that sour little black thingy.

2:26 AM  
Blogger Padmaja said...

Ashwini!! That picture is fanstastic!!
Love your recipe!! yummy!!

3:28 AM  
Blogger EC said...

Looks delicious...hope u had a great time

7:20 AM  
Blogger Pooja Na(i)rayan said...

wow the dish looks great. I am non veg it is only rarely a vegeterian curry wins my atmost admiration. Your peas won me. I like the use of Tamarind. It will give curry a distinct flavour. Thanks

8:28 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Pooja - try kar.. you will love it

Sagari, Padmaja, EC - thanks

Bee - Konkani food is high on tamarind but I really prefer kokum's subtle tang over tamarind. It works its magic gradually and isn't overpowering.

Mocha - I am glad! Honestly the curry tastes like a non vegetarian curry so you will be happy. If you can find kokum it will be even better.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wanted to know whether you are a Maharashtrian or Konkani( NK, SK or Goan)

1:23 AM  
Blogger Swaroopa said...

gr8 recipe.....will try it soon.
pic looks gr8 too.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, can you tell me how long approx to cook the peas? Can I cook it in a cooker, if yes, how long? Thanks!

12:14 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Anjali welcome to FFT. Sure, you can cook the peas in a cooker. I have a Futura and I usually cook all pulses/ legumes in it for 10-12 minutes *after* the cooker reaches high pressure. Hope this helps.

1:54 PM  

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