Do you ever bite off more than you can chew?
Over the past week I have done this. I went to the Indian grocery after so long, and found this gorgeous dosakai/dosakaya/vellarika. I just *had* to cook it. I had ordered Cooking At Home With Pedatha, and it arrived day before yesterday. I just *had* to cook something from it. I wanted to contribute to Jihva for Ginger. I just *had* to cook something gingery. And I do not love ginger!
All of these thoughts, with ingredients and recipes at my disposal, and I couldn’t think of a thing to cook.
Sometimes when I am overloaded like this, I walk away. I did this last night. I walked away from the kitchen and sat down to read my new cookbook. It was enlightening, and it settled me. Cooking At Home With Pedatha is a wonderful book (click here to read the review!). Full of simple, beautiful photographs, it conveys the wisdom and instinct of a woman who reminds me very much of my own nana. When I returned to the kitchen, instead of facing a quandry, I was inspired. I fiddled a little with one of Pedatha’s recipes, and came up with this. In the end, it served all three purposes.
Ginger Rasam with Dosakaya
based on Sweet Rasam (Theeyati Charu) from Cooking At Home With Pedatha
1/2 fresh ripe dosakai, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup young fresh ginger pieces, peeled and lightly crushed
1 small lime-size chunk tamarind, pressed into a ball
2 TB jaggery
1 TB cumin-coriander powder
1 TB toor dal, ground to a powder
2 tsp fresh roasted pepper, ground
1/2 tsp turmeric
6 cups water
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste
fresh cilantro and minced young ginger to garnish
Put dosakai in a small saucepan with enough water to cover and a pinch each of salt and turmeric. Boil 10-15 minutes until translucent. Drain and set aside.
Place crushed ginger in a medium pot with six cups fresh, cold water and heat over medium heat. When nearly boiling, add tamarind ball, jaggery, cumin-coriander powder, toor dal powder, pepper and turmeric. Stir well and adjust heat to keep at a simmer — cook about 20-30 minutes.
When the liquid begins to take on a reddish brown color, stir it up well, allow to settle, and remove solids with a slotted spoon. Don’t use a fine sieve — with the slotted spoon some of the little ginger, tamarind, and dal bits will remain to give the charu its character. Add the reserved dosakai now and keep the pot just below a simmer.
Heat the ghee in a small pan. Add mustard and asafoetida — when mustard pops and hing has browned lightly, add the tadka to the simmering rasam. Stir once, test for salt and add fresh cilantro and minced ginger for garnish.
Serve at once.
This is my entry to Jihva for Ginger, hosted graciously by Rosie of What’s The Recipe Today, Jim? — even in the midst of moving! Hats off to you, Rosie, and thanks :)
See other recipes with dosakai:
Indianadoc’s Vellarikka Pulingurry
And last but certainly not least, you can find Inji’s Cucumber Kichadi/Pachadi (and lots of other goodies!) cached, if you scroll down here.