There is a vegetable stall in Little India, Singapore, which I absolutely adore. It has all the “Indian” vegetables that I sorely miss and crave for after weeks of eating dishes cooked with just French beans and carrots and broccoli. This stall usually has purple brinjal, drumstick, drumstick leaves, fresh bunches of methi and pudina and kothamalli.. ahh.. its a true delight to go there every now and then. Once, I saw some fresh avarakka (avarakkai in Tamil) and I had to buy them!
I made a simple thoran with it, nothing fancy and we both loved it with some rasam and rice!
Avarakkai Thoran RecipeIngredients:
2 cups stringed and chopped avarakka (leave the seeds in too)1/2 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen)1/2 tsp jeera/jeerakam2 green chillies, or to taste4 + 2 shallorsA few curry leavesA pinch turmeric powder1/4 tsp mustard seeds2 tsp OilSalt to tasteHow to Make Avarakkai Thoran1. Cook the chopped avarakka in a closed plan by adding about 1/2 cup water until soft. Make sure you don’t have any leftover water by cooking it further with the lid open. Set aside.2. Grind the coconut with the green chillies, turmeric powder, 2 shallots, jeera, some salt and very little water sprinkled on top.3. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add 4 sliced shallots and fry until lightly browned. Then add the ground coconut and fry for 30 seconds.4. Add the cooked avarakka to this and mix well. Adjust salt. Let it cook on low fire for about 5 mins until there is no more moisture left in the avarakka.
Serve Avarakkai Thoran hot with rice and rasam.