I don’t know if this a common Kerala recipe but ever since I can remember amma has been making this a quick side dish for Chicken Biryani. Her rationale is, biryani is intense and doesn’t have coconut and any Malayali should know that we always pair curries with coconut and without coconut together, to balance the flavours.
Amma sent me the recipe through my uncle who typed it out while she listed the things to be done. The picture was taken in Kottayam when I was there this August and amma made it, not me 🙂
Thakkali Muringakka Aviyal Recipe
Source: My mom
Preparation time: 30 mins
What Is Needed:
4 tomatoes, sliced into six long pieces
1 drumstick / muringakka, cut into 3″ pieces
1/2 cup grated coconut
12 peeled shallots / chinna vengaayam / cheriya ulli
2 flakes garlic
1/4 tsp jeera / cumin seeds / jeerakam
1 tsp red chilly powder
A few curry leaves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds / kaduku
1 tbsp oil (preferably coconut oil)
How Its Made:
1. Add the chopped drumstick to about 1 cup water with with some salt and the chilly powder. Keep on a medium flame and cook until soft. The mixture shouldn’t be too watery, so if it is, boil some more on a low flame.
2. To this, add the cut tomatoes and cook some more until the tomatoes begin to soften.
3. Grind together – coconut + jeera + garlic to a coarse paste.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the shallots and curry leaves. Fry for about 2 mins, until the shallots soften.
5. Next, add the ground coconut paste and fry for another 1 min. To this, add the drumstick and tomatoes. Mix well. Simmer for 2-3 mins until well combined. Adjust salt.
Serve hot with steamed white rice or chicken biryani.