Kovakkai Gravy (Ivy Gourd Gravy)

Kovakkai (ivy gourd) is not that common in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.  But it’s a very common vegetable in South India.  I have already posted a recipe for Kovakkai — Kovakkai fry (Kovakkai Varai).  This time I am posting a recipe for Kovakkai Gravy or Kovakkai curry.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb Ivy gourd
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sri Lankan Chili powder
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ¼  teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons milk
  • 4 oz red onion
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Wash and quarter ivy gourd lengthwise

  • To a skillet add 1 tablespoon of oil and when it’s hot, add cut ivy gourd and fry/sauté until golden brown
  • Slice onion thinly.  Cut each clove garlic into 2 pieces (lengthwise)
  • In a covered saucepan add the rest of the oil and add onion and garlic and sauté until transparent.  Add curry leaves and fry for another 30 seconds
  • Add fried ivy gourd, water, chili powder, salt and tamarind and cover and cook in a medium flame for about 10 minutes (by this time the gravy would have thickened)
  • Add milk and cook uncovered for one more minute
  • Serve with rice or pittu
  • Serves: 2 servings as a side dish

Tomato and Potato Gravy

Ingredients

  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 small potato peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium tomato (tomatoes on the vine gives a very nice taste and aroma)
  • 2 teaspoons Sri Lanka chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 strand curry leaves

Method

  • Add oil to a sauce pan and add mustard seeds
  • Once the mustard seeds start splattering add onion, garlic and fry until they are lightly golden
  • Add fenugreek seed and fry for a minute
  • Add potato and fry until the outside is lightly browned
  • Add water
  • Quarter tomato lengthwise and add to saucepan
  • Add chili powder, salt and boil for about 15 minutes
  • Add milk, curry leaves and boil for another 5 minutes on low flame

Eggplant Gravy (Kathirikkai Kulambu)

In Sri Lanka eggplant gravy is a common side dish consumed with rice, pittu or idiyappam.  Traditionally eggplants are deep fried and thick coconut milk is used in making this gravy.  Here, I have modified it into a healthier version. I have given the traditional version of this gravy far below.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized purple/Japanese eggplant (about 6 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced lengthwise into two pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seed
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Sri Lankan chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • ¼ cup 2% milk

Method

  • Preheat oven to 450° F
  • Quarter eggplant lengthwise and chop them into 1 inch pieces
  • In a baking sheet mix chopped eggplants and 1 tablespoon canola oil and bake for about 45 minutes
  • In a covered saucepan add 3 teaspoons oil and add mustard seed
  • Once the mustard seed start splattering add onion, garlic and fry until golden brown
  • Add fenugreek seed and fry for about 30 seconds
  • Add baked eggplants to the saucepan and add water, chili powder, salt, tamarind paste and boil in a medium flame for about 10 – 15 minutes
  • Add curry leaves, milk and boil for another 2 – 3 minutes

For the traditional version

  • Cut eggplants as mentioned above and deep fry them
  • Deep fry onion and garlic until golden brown
  • Take a spoonful of hot oil and add fenugreek seed and fry them in the spoon and drain the fenugreek seed
  • Add all the fried ingredients, chili powder, salt, tamarind to a saucepan and add about 3 cups of very thin coconut milk and boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Add ¼ cup of thick coconut milk, curry leaves and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes or until gravy is thick

Yields: 2 – 3 servings as a side dish

Kadalai Kulambu (Toor Dhal Gravy)

This dish can be either made with toor dhal or chana dhal.  But toor dhal gives a nice flavor and aroma.  Also instead of frying the toor dhal, it can be boiled until all the water is completely absorbed and then mashed and made into balls.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup toor dhal
  • Canola oil for frying
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ cup red onion sliced
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Jaffna chili powder
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup coconut milk or 2% milk
  • ¼ teaspoon tamarind paste/concentrate
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Soak toor dhal for about 2 – 2½  hours
  • Add a little bit salt and grind toor dhal coarsely in a food processor
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and drop a spoonful (teaspoon) into the oil and fry until crispy and golden brown
  • Drain on paper towel

  • In a covered saucepan, add 1 teaspoon canola oil and add mustard seeds
  • When the mustard seed start splattering add fenugreek seeds and fry for about 30 seconds.  Add onion, garlic and fry until onion turns golden brown
  • Add curry leaves and fry for another minute or two
  • Add fried toor dhal, water, salt, chilipowder, tamarind, coconut milk (**if using normal 2% milk do not add now) to the saucepan and bring to a boil
  • Cover saucepan and cook for about 10 – 12 minutes (gravy will become a bit thick)
  • ** If using 2% milk add it now and boil for another 3 – 4 minutes in a low flame
  • Serve with pittu, idiyappam (stringhoppers) or rice

Okra & Tomato Gravy

Ingredients

  • 4 oz okra
  • Oil for frying
  • ½ cup sliced red onions
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves sliced into 2 or 3 pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tomatoes quartered
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup milk or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 strand curry leaves

Method

  • The okras should be young, small and firm
  • Wash okra and pat dry completely with a paper towel
  • Once dry, add oil to a frying pan and shallow fry until okra start turning light brown
  • Drain on paper towel
  • In a saucepan add 1 tablespoon oil and add mustard seeds
  • Once the mustard seeds start splattering, add onion, garlic and fry until onion is transparent
  • Add fenugreek seeds and fry for another minute
  • Add fried okra, quartered tomatoes, water, chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder to the saucepan and bring to a boil
  • **If using coconut milk, add it and reduce flame to medium and boil for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Add curry leaves and cook for another minute or two
  • Serve warm with pittu
  • ** if using normal milk, after boiling for 10 -15 minutes add milk with curry leaves and cook for another minute or 2

Yields: 2 – 3 servings as side dish

Sothi

Sothi

Sothi is used as a side dish for idiyappam

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup shredded green cabbage
  • ¼ cup chopped carrot
  • 1 small potato cubed
  • 1 small eggplant cubed
  • ¼ cup red onion sliced
  • 1-2 green chili slit length wise
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup milk or coconut milk
  • pinch of tumeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 teaspoon lemon juice

Combination and amount of the above vegetables can be changed according to taste.

Method

  • Put all the vegetables, onion and green chili in a saucepan and add water and cook on a medium flame for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add tumeric powder
  • Add milk/coconut milk and boil for another 3-4 minutes on low flame
  • Add the curry leaves and salt
  • Leave the sothi on the stove until it cools down a little bit (until it becomes warm)
  • Now add lemon juice and serve warm with idiyappam

Yields about 3-4 servings as a side dish

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 77 other followers