Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura is a classic Andhra dish that you will find on many a festive occasion (and otherwise too). It is a curry made with Elephant Foot Yam and Malabar Spinach, and flavoured with ground mustard.
Ava Pettadam is a flavouring technique in Andhra that literally means to add mustard to whatever we are cooking. Since I love the flavour of mustard, you will find me using this technique quite often.
Coming back to Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura, a well-made version can send people in raptures. I guess it is also popular at weddings and other such social occasions because you can make it in large quantities very easily; apart from the fact that it is quite delicious, of course.
How to Make Andhra Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura
This is the recipe for a traditional Andhra dish called Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura. It is a curry made with Elephant Foot Yam and Malabar Spinach, and flavoured with mustard paste.
- 250 gms Kanda, Elephant Foot Yam, Suran, Jimikand
- 150 gms Bachali Kura, Mayalu, Malabar Spinach
- Salt to Taste
- 2 tsp Avalu, Mustard Seeds, Rai
- 1/2 tsp Rice
- 1-2 Red Chillies
- 1 tsp Avalu, Mustard Seeds, Rai
- 2 tsp Minapa Pappu, Black Gram, Udad Dal
- 2 tsp Senaga Pappu, Bengal Gram, Chana Dal
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 2 Red Chillies
- 1 tbsp Oil Sesame Oil preferred
Soak the mustard seeds, rice, and chillies in about 2-3 tbsp of water for 15 minutes.
Grind to a smooth paste.
Peel and chop the yam into large chunks. Wash thoroughly.
Wash and chop the Malabar Spinach leaves and tender part of the stalks to small pieces (about 1").
In a vessel, add the yam and malabar spinach, and add enough water to just cover them. I put yam first, add leaves on top, and then water.
Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Drain and reserve the excess water in which the vegetables have been cooked.
Mash the cooked yam till it breaks apart completely. The leaves and stalks will remain as is.
In a kadhai, heat the oil.
Add the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.
Add the udad and chana dals.
Stir-fry till the dals are light golden brown.
Add the spilt red chillies and stir-fry for a few seconds till they start to change colour.
Lower the heat, add the cooked kanda-bachali, salt, turmeric, and mix well.
If the curry is too thick, add some of the reserved water, and mix well. The consistency should like idli batter.
Turn off the heat.
Add the ground mustard paste and mix well.
Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes so that the flavour of the mustard intensifies.
Serve hot with steam rice topped with gingelly oil, and Avakai on the side.
Recipe for Andhra Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura with Step-by-Step Instructions
- To Make the Ava Pindi
- Combine mustard seeds, rice, and chillies in a small cup.
- Add just enough water to cover the rice and mustard; about 2 to 3 tbsp. If you add too much water the mustard seeds will not be easy to grind.
- Soak for 15 minutes.
- Grind all the ingredients with the water they were soaked in to a smooth paste. If you have excess water, remove it. We need the paste to be of dropping consistency or thicker.
- Set aside.
- Boiling the Kanda (Elephant Foot Yam) and Bachali (Malabar Spinach)
- Cut away the thick outer skin of the yam.
- Chop the yam into large chunks.
- Wash the yam pieces thoroughly under running water.
- Wash the Malabar Spinach thoroughly.
- Pluck the leaves from the stems.
- Chop the leaves and the tender part of the stalks to 1″ pieces.
- In a large enough vessel, combine the yam pieces and malabar spinach.
- Now add just enough water to just cover the vegetables.
- Pressure cook the yam and malabar spinach for 3 whistles. We need the yam to be completely cooked and mashable.
- Let the cooker cool. Open and remove the vessel with the cooked vegetables.
- Drain and reserve the excess water in which the yam and spinach is cooked. We may need some of it later to adjust the consistency of the curry.
- Using a heavy ladle, mash the cooked yam pieces. Do not mash the spinach leaves and stalks.
- Making the Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura
- In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.
- Next, add the dals to the oil and stir-fry till the dals turn light brown in colour.
- Split the red chillies and add to the oil.
- Stir-fry till the chilli pieces darken.
- Lower the heat.
- Add the cooked kanda-bachali, turmeric, and salt. Mix well.
- If the Kanda Bachali Kura is thick, add some of the reserved water, and mix well. The consistency should be such that the curry slides off a spoon, but not liquidy either.
- Cook for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Now add the ground ava/mustard paste and mix well.
- Cover and let the curry rest for 10 minutes. This will help the curry to gain the mustard flavour.
- Serve the hot Kanda Bachali Kura with steam rice topped with gingelly oil, and Avakai on the side.