Tondli Bhaat (Dondakaya Annam/Rice with Ivy Gourd)

Having lived in Maharashtra all my life, I love Maharashtrian food. Tondli Bhaat is a classic Maharashtrian dish that is simple to make and a nice way to use Tondli (Dondakaya/Ivy Gourd).

This is also a dish that is very quick and easy to make. Have it with some raita or just simple plain dahi and it is a complete meal in itself.

I love the lovely aroma of star anise used in this recipe! 🙂

Ingredients

  1. Rice – 1.5 Cups
  2. Tondli/Dondakaya/Ivy Gourd – 1/4 Kg
  3. Clove – 4
  4. Cinnamon – 1″ stick
  5. Pepper Corns – 4
  6. Star Anise – 1 segment
  7. Grated Coconut – 1/2 Cup
  8. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  9. Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  10. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  11. Grated Jaggery (Optional) – 1/4 tsp
  12. Oil – 2 tbsp
  13. Salt to Taste

To make the masala:

  1. In a kadai/wok, heat 1/2 tsp of oil.
  2. Add the cloves and cinnamon.
  3. Fry for 1 minute.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Add the grated coconut and saute till the coconut turns light brown.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Grind the cooled ingredients into a fine powder without any water.

To make the tondli bhaat:

  1. Cook rice as usual.
  2. Spread the rice onto a plate to dry out the excess moisture.
  3. Cut off the ends of the tondli and then cut into four pieces vertically.
  4. In a kadai/wok, heat the remaining oil.
  5. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  6. Add the tondli pieces and fry till done.
  7. Add red chilli powder, turmeric, jaggery, and masala powder.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Add the rice and salt.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Serve hot with dahi or raita.

Tips

  • Be careful about the amount of star anise you add. Too much star anise tends to overpower all other flavours. I use just one segment or “petal” of a star anise.
  • You could use Kopra/desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut. If you do this, do not fry the coconut.

Menthi Podi – 2

This is another version of Menthi Podi that we use sometimes.

Ingredients

  1. Minapappu/Udad Dal – 1 Cup
  2. Senaga Pappu/Chana Dal – 1 Cup
  3. Menthulu/Methi Dana/Fenugreek Seeds – 1/3 Cup
  4. Dhaniyalu/Saboot Dhania/Coriander Seeds – 1/2 Cup
  5. Red Chillies – 6 to 8
  6. Oil – 1/2 tsp
  7. Salt – 1/2 tsp

Method

  1. In a heavy bottomed kadai/wok, heat the oil.
  2. Add split red chillies and fry for about a minute.
  3. Add the dals and coriander seeds.
  4. Roast till the dals change colour to light brown.
    • For best result, use low-to-medium heat.
    • It takes about 10-15 minutes for the dals to roast.
    • Stir constantly or the dals will not roast evenly. 🙁
  5. Let the roasted dals cool completely.
  6. Grind to a coarse powder along with the salt.
  7. Store in an air-tight jar.

Tips

  • You can omit the oil altogether and  dry roast the ingredients. However, it will take longer and also, the “preservability” of the podi reduces.
  • You can also make this powder afresh each time. Just use the ingredients proportionally.

Menthi Podi – 1

This is a podi that is used to garnish a several vegetable preparations. It helps add an extra something to ordinary koora with vegetables like dondakaya (tendli, gherkins), vankaya (baingan, aubergines/brinjals/eggplant), aritikaya (kacha kela, plantains)….

Ingredients

  1. Minapappu/Udad Dal – 1 Cup
  2. Senaga Pappu/Chana Dal – 1 Cup
  3. Menthulu/Methi Dana/Fenugreek Seeds – 1/3 Cup
  4. Red Chillies – 6 to 8
  5. Oil – 1/2 tsp
  6. Salt – 1/2 tsp

Method

  1. In a heavy bottomed kadai/wok, heat the oil.
  2. Add split red chillies and fry for about a minute.
  3. Add the dals and roast till they change colour to light brown.
    • For best result, use low-to-medium heat.
    • It takes about 10-15 minutes for the dals to roast.
    • Stir constantly or the dals will not roast evenly. 🙁
  4. Let the roasted dals cool completely.
  5. Grind to a coarse powder along with the salt.
  6. Store in an air-tight jar.

Tips

  • You can omit the oil altogether and  dry roast the ingredients. However, it will take longer and also, the “preservability” of the podi reduces.
  • You can also make this powder afresh each time. Just use the ingredients proportionally.

Vankaya-Bangala Dumpa Mudda Koora (Eggplant/Aubergine with Potato) – 1

Vankaya-Bangala Dumpa Mudda Koora is a very simple and delicious bhaji that can be had both with rice and rotis.

I make many versions of this koora and here is the simplest version.

You will often find this koora being served at Andhra weddings!

Ingredients

  1. Vankaya/Aubergine (Large) – 1/4 Kg
  2. Potato – 1 Large
  3. Chillies – 3 or 4
  4. Rai/Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  5. Udad Dal – 1 tsp
  6. Chana Dal – 1/2 tsp
  7. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  8. Oil – 1 tbsp
  9. Salt to Taste
  10. Curry Leaves – A few

Method

  1. Cut the aubergine into about 1.5″ cubes.
  2. Peel and dice potatoes into 1″ cubes.
  3. Pressure cook potatoes and aubergine together with enough water to cover the vegetables for about two whistles.
  4. Drain the excess water.
  5. Lightly mash the vegetables with a heavy ladle.
  6. In a kadai/wok, heat the oil.
  7. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  8. Add the udad dal and chana dal.
  9. Fry till golden brown.
  10. Add spilt red chillies and fry for 5 secs.
  11. Add the mashed vegetables, turmeric, salt, and curry leaves.
  12. Mix well.
  13. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

If you have access to Gummidikaya Vadiyalu, fry a few and add to the koora.

Chaaru Podi – 1 (Andhra Rasam Podi)

Chaaru is Andhra’s version of Rasam. I learnt this version of Chaaru podi from my Ammomma (maternal grandmother), who used it in very ingenious ways.

Ingredients

  1. Dhania/Coriander Seeds – 1 Cup
  2. Jeera/Cumin Seeds – 1/2 Cup
  3. Pepper – 1/3 Cup

Method

  1. Grind all ingredients together to a fine powder.
  2. Store in an air-tight jar.