Monday, October 17, 2011

Snow Pea (Avara) Stir-fry Kerala Style

This is one vegetable that has so many different names! In Kerala, it is commonly called "avara", in Tamil Nadu its called "amarakkai", in English it is known as snow pea/mangetout/broad beans. I'm not even sure if this is 100% accurate, but based on my superficial Internet research, I have to leave it at that. It is one of my favorite vegetables, while also having the dubious honor of being the one I very rarely get right! You know there are some dishes that only your mom can get right and no matter how hard you try, you can never match up to how she makes it? Know what I'm talking about, right? For this, I find it  quite tricky knowing just when to take it off the flame, since it cooks quickly, but it's also very delicious, healthy and elegant in its simplicity. Just a few basic ingredients thrown together give this simple vegetable a lovely flavor...So here's how my mom makes it!

Ingredients (to serve 4)
  1. Avara (Snow Peas)-250 g
  2. Pearl onions (cheriya-ulli or kunjulli)-10
  3. Dried red chillies-4
  4. Curry leaves-1 sprig or 10 leaves
  5. Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Oil-2 to 4 teaspoons
  • First, wash the snow peas. Then snip off both ends in a way that lets you peel off the string on the side of the snow pea. If they are larger, cut each into 2, horizontally. If smaller, leave them whole.
  • Peel the pearl onions, but do not cut or slice. Leave them whole.
  • Snap each of the dried red chillies into 2 halves.
  • Now heat up a pan and pour the oil into it.
  • Tip in the curry leaves, chillies, and onions. Saute for 1 minute till the onions turn pinkish.
  • Add the snow peas into this.
  • Sprinkle the turmeric and salt and mix well.
  • Sprinkle some water on top, cover with a lid, and let it cook till done (about 5 to 10 minutes).
  • Serve immediately.
Goes well with rice and dal.

Linking this to The Kerala Kitchen October Event hosted by Khushi at her lovely blog A Girl's Diary and also to the Kerala Kitchen blog.

Also linking it to the very creative event called Food Palette Series started by Akheela. Obviously, the color for this entry will be green!