Kaalu Bassaru/ Black Eyed Peas Curry

Last week I was just browsing some of my favorite blogs and came across SWC Karnataka So i decided to pitch in. This is my entry for the event.Bassaru is a spiced stock of vegetables and pulses along with the vegetables/pulses on the side.It is a very healthy dish too. It is very popular in the drier parts of south interior Karnataka.Generically there are broad types of Bassaru as i know.. the 'red bassaru' and the 'green bassaru' as i used to differentiate as a kid! (something that has stayed on till this date! i might be passing this on to my future children as my legacy!) The green one has a green chilly base and the red one the huli-pudi or the Sambar powder base. Vegetable bassaru generally has the green base while pulses have a red base, though it is not a water tight specification.
Here i have used the black eyed peas, which is similar to Alasande kaalu.It can be substituted to possible all whole dals, like green gram, moth dal, whole tur dal etc. I happen to love the Alasande which is not exactly available here across Atlantic. So i use the black eyed peas.

Serves 8 ||  Calories per serving (Kcl) | total 245 | Protein 4.4 |  fat 4.7 || Fiber 8.3 gm |

Black eyed peas 2 cups
Onion medium 2
Huli pudi / Sambar powder 1 tablespoon (depends on the desired spice level, can be increased/ decreased accordingly)
Curry leaves 8+8
Cumin 1 tsp
Coriander chopped 1/4+1/4 cup
Coconut grated 2 +1 tbsp
Mustard 1/2 +1/2 teaspoon
Garlic 3 cloves
Hing 2 dashes
Dry red chillies 4-5
Tamarind extract 2 tsp
Tomato 1
Lime juice 1/2 to 1 limes
Vegetable oil (peanut makes it taste very good) 1+1 tbsp

Cook the black eyed peas in a pressure cooker for at least 3 whistles. Cool and then drain the peas reserving the stock.Roast one onion till the skin is charred. Chop and grind it into a smooth paste along with tamarind concentrate, 2 tbsp coconut, garlic, tomato, cumin and a tbsp of cooked black eyed peas. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pot.Drop 1/2 tsp mustard, curry leaves, Hing followed by the ground onion paste. Add about 1/2 cup of stock and bring the mixture to a boil. When the mixture is cooked and is fragrant add the remaining stock. Adjust salt and finish it with 1/4 cup coriander.

For the subzi:
Heat oil in a pan. Drop the hing, mustard, curry leaves, dry red chillies. When the mustard stops spluttering add one diced onion. Saute the onion till almost transparent. Add the remaining coconut,saute for another minute. Mix in the cooked and drained black eyed peas. Adjust salt. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime, check and squeeze more if needed. Finish with chopped fresh coriander.

Serve hot with steamed rice and a dollop of butter!!! Traditionally it is served with ragi mudde which is cooked ragi balls.I love to eat it that way too.. Just that on weak nights, i get rather lazy to cook mudde!


Anisheetu said...

Hi smitha.. Thanks for the wonderful entry... u have a very nice blog... would like to have some more entries from u... :)

Kannada Cuisine said...

Hi anisheetu!

Will try to send in a few more entries!! Thanks for the encouranging words!

Lakshmi said...

Smithavre, Please take a look at the round up of SWC-K here http://www.tasteofmysore.com/2008/09/swc-karnataka-round-up-1-republished.html

Ashwini said...

Wow, I love bassaru, thanks for the blog entry