After that long post 'Shaam Savera' last week, I wanted to start this week with a simple dish, Thotakura Pappu. This is basically a greens and lentil preparation and a simple everyday Andhra ( a state in India) dish. We have used Amaranth leaves, known as Thotakura in Telugu and pappu means dal/lentils and we have used tuvar dal/pigeon peas in this dish. Serve this with some hot white rice and a fry or some nice spicy pickle on the side for a simple and delicious meal..
Need To Have
- Amaranth Leaves/Thotakura - chopped. 1 cup packed
- Tuvar Dal - 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
- Chana Dal/Bengal Gram Dal - 1 teaspoon
- Urad Dal/Husked Black Gram - 1 teaspoon
- Cumin Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Garlic - 5 cloves, peeled and smashed
- Dried Red Chilly - 1. broken into pieces
- Green Chilly - 1. sliced
- Onion - 1 medium, chopped
- Curry Leaves - 10
- Tamarind - 1/2 a lemon size
- Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
Original recipe here
Those are fresh amaranth leaves in the picture, just break the stem at the bottom and discard, use the leaves with the remaining stem, wash and chop them fine. Pressure cook the tuvar dal with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, mash and keep. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water for 15 to 20 minutes, then squeeze out the juice, strain and keep.
Heat some oil, add the chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds and cumin seeds, when it starts sputtering, add the garlic, red chilly, green chilly and onion and saute till the onions turn translucent and the garlic smells good, then add the chopped amaranth leaves.
Saute it for a minute, then add about 1/4 cup water, salt, cover and cook till done. Once the greens are cooked, add the tamarind juice and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, then add the cooked dal/lentils and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, mix and cook for another 5 minutes, then remove.
The dal might not look attractive but tastes very good.
The final consistency should be like a thick gravy ( kootu ), so adjust water accordingly.
If amaranth leaves are not available, then you can use spinach.