Saturday 26 July 2014

Rasavangi (ரசவாங்கி)

Rasavangi (ரசவாங்கி) is a traditional Brahmin recipe, which is often included in the wedding feast menu. It is a tamarind based kootu, usually made with either brinjal or white pumpkin (ash gourd). The gravy base is similar to ‘pitlai’, but the ingredients used are different. Rasavangi goes very well with rasam rice. 

Ingredients: (Serves four)
Tamarind – the size of a small marble
Bengal gram dhal – 2 tablespoons
Cut vegetables –4 teacups or 800ml measure *
Jaggery – ½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Cooking oil – 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few

To be ground into a fine paste:
Red chillies – 2 to 3 (adjust to taste)
Bengal gram – 2 teaspoons
Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon
Coconut – grated, 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida – a pinch

* Traditionally brinjal, white pumpkin or ash gourd (வெள்ளை பூசணிக்காய் (அ) தடியங்காய்) or chayote or chow-chow (பெங்களூர் கத்தரிக்காய்) is used for making rasavangi. Cut brinjal into small cubes. White pumpkin or chow-chow may be cut into ½“ long pieces.
White Pumpkin Rasavangi (தடியங்காய் ரசவாங்கி)
Method: Wash Bengal gram dhal well, add 50 ml of water, and pressure cook for 6 minutes (6 whistles). You may cook such small quantities of dhal along with rice. Soak tamarind in warm water. Heat little oil in a kadai and fry red chillies, Bengal gram dhal and coriander seeds till the dhal turns golden brown. Add asafoetida and switch off the stove. Once cool, grind these ingredients with coconut into a smooth paste and keep aside.

Squeeze the tamarind and extract light juice (நீர் புளி). Cook the vegetables in tamarind juice with required salt and turmeric powder.  Once the vegetables are done, dilute the ground paste in little water and add to the kootu. Add cooked Bengal gram dhal and jaggery. Mix well. Simmer till the kootu thickens and then switch off the fire. 

Heat remaining oil in a tadka pan/spice pan (தாளிக்கிற கரண்டி), add mustard seeds, when they start to sputter, switch off the fire. Add the seasoning to kootu and garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with rice and rasam or kuzhambu. 

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