I went to the farmer’s market (rythu bazaar) this morning and was delighted to find tender tamarind leaves, as these leaves are mostly available during early spring. Since I hadn’t blogged about these beautiful, delicate, light green and magenta colored tender leaves yet, thought I should blog about them before the season is over.
The young tender tamarind leaves have a subtle tart flavor without being overly bitter or sour. You can add quite a lot of these exotic tender greens to the recipe your cooking without turning whatever you are cooking to an inedibly sour or bitter taste, also increasing your nutrient intake and give your taste buds a real treat.“Chinta chiguru” is a highly recommended green to all the nutrition-conscious.
Quite a few delicacies are prepared with these sour greens in Andhra cuisine like Chintachiguru pachadi, Chintachiguru pappu and Chintachiguru Mamsam (meat). As it’s the dal month here, I decided to prepare a dal dish using these greens, an Andhra delicacy, Chintachiguru pappu. These sour greens when combined with the dal lend the dish a pleasingly wonderful flavor with a delicate undertone of sourness without overpowering the earthy comforting flavor of the dal.
Chinta Chiguru Pappu Recipe
Recipe source: Amma
Prep & Cooking: 30-35 mts
Serves 4-5 persons
1 cup chinta chiguru (tender tamarind leaves)- remove the leaves from the stalks
1/2 cup split yellow moong dal (pesara pappu) OR tur dal/red gram lentil/kandi pappu
1 small onion finely chopped
4-5 green chillis (slit length-wise) adjust to suit your spice level
pinch of turmeric pwd
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
¾ tsp cumin seeds
5-6 garlic pods or pinch of asafoetida
2-3 dry red chillis ,de-seed and tear into two
10-12 curry leaves
1 Wash the split yellow moong dal. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, turmeric, onion and green chillis to the washed dal and let it cook till half done, i.e the dal should be half cooked.
2 Slightly crush the tender tamarind leaves with your hand and add to the half cooked dal. Cover and cook on low heat till the leaves and dal are fully cooked and soft.
3 Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter, add the cumin seeds, dry red chillis, garlic, curry leaves and fry for a few seconds till you find the flavor of the spices fill your kitchen.
4 Add this tempering and salt to the cooked dal-tender leaves mixture, combine and cook for a minute. Turn off heat and leave covered for a few minutes before serving.
5 Serve with hot steamed rice, ghee, pickle of choice and papad or vadiyaalu.
If you are cooking with tur dal or red gram lentil, add 2 cups of water to half a cup of dal and pressure cook it along with turmeric, onion and green chillis. When cooked, mash it well and add the crushed tender tamarind leaves and follow the above procedure.
Another method you can do is to do the tempering/seasoning first and add the onions, green chillis, dal and turmeric pwd and combine for a few seconds. Add water and let it cook till the dal is half done and then add the crushed tender leaves and salt and cook till done.