Teppal

Red Amaranth sidedish (Tamdi bhajji randayi)

Tamdi bhajji randayi
Tamdi bhajji randayi

‘Tamdi bhajji’ in Konkani means ‘Red edible plant’. This is referred to as ‘tamdi bhajji’ or ‘moDil bhajji’ (means the ‘edible plant cut into pieces’, I donno how this name has come). This is very famous at our native, people used to grow it at home, but now it is widely available in markets also. This is widely used in Kerala cusine (LG has given a lot of good information about this bhajji) and called as ‘cheera’.
tamdi-bhajji-ambat1_thumb.jpg

Since I have no idea whether it is a type of spinach or amaranth, I thought of going with the name specified here, here (this is the variety usually available in Bangalore) and here (this is the one loved by all at our native). (According to LG’s post specified above, this is a type of spinach). I have seen this many times in Chinese stores, when I googled, I got to know, this is also called as ‘Chinese spinach’.

Among all other dishes with this bhajji, my favourite is this side dish. While cooking this bhajji, do not cover the lid. If it is covered, the red color goes off.

Tamdi bhajji randayi

Red Amaranth sidedish (Tamdi bhajji randayi)

Red amaranth leaves and black eyed peas are cooked in a coconut gravy makes an excellent side dish for rice or chapati
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 and half cups Tamdi bhajji
  • 1/2 cup Black eyed beans alsande
  • 3/4 cup Coconut
  • 3-4 Teppal/Tirphal
  • 1/2 tea spn Tamarind or 2-3 pieces Kokum
  • 4-5 Red chillies
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Cook black eyed beans in pressure cooker till they become soft(around 1-2 whistles), but they should not be mashed.
  • Cook bhajji in around 2 cups of water (do not close the lid while cooking).
  • Grind coconut with red chillies and tamarind(if using) to a very smooth paste.
  • Add the masala and cooked beans to bhajji, add slightly crushed teppal and kokum pieces(use any one, kokum or tamarind).
  • Add salt and cook till masala becomes slightly thick.
  • Serve as a side dish with rice/chapathi.

Ingredients:

Traditional recipe calls for teppal, but this dish tastes good even if teppal is not used.

Method:

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 20mins

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Mistress of Spices – Teppal or Tirphal

This is my entry to “Mistress of spices” event hosted by Mythili.

Why did I select this least known spice?

When I read about this event, two things immediately came to my mind. The first was ‘Asafoetida’, the most famous spice used in most of the Konkani food. The second was Teppal, the most popular ‘Konkani spice’. Now, why am I calling it a ‘Konkani spice’? Because till today I haven’t seen anybody else using this spice. But after reading this and wiki, I came to know, its used in some other cuisines also. I thought I should write about this so that my Non-Konkani readers will get to know about this spice.
We get to see a lot Teppal trees at our native. The trees have very strong thorns. I still remember, when we were kids, we used to fill the fruits of green, fresh teppal into piston like cylinders called “Petnoli“. The piston is pushed to pop the teppal with a ‘phuut’ sound like a bullet. We used to aim it at each other like pistol, unlike any other fruit used in petnoli, teppal hurts more :D.

Mostly grown in : the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka in India.

Part of the plant : These are the fruits of the plant. The tree bears fruits in Monsoon. During this time, the fresh fruits are used for all the dishes. They are dried and stored for the use in other seasons. When dried, they open up and the black colored seeds can be seen. The seeds are discarded and only the outer layer of the fruit is stored.

Appearance : When they are fresh, the fruits are dark green in color. They dry to a dark brown color and split to reveal a creamy white interior.

Medicinal uses: A decoction of teppal is a good cure for dysentery. The spice is known for its anti flatulent properties. (I have picked this up from a book, but haven’t actually seen teppal being used for any medicinal uses).

Uses in kitchen : This is mostly used in Fish preparations and a few vegetarian dishes, with a coconut masala. This has a strong woody aroma, so it should not be ground with coconut (if it is ground by mistake, the dish gets a very strong and biting taste. The tongue starts tingling 😀 ). While using in gravy, these are slightly crushed in 1 tbl spn of water and added to masala. At the time of eating, teppal is not consumed and discarded.
Well, this is all the information I have about the teppal. If you know anything more than this, please feel free to leave a comment here and I will update this post.

Some recipes that make use of teppal are Pumpkin-peas masala(Dudde randayi)fish curry, fish sidedish, chutney,  ridgegourd gravy(gosale ambat), bhende sukke and many more.

Fresh teppal –

fresh teppal1

After drying

fresh teppal2

Seeds separated. Discard the seeds.

fresh teppal3

Dry some more after removing the seeds.

fresh teppal4

Seeds separated. Discard the seeds

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