Paithangai Curry

Today is Aadi amaavasai or the New moon day during the month of Aadi, which generally falls between mid-July and mid-August of the global calendar. For Tamils, it is a remembrance day of fathers who have passed away. As both my grandfathers passed away at quite a young age, my parents have always observed this day for as long as I can remember. Lunch on this day is always kind of special – food that I associate with fasts and temples. One curry that is sure to be there on this day is Paithangai or yardlong beans.

Yardlong beans

I thought of posting the recipe for this dish today. My mother went one step ahead and not only did she give me the recipe for paithangai curry  across three generations of my family, she actually prepared it in the three different styles so that I could take photos of them. Each of the recipe below takes about 20 – 25 mins to cook and serves 3 – 4 people.

So, here goes…

(1) Paithangai curry (early to mid 20th century recipe)

This is my great grandmother’s recipe, as remembered and replicated by my mother. As this is a dry curry recipe, it can be refrigerated and used over a few days without spoiling as opposed to curries that are cooked in coconut milk.

Paithangai curry

Ingredients

  • Yardlong beans – 200g
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Onion – ½ medium sized, chopped
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Water – 2 cups

Method

  1. Wash and cut the beans into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Add the beans and chopped onions to a pot together with the curry leaves and curry powder. Add 2 cups of water. Cover and cook on medium heat.
  3. When the water has almost dried up and the beans are cooked, add 2 tbsp of oil and mix well. Reduce heat and let the curry simmer for about 2 mins before removing from the heat.
  4. Serve hot with rice.

(2) Paithangai curry (mid to late 20th century recipe)

This is my grandmother’s recipe, as remembered and replicated by my mother.

Paithangai curry

Ingredients

  • Yardlong beans – 200g
  • Carrot – 1
  • Curry powder – 2 tsp
  • Onion – ½ medium sized, chopped
  • Curry leaves – a sprig
  • Coconut milk – 2 cups of second milk and 2 tbsp of first milk
  • Salt to taste

Note: The first milk is the coconut milk obtained when blending freshly grated coconut with a little water. The second milk is the coconut milk obtained when blending the used grated coconut, after the first milk has been obtained, with about 2 cups of water. The second milk will be thinner in consistency to the first milk. My mother uses non-fat milk as a substitute for coconut milk for health reasons.

Method

  1. Wash and cut the beans and carrots into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Add the beans, carrots and chopped onions to a pot together with the curry leaves and curry powder. Add 2 cups of the second coconut milk. Cover and cook on medium heat.
  3. When the milk has almost dried up and the beans are cooked, add 2 tbsp of the first coconut milk and mix well. Reduce heat and let the curry simmer for around 5 – 10 mins before removing from the heat.
  4. Serve hot with rice.

(3) Paithangai curry – my mother’s recipe

Paithangai curry

Ingredients

  • Yardlong beans – 1 cup, finely chopped
  • Carrot – ½ cup, finely chopped
  • Cabbage and leeks – ½ cup, finely chopped
  • Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
  • Green chilli – 2 or capsicum – 1, finely chopped
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Pepper powder – ¼ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat Oil (Canola or Sunflower oil) – 2 tbsp
  • Water – ¼ cup

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the chopped garlic, onions and chillies.
  2. Then, add the beans. Mix and fry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables and cook for another 5 – 10 mins.
  4. Add ¼ cup of water, turmeric, pepper and salt to taste. Mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the water dries up.
  5. Remove from the heat and serve hot with rice.

Do post your feedback below, if you do try one of these recipes.

Advertisements

One thought on “Paithangai Curry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s