Monday, January 10, 2011

Black Tori Saar (Kaali Tori Saaru)

Its interesting how your spouse influences your eating habits. Turns out that my husband is very fond of lentils and legumes (Dhaanya in konkani). Years later I smile as half my pantry is stocked with zillion varieties of seeds, beans, pulses, lentils, legumes etc.

One such tasty variety of legume is called as Kalee Tori in Konkani. Usually we make Ghashi, a coconut based curry with Kooka/ Jackfruit (Kadgee)/ Magge added along with Black Toree as supplement. I have not found these seeds in US Indian ethnic grocery stores and get a small pack from India. I am not sure the English equivalent of this bean. If anyone is aware, kindly enlighten.

In India, one can find 2 varieties of these - dry variety and fresh variety (Jeevo Tori). Personally, I like the fresh one but its a chance catch and is full of flavor. Once during a casual conversation, my MIL had suggested Saaru out of these chubby little black seeds. I tried this and we both liked the flavour. Although its a non-conventional approach I found the dish quite tasty and easy on the palate. Goes well with with steamed white rice.

~ Black Tori Saaru ~
Preparation time: Soaking time of 4-6 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Black Tori/ Kaali Tori - 3/4 cup
Ghee/ Oil
Green Chillies - 2
Asafoetida - a pinch

For Seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 3-4
Red Chillies (optional) - 2

Wash and soak the seeds in water for 4-6 hours. Pressure cook the seeds upto 4 whistles or till completely cooked. Transfer to another cooking vessel. Adjust the consistency by adding enough quantity of water, adjust salt as well. Mash up a little for better taste. Add slit chillies & asafoetida. Bring to boil and simmer on low flame for 5-8 minutes or till completely cooked. Turn off the flame.
In a separate vessel, for tempering, heat few spoons of Ghee, once hot add mustard seeds and once the seeds begin to pop, add curry leaves. If using green chillies, omit red chillies and vice-versa. Pour this seasoning on the boiled broth and cover with a lid. Mix while serving with white steamed rice.

Note - For seasoning, one can use both approaches either use crushed garlic and ghee seasoning or mustard, curry leaves and ghee. Take your pick as per taste and preference. The quality of seeds is key while determining the boiling point for these seeds hence do not skip the soaking time of 4-6 hours else the seeds will remain undercooked.

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