I had mentioned earlier that @ my hometown Belgaum, Poori Bhaji means poori served with mix veg kurma or coconut based patal bhaji usually sprouts gravy. Patal bhaji is one of my favourites, and I really missed the resto style flavours, so decided to try it out @home. After a few trials I managed to get it right. Today I’d like to share my version of resto style patal bhaji wherein I have used whole moong sprouts and yes whole moong should be consumed in the rainy season as they are easily digestible. A simple recipe that is spicy, flavourful, loaded with nutrients and is a perfect accompaniment to go with pooris, chapati and tastes great with rice too. Do give this version a try :).
Ingredients required for masala to be ground to a paste
1/4th cup freshly scraped coconut
1 1/4th tsp coriander seeds
1/4th tsp cumin seeds
4 dry red bedgi chillies
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 green cardamom
4 black pepper
A piece of tamarind (optional and if required)
To prepare the gravy
1/4th cup whole moong beans/ whole green gram rinsed well and soaked in about 1 cup of water 6 hours ( please read through the sprouting procedure mentioned @the end
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp fennel seeds
A sprig of curry leaves
1 bay leaf
2 tsp chopped garlic(approximately 6 cloves)and 1/4th” piece of ginger ground to a paste
1 small green chilly
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
1/4th cup small sized cubed potatoes dipped in water
1/2 cup tomato finely chopped
1/4th tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (as per spice required)
1 1/2 cup +..hot water ( adjust water content )
Salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Heat a flat pan, roast the freshly scraped coconut till golden. The colour of the coconut should be golden only as the gravy has an orangish colour. If the colour of coconut turns brown then the colour of gravy will change. Transfer to a plate once done. In the same pan roast coriander seeds,cumin seeds till fragrant in 1/2 tsp oil, transfer to a plate. Roast dry bedgi chillies in the same pan till a little crisp.
Soak the poppy seeds and cashews in very hot water for 10 minutes. Drain the excess water, grind the cashews, poppy seeds along with roasted coconut, roasted coriander- cumin seeds, roasted bedgi chillies, fennel seeds, cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, a small piece of tamarind. Then add enough water and grind again to get a smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat water in a pan enough to submerge the moong beans and potatoes. Add in 2 pinches of salt, 2 pinches of turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp of oil, add the sprouted moong beans and cubed potatotes, and boil till they are almost cooked. (Adding 1/2 tsp oil while cooking the beans helps prevent scum formation. However if there is any scum formation as the water boils, do remove it as the gravy may taste a bit different or a bit bitter.)They should be about 90% cooked, as they will get cooked further along with the gravy. Set aside.
Heat oil + ghee in a pan, add fennel seeds, 1 bay leaf, saute, add slit green chilly, curry leaves, add ginger garlic paste, saute till it loses its raw flavour, add finely chopped onions, saute till soft and transluscent.
Add tomatoes, saute well till soft, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt as required keeping in mind salt has been added while cooking the moong beans. Saute well, Add the ground coconut paste, saute well, add a little hot water (clean the mixer jar with a little hot water so that any leftover masala is also used up) to get an even consistency. Cook till the fresh masala paste also loses its raw flavours and is cooked well. Then add the nearly cooked moong beans/ green gram potatoes mix, stir well, add hot water as required to get an even consistency, stir well and cook till done. This won’t take much time as the moong beans and potatoes added are nearly cooked. Do check if the moong beans are cooked by pressing one. The beans should be soft but not be mushy. Pierce the tip of a knife through a potato cube to check if it’s cooked. The consistency of the patal bhaji is neither too thick nor too thin. Now check the balance of flavours. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with pooris, chapati, roti or even rice.
Adding cashews and poppy seeds to very hot water helps to give a smooth paste.
Addition of cashewnuts and poppy seeds help to give an uniform consistency to the gravy.
I have used gavran/ desi moong beans, they are smaller in size and get cooked approximately in the same time as the potatoes. If not you can cook both separately.
Adjust spice level to your choice. If you want it less spicy, skip adding green chilly or reduce quantity of red chilli powder but the proportion of other spices stays as is.
Addition of tamarind is as per individual choice.
Procedure to soak whole green gram beans:
Rinse and soak whole green gram for about 6 hours in water. Drain the water, rinse the gram again and transfer them into a cotton/ muslin cloth. Hold all the edges together, twist them and tie a knot.
Keep them in a warm place for another 8 hours. Once sprouted loosen the knot, transfer to a container. 1/4th cup of green gram gives approximately 3/4th cup + 1 tbsp of sprouted green gram
Rinse the green gram again and drain the water before use.