Back home mom makes sure to cook greens at least 4-5 times a week, be it sautee(talimpu), with pulses( pappu ), chutney( pachadi) or stew( pulusu ). We do get a lot of fresh green vegetables every day, a lady sells exclusively green vegetables grown in her farm. They are so vibrant, crisp, tender and fresh from the garden! It used to my routine everyday to accompany mom in buying fresh veggies everyday.. There are so many greens available back home like palakura( spinach ), thotakura( amaranth ), molaka kura, bacchali kura( malabar spinach ), munagaaku( drumstick leaves), menthu kura( fenugreek leaves), avisaku , gongura(Sorrel leaves ).  One of my favorite greens is Bachchali aaku in telugu and purslane, chinese spinach, oriental spinach, ceylon spinach,malabar spinach in english, However i found that its botanical name is Basella alba. Being green leafy vagetable this is high in fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, Calcium and Iron but low in calorie and fatfree( ofcourse). This Purslane leaves are more crispier and higher in water content than spinach. Heres one simple way of cooking this bachali aaku with raw or sour mango.

  • 2-3 handfuls of Bachali aaku
  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 1/2 cup raw mango chunks
  • 5-6 green chillies
  • 1 tomato
  • 5-10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp oil

How To:

  • Clean the leaves and chop them, don't discard the stems if they are tender chop them too
  • Chop onions, tomatoes and green chillies
  • Peel raw mango and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Wash and clean tuwar dal
  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds ad they start to crackle add curry leaves followed by tomatoes, mango chunks and bachali aaku along with some turmeric
  • Add the soaked and drained toor dal, saute for a couple of minutes and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Alternatively you can cook separately until the dal is completely cooked
  • Adjust salt to taste and finish it off with cilantro

Here's something you can have it as much as you wish which not only tastes delicious, but adds nutrition to your diet with loads of fiber and wholesome goodness.  My dad loves this upma so much that he could eat it everyday. Mom also stuffs this upma in pesaraatu( moong dal dosa ).. And that adds a special flavor to the dosas..  Checkout the recipe to make this wonder grain upma!!

You need:
  • 1 cup Goduma Ravva ( Cracked whole wheat / wheat germ )
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tomato
  • handful of petite green peas
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 inch ginger root
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 5-10 cashew nuts
  • 10 curry leaves
  • a pinch of turmeric

  • In a saute pan / kadai toas the ravva with very little butter / ghee. Once toasted remove the ravva and keep aside
  • In the same pan add oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cashewnuts, urad dal and chana dal, Once they are toasted add curry leaves, ginger, turmeric, peas and chopped tomato. Stir ans close the lid
  • Once peas and tomatoes are cooked add water and close the lid. When the water bubbles add ravva stirring continuously, lower the heat and close the lid.
  • Check if the whole water has been absorbed and the wheat germ cooked. Adjust salt to taste . Now add some ghee or butter and remove from heat.

Are your  Beerakaya aka Ridgegourd peels making their way to trash.. wait.. just check out this awesome chutney that's made with the nutrient and fiber rich rigde gourd peels. Believe me vegetable peels never tasted this good! This recipe has been handed down to me from my grandmother, who is a kitchen pro. She has that midas touch, so even the simplest recipes work wonders for our palettes..  She keeps saying this "Uppu karam sarigga padithe cheppu ayina baguntundhi", Even the footwear tastes good if you cook it with right spice and salt!

Sauteed ridge gourd peels and green chillies are ground in mortar and pestle along with tamarind and onion finished with cilantro tastes heaven with ghee rice or steaming hot rotis.

You need:
  • Peels from 2 large ridgegourds, beerakaya pottu
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • marble sized tamarind soaked in water
  • Onion
  • cilantro
  • oil

How to:

  • Take oil in kadai and saute ridge gourd peels along with green chillies and add some salt
  • Once the chillies and the peels loose their raw smell switch off the flame and it them cool 
  • In mortar and pestle or grinder, ground the mixture, tamarind and  cilantro to a coarse paste
  • And now pulse the chutney with onions.
  • Finish off the chutney with tadka.
Note: Try sauteing with a bit ghee and taste the difference!!

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