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Beerakaya alshantha kaya koora is a classic Telangana dish from Karimnagar district. Beerakaya is ridge gourd and alshantha kaya is fresh black-eyed peas or cow peas. Beerakaya alshantha kaya is a common combination when alshantha kaya is in season. This curry is served with rice and also goes well with roti, Indian flat bread.
Preparation of the curry is similar to any other curry but this combination is unique and loved by almost everyone in my family and relatives circle. Shelled black-eyed peas are cooked along with ridge gourd with very minimal spices and tastes amazing.
I pre-cook the peas for few minutes and then make the curry, though this step is optional if the peas are tender. Since both peas and ridge gourd cook very fast, precooking is optional. I cook black-eyed peas for few minutes, added ridge gourd pieces to the pot of peas and precook even the ridge gourd for few minutes. Again, this step is optional. This pre-cooked black-eyed peas and ridge gourd is sauteed in the seasoning to finish off the curry.
We don’t get fresh black eyed peas very often and whenever I see some in the store, which is once a year, I always plan on blogging this curry. Last year I could not take any pictures of the curry and even this time I almost missed the opportunity. I took these pictures the next day with leftover curry. The plan was to make the curry again as I forgot to note down the recipe. The quantities mentioned in the recipe are approximate quantities.
My theme for this week’s BM is make a meal. Today’s meal was my lunch with leftover curries. Everything in the frame is leftovers. This is what I served –
Cucumber Carrot Salad
Beerakaya Alshantha Kaya Koora ~ Ridge Gourd Black-eyed Peas Curry
Tomato Spinach Stew ~ Tamata Palakoora Shorva
Chikkuda Ginjala Annam ~ Valor Lilva Rice
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
- 1 ¾ cup shelled Fresh Black Eyed Peas ~ Alshantha Kaya
- 3 medium sized Ridge Gourd ~ Beerakaya, peeled and cut into ½ – ¾” cubes (approximately 1 ½ lbs or less than ¾ kg)
- ¾ tsp. Chili Powder
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 2 – 3 tbsp. Oil
- 3-4 Curry Leaves
- ¼ – ½ tsp Cumin
- ½ small Onion, chopped
- 1 – 1 ½ tbsp. Garlic crushed
- 3 – 4 Green Chilies, cut into ½” pieces
- ¼ tsp. Turmeric Powder
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste and we already added some salt when cooking black-eyed peas)
- Kothmir ~ Cilantro Leaves, chopped for garnish
- Shell black-eyed peas and keep aside. If the beans is tender, cut into 1” pieces and use it as well.
- Peel, trim and cut ridge gourd into ½ – ¾” cubes.
- Wash and cook black-eyed peas with very little water, just enough to immerse in water. Do not cook for too long, beans will be cooked in less than five minutes.
- Once the peas are almost tender, add cut ridge gourd ½ tsp salt, ¾ tsp chili powder, cover and cook for few minutes. Do not overcook. Previous step and this step will take no more than 6-7 minutes and both these steps are optional. I put black-eyed peas to boil on one burner, cut onions, chilies and did the tempering for the curry. Black-eyed peas and ridge gourd were cooked by the time I did the tempering.
- While black-eyed peas are cooking, take a frying or saute pan to prepare the curry. Heat oil.
- When oil is hot, add cumin and curry leaves.
- Add onion and saute until soft.
- Add green chilies, crushed garlic and saute for a minute until chilies are roasted.
- Add turmeric, salt and give a good stir.
- Add pre-cooked black-eyed peas & ridge gourd, mix well.
- If the gourd and peas are not fully cooked, cover and cook until soft.
- Uncover and cook until all the juices/water evaporate.
- Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Continue frying until curry is done.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or roti.
- I pre-cooked black-eyed peas and ridge gourd in steps 3 & 4. These two steps are optional. If skipping these steps, continue with rest of the preparation, in step 10 add fresh peas & ridge gourd, cover and cook on medium – medium high flame until peas and gourd are cooked.
- Frozen black-eyed peas are a good substitute. If using frozen black-eyed peas, cook the peas and keep aside. Prepare the curry as mentioned above, at step 10, add uncooked ridge gourd pieces and cook until almost cooked, then add boiled black-eyed peas and finish off the curry, Though frozen black-eyed peas are a good substitute, I prefer fresh black-eyed peas to frozen black-eyed peas.
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