Have you heard of the dish called 'Rasavangi?'
To know about the dish, let me share with you a brief history behind the origin of Rasavangi. Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India was ruled by the Marathas for a few years. Marathi cuisine was cooked in the Thanjavur Kingdom using the locally available ingredients like substituting tamarind for kokum, Tuvar dal for moth beans etc., This led to creation of new and delicious recipes . One such recipe is the Rasavangi.' Rasa' in Marathi means' gravy' and 'Vangi' means brinjal/aubergine.
Though this gravy dish is made using brinjal, ash gourd rasavangi is equally popular. The best part of the recipe is using raw peanuts or chickpeas along with the vegetables. Plenty of coconut is used in this dish. Some even add fresh grated coconut as garnish for the rasavangi.
This is my Mother-In- Law's recipe and we had a lot of fun cooking it together and also chatting about the history behind this dish and how it has been adapted in our everyday cooking.
Thanjavur Style Poosanikai Rasavangi :
Recipe Courtesy : Mrs. Prema
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time : 20-25 minutes
Serves : 4-6
1 cup = 250 ml cup
1/4 kg Ashgourd/poosanikai
1/4 raw peanuts ( you can also use 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas)
1/2 cup pigeon peas/tuvar dal ( washed and cooked in 1-1&1/2 cups water)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
small lemon size tamarind ( soaked in 1/2 cup warm water) and juice extracted OR 1 teaspoon tamarind paste ( you can use store bought too)
salt to taste
2 tablespoons coriander seeds/dhania
1 tablespoon Bengal gram/channa dal
10-12 dry red chillies ( adjust according to your spice preference and the heat of the chillies you are using)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5-6 curry leaves (optional)
1/4 cup fresh coconut ( finely chopped or grated)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
To temper :
1 tablespoon sesame oil ( you can use coconut oil also)
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida
For garnish ( optional):
1 -2 teaspoon freshly grated coconut
1. In a heavy bottom vessel or kadai, add washed ash gourd and peanuts .
2. Cook them in 2-3 cups of water along with turmeric powder.
Chef tip: You can pressure cook the pumpkin and peanuts along with tuvar dal . I usually place a plate with dal, peanut-cubed pumpkins , add 1 cup water , turmeric powder on top of rice ( that I cook for the day) and pressure cook. This saves a lot of time.
3. While they cook, heat a small kadai/wok or a pan with oil and roast all the ingredients given for the rasavangi masala, except coconut.
4. Transfer it to the jar of a mixie/mixer and also add in the coconut.
5. Grind it to a smooth paste adding around 1/4 cup water and set it aside.
6.Once the pumpkin and peanuts are cooked, add in the tamarind juice and allow it to cook for just around 5 minutes over low flame.
7. Now add the cooked tuvar dal, rasavangi masala, salt and continue to cook it for 6-7 minutes.
8. Heat a small pan or tempering ladle with oil and temper with the ingredients given under 'to temper' and pour it over the rasavangi.
9. Garnish ( optional) and your rasavangi is ready to be served.
Tastes amazing with rice and melted ghee.