Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dosakai kootu - Dosakai with Toor dal (red gram)

I have always seen this green-yellow-orange ball-like vegetable in Indian grocery stores, but did not know what it was... One day, I saw a lady picking it up and I asked her what it was and how to prepare it. She said that 'dosakai' (also refered to as Indian cucumber or kani vellarikai) is an Andra delicacy and gave me her recipe which was very simple. She also guided me in selecting the right ones. I picked up a few of those 'balls' to try it out that week and we loved the veggie and then, I started buying it regularly.

Dosakai belongs to the cucumber/ melon family. It has cucumber like seeds in the center and has a sweet - tart taste. To prepare it, I peeled the skin, cut through the center, removed the seeds and made bite-sized pieces. I pressure cooked it with chopped onions, toor dal and sambar powder (can be substituted with red chilli powder, cumin powder, jeera powder and very little rice flour) for 4-5 whistles. Then, I added salt and mixed well. Then I did thadka (tempering) with hing (asafoetida), curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies. It tastes great with both rice and roti.

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