This is a curry that I loved a lot when I made it but I could not post it immediately. We were still in Blr. and it was the beginning of the winter harvest, when the markets are flooded with the freshest legumes. Of all of the legumes, Tur has a certain special place. It is not as mundane as peas, though it will be unfair if I say I don't like mutter. I love the fresh Val or Avarekai too. Yet Tur creates the excitement that mutter or Val does not. There are too many recipes to use mutter and a few must makes when avarekai is in season. All of those recipes can be made with Tur too. On this particular day the Tur pod was pregnant with the seeds and yet tender. I had a bunch of fresh methi and button mushroom too that I picked from the store when the stock had just comes in. It made me so happy that I had to use this bounty to make a recipe that would not fail me.
2 cups fresh Tur /pigeon peas
2 cups chopped methi leaves
1 cup small button mushroom (cut into 2)
1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
2 teaspoon oil
For the Masala
2 large onions
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon coriander powder
2 teaspoon koli masala (OR 1 teaspoon garam masala + 1 teaspoon red chili powder)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
First prepare the masala. With a knife create a cross cut in the onions like you would to stuff, not all the way thru but about 3/4th through the bulb. On direct flame roast the onions till the outer peel is charred and the insides look cooked. Turn over to cook evenly. When both are done keep aside to cool. Now peel of the charred skin and roughly chop up the onion and put it in the grinder. Add all the spices and grind to a fine paste with minimum amount of water and salt to taste. Save.
Now in a handi or a deep vessel heat oil. Add this masala and fry till the oil separates about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add ginger and garlic paste. Fry for another minute. Now add the vegetables tur, methi and mushrooms, keep stirring till methi wilts a bit. Then follow in with the tomatoes, on high heat let the tomatoes crumble down to a paste. Now finally top up with water. Keep the consistency thick and creamy. Cover and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Put off the heat and let the flavors soak well before you serve.
This yummy handi is scoopable with any roti or bread and is equally enjoyable when mixed with a steamed rice or a simple jeera rice.