I stood by the gate,clutching my school bag and turned back to catch a glimpse of dad.He had already left and was nowhere in sight.My heart sank.There I was standing by the gate of a new school and not wanting to go in.It was a new school in a new place. Everything looked alien to me. Wait..Did u think I am talking about the day I entered kindergarten?? No..no..no..It was the day I was entering a new school for higher education.I had left behind all my friends and my dearest school and I didn’t like the idea of a new school in a new place.
Anyway I could not stand there for long and had to walk in.I was scared, scared of the seniors who would rag and embarrass me..I wished I could run back home. [But I couldn’t do that !!] I walked meekly into the campus to look for my class.
I felt every students gaze was on me for it was written all over me that I was new to the school, with me in non uniform, thanks to that wonderful tailor who had misplaced mine.
As I walked searching for the classroom a group of students came towards me.I held my breath waiting to be ragged but they merely smiled and asked me what I was searching for and directed me to my class!!!
I was so relieved and went into my classroom and all the seats were occupied expect for one.I took that seat and the girl who sat next to me smiled and said ‘Welcome to our school’. Thus began a deep friendship!!
All my fears of being ragged or feeling lost in a new school vanished into thin space and N, my dearest friend and me sailed through the schooldays with a profound bond.
N and me used to share our lunch and once she had brought with her a green gram dish to go with rice which was super tasty that I almost finished it.Incidently the same day mom had packed veggie pulao and she luved it.Many a times this combo would coincide and we would end up eating each others lunch.
Whenever I visited her home, her mom would surely prepare the green gram dish for me. I never got bored of this. Later N’s family shifted to another town and I lost the chance to taste that dish.
After my wedding, the cook in MIL’s place prepared this and it brought back those wonderful school days.I got the recipe from her and prepare it often.
When Priya announced that she is hosting RCI-Kongu cuisine,an event started by Lakshmi of Veggie cuisine I immediately thought of this dish as I have never blogged about it and it also belongs to the Kongu cuisine.
Here is the ‘Pachai payaru kadaiyal’ just for you….
Green gram- 1 cup
Chilli powder- 1 teaspoon / Red chillies- 4
Peppercorns- ½ a teaspoon
Coriander seeds – ½ a teaspoon
Curry leaves- a few
Jeera/cumin seeds – 1teaspoon
Salt to taste
1. Heat a pan [without oil] and roast the green gram till slightly brown.
2. Pressure cook the green gram+garlic with enough water for about 20 minutes or till soft.[Never mind if it gets mushy.].If the green gram is whole,mash it lightly after removing it from the cooker.
3. Heat oil in a pan and put in mustard ,jeera,curry leaves.If using whole chillies put them in too.
4. When it splutters,add the onion and sauté till transparent
5. Put in tomato and cook till soft and mushy.
6. Add the chilli powder-if using instead of whole chillies- and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Put in the cooked green gram and stir well.
8. Lightly crush the coriander seeds and add to pan. This really brings out a wonderful flavor.
9. Add salt and desired quantity of water to make it a gravy.
10. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve with rice.
You can also soak the green gram overnite but in case you forget, my method is very helpful.
If you don’t have coriander seeds,coriander powder can be used but the original taste comes with the use of the seeds.
It tastes even better when served with a spicy potato side dish….
This dish can also be served as a side dish to Chapathi
By the way,did I tell u that this new school was in one of the parts of Kongunadu??? Though this is not my hometown,I have been there for quite sometime to get to know its unique recipes,So how do you think I will stop with just one dish!!! Here is an entire meal for the event….
While you are at it,don’t forget to check out the article- Forgotten flavors of kongunad
Hope you liked my kongunadu spread!!!!