Palak Alvati With Ambado (Hogplum) ......
Alvati is traditionally prepared using Alva paan ie Small Tender Colocasia Leaves. However with changing times and growing interest to bring in changes in taste, people keep making new innovations or say try out new methods. Here I have used Palak leaves instead of Colocasia Leaves. The dish does taste awesome and there is hardly much of a difference in the taste. Do try it out and enjoy this dish with your family.
Pick only leaves (leave out the stalk) of one large bunch of palak bundle. Chop them finely. You should at least have 8-10 glasses of the chopped leaves. This is necessary as when palak or for that matter any leafy vegetable when cooked cuts down heavily on size. Wash the chopped leaves and put it in pressure cooker with only one cup of water and pressure cook to 4 whistles. Do not add more water as palak itself is a leafy vegetable with high water content. Let pressure drop on its own. Remove and put this in a thick bottomed stainless steel cooking vessel.
To be Ground : Grind to a very fine paste 1 heaped cup of freshly grated coconut with 4-5 kashmiri red chillies. You can add a marble sized tamarind while grinding if not using Ambado / hogplum. If using any other souring agent leave out the tamarind and grind only chillies and coconut. Remove and keep aside.
Wash and snip of the edge of the ambado / hogplum and mash it a bit with a heavy stone or you can slice of the sides too. Put all into the vessel in which the cooked palak is kept. Mix well, add a little bit of water only if necessary and bring to a boil on medium heat, by then the ambado will have cooked if not cook it for another few minutes till the ambado gets cooked.
Now add in the ground masala, salt to taste, 2-3 tablsp of finely chopped ginger, 3-4 green chillies slit lengthwise to the cooked palak and ambado. Mix well, add water if required to bring it to a thick gravy consistency and bring to a boil on medium heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove and keep it aside.
For Tempering : Heat 1 tblsp of coconut oil (you can use any other oil as per your liking), when hot, add in 1 tsp of mustard seeds (sasam/rai), when it splutter add 8-10 curry leaves. Fry for a minute and pour this over the prepared palak curry.
Cover the curry and keep aside for 10-15 minutes for all the flavours to settle in. Serve hot with rice or roti. This dish should be served hot for it taste best. Also you can serve this with Idly.
Note : You can add some cooked corn to the same too.