Friday, March 25, 2016

Valval-1 Vegetables cooked in coconut milk.

Valval-1...... Vegetables cooked in coconut milk ..... A medium spicy Amchi dish .....

Valval is a traditional GSB / Saraswat Konkani dish that is prepared cooking vegetables in coconut milk. The coconut milk is obtained from grinding freshly grated coconut and then sieving it. This dish is semi sweet and is usually prepared during special occassions be it a marriage or festive days. 

Certain vegetables like red pumpkin, ridge gourd, long yard beans, cashew nuts (tender or otherwise), potatoes, sweet potatoes, gherkins are the most commonly used veggies for preparation of Valval. This dish is similar to stew and can be enjoyed both as it is or with rice. The dish however is not very spicy with only green chillies added in to spicy up the dish. The dish is thickened by thickening agent such as rice flour, maida or cornflour. However, do give this dish a try, you will like it. 

For grinding : Grate only the white part of one large sized coconut. The gratings should be freshly taken. Grind to a smooth paste with luke warm water and sieve through a cloth. You will get a thick coconut milk. Keep this aside. 

Add the residue of the sieved coconut again into the grinder / mixer and further grind again with luke warm water to get some more coconut milk. This will be thinner than the previous one. Keep this separately aside. You should obatin about 1 cup of thick coconut milk and 3 cups of thinner coconut milk.

String and cut into medium sized cubes one large sized ridge gourd and keep aside. Remove the centre seed part and the outer thick skin of the yellow pumpkin and cut them also into medium sized cubes. 

Snip off the both side ends of the long yard beans and cut them into 2 inch length pieces. Cut the edges of both sides of gherkins and cut them into 4 pieces lengthwise. 

Similarly cut any other vegtables you are going to use in the same manner. 

Now wash and add all the vegetables along with the thin coconut milk into a thick bottomed vessel and cook till 70 % done. Cook one cup of cashew nut to one whistle with little bit of water in a pressure cooker and add it to the cooked vegetables. Slit 5-8 spicy green chillies (Plus or minus as per individual taste) and add to the cooked vegetables. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat and add in the thick coconut milk and let simmer.

Meanwhile, mix 2 tablespoons of cornflour with half cup of water to a smooth mixture without any lumps. Add this to the simmering vegetables and mix well. Keep the heat low. The Valval will start thickening up. Keep mixing till it has thickned well. If too thick you can add in some water. 

For Tempering : Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small kadai, add 1 tsp of jeera and let cook for a while then add in 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 10-12 curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes till the mustard seeds splutter, then pour this over the curry. Remove from fire and cover with a tight lid and keep aside for 15-20 minutes for the flavours to seep in. 

Serve Valval in bowl as a soup or a side dish or you can serve it with rice / jeera rice too. 

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