- Pigeon Peas – 1/4Cup (50gms)
- Tomatoes – 3 (270gms)
- Water – 700ml
- Tamarind – 10gms
- Water – To Extract Juice From Tamarind – 150ml
- Salt – To Taste (1 1/4tsp)
- Turmeric Powder – 1/8tsp
- Red Chili Powder – 1/2tsp
- Melted Ghee – 2tsps
- Fenugreek Seeds – 5
- Mustard Seeds – 1/4tsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1/4tsp
- Curry Leaves – Few
- Asafoetida – A Pinch
- Chopped Coriander Leaves – 1 1/2Tbsps
Take a small bowl and pour 100ml water into it. Heat the water in bowl till water starts boiling. When water is boiling, switch off flame and add tamarind. Cover the tamarind bowl and allow it to soak till the water cools down to room temperature.
Take pigeon peas in a bowl and add water. Wash the pigeon peas well changing water if required. Add 100ml water to the washed pigeon peas. To cook pigeon peas use a pressure cooker to cook fast. Place the dal bowl in pressure cooker and close the lid. Heat the pressure cooker on high flame. After first whistle, lower the flame and cook dal for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes switch off flame and allow pressure cooker to cool normally. Remove the pressure cooker lid and take out the dal bowl. Take a spoon and mix the cooked dal. Dal gets mashed when mixed with a spoon while it is still hot. Keep the mashed dal aside for further use.
Wash tomatoes and cut them into small cubes.
When tamarind mixture is cool to touch, rub the soaked tamarind between fingers and extract pulp. Add additional 50ml water and extract tamarind juice. Separate the pith from the soaked tamarind and take clear juice into a bowl.
Take a deep bowl and add the chopped tomatoes. Add 500ml water to the tomato pieces and heat the bowl. when the water starts boiling reduce flame and cook till tomatoes are well cooked. Now add turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, tamarind juice and mashed dal and mix well. At this stage we see tomato pieces floating in the mixture. Take a churner and churn the mixture so that the cooked dal and cooked tomatoes gets mashed slightly and it gives a nice texture to the pappu charu. Cook the mixture to reach a boil. When the pappu charu starts boiling switch off the flame and prepare seasoning.
Our ancestors used to season the charu using an iron ladle so that iron leaches into the charu. Here I too have acquired one so let use that to season the charu.
Heat an iron ladle and add melted ghee. When ghee is hot add fenugreek seeds followed by mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow the seeds to splutter and then add asafetida and curry leaves. When curry leaves are fried till crisp, add the seasoning into the prepared pappu charu. Now carefully and gently dip the hot iron ladle into the charu and immediately cover the bowl with a lid. Covering the bowl with a lid helps in not allowing the splashes of charu to make a mess around the work place and it also helps to allow the flavor of seasoning sink into the prepared charu. After few minutes remove lid and mix the seasoning into the charu. Add few chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Transfer the prepared pappu charu into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining coriander leaves.
Points To Observe:
Remember that the consistency of the charu should be thin---so add water and seasonings accordingly.
This pappu charu may even be prepared using leftover dals. In fact, charu made using leftover dals taste better than charu prepared with plain dal as the leftoverdals are already seasoned and they also contain some vegetable in them---those vegetables bring variety and the charu tastes different with each vegetable in the dal. For example, make charu with bottle gourd and also make charu using leafy vegetable dal like totakoora mamidikaya pappu---observe the difference. The charu made with leafy vegetable dal tastes better than the bottle gourd dal. While preparing the leafy vegetable dal we add tomatoes/ mango/ tamarind to give some tanginess to the dal. Some leafy vegetables like sorrel leaves have a peculiar tanginess. When charu is prepared with leafy vegetable dal, that extra tanginess adds taste to the charu.
The taste of this pappu charu lies in the sufficient tanginess. To the water taken to make charu, add appropriate tanginess in the form of tomatoes or tamarind and season accordingly with salt and red chili powder and one would never fail in getting the right taste---see that consistency of charu is thin.
Observe that we have not added any Charu Podi (RASAM POWDER) to make this charu---we do not require it also. This charu tastes amazing even without anycharu podi in it.
Especially when one feels tired, this recipe is easy to make and tasty to taste buds also.
When preparing dal in the morning, make some portion extra so that it can be used in making pappu charu in the evening.
This pappu charu can also be taken as a soup.
Remember to make it a bit extra as I am sure your family members ask for more servings.