This dish has many, many memories attached to it. On our annual trips to Goa, we couldn't eat fish until we had visited all temples. And it invariably used to be a short trip because we had to head to my uncle's home soon after. So consider this
seafood lovers + seafood paradise + (4 to 5 temples x 1-2 rituals each) - no seafood = really cranky seafood lovers!!
I am exaggerating of course. It wasn't that bad. Contrary to popular perception Goa has amazing vegetarian fare to offer and we didn't feel deprived at all. I remember we used to eat this peas curry with freshly baked buns and it was sheer bliss! Goa's bread deserves a post of its own. Poetry can be written on the subject and it would still not be enough.
This curry is an example of how legumes are cooked in the region of Malwan/ Goa. Roasted coconut, use of whole spices like cinnamon & cloves and the distinct lack of bedgi chillies sets this cuisine apart from its Kanara counterparts (though there are exceptions on both sides, so no angry emails please!).
The recipe is a specialty of my mother's side and my 'mausi' (aunt) especially excels in making it. When family get togethers had to be strictly vegetarian, 'hirvya vatanyachi amti' was the unanimous choice. Only my aunt insisted on calling it 'popti vatanyachi amti' (parrot green peas curry)!
HIRVYA VATANYACHI AMTI (Green Peas Curry) (serves 2-3) 1 cup dry green peas* 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped 1/2 tsp tamarind paste or 3-4 kokum salt to taste Masala - 1/2 tsp oil 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds 5-6 peppercorns 3-4 dried red chillies 1" cinnamon 2 cloves 3/4 cup grated coconut remaining 1/2 of onion, sliced Seasoning - mustard seeds curry leaves asafetida oil
Soak green peas in water overnight. Drain and add just enough water to submerge. Combine with chopped onion and cook until soft (but holding their shape). Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet and roast the coriander seeds, chillies, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Set aside. Add sliced onion and coconut and roast till golden. Grind everything to smooth paste with a little water.
Heat a sauce pan with oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafetida. Add cooked peas and masala. Adjust consistency of the curry with water and still until everything is well combined.
Add tamarind/ kokum and season to taste. Bring to a boil and serve with bread, or rice.
* You can use fresh green peas too, if you find the non sweet kind * This masala is very versatile; use it for 'chawli' (black eyed peas), 'moong' (green gram sprouts) and the other famous dish from the region - 'kale vatane' (dry black peas)
Monadarling.com is a Premier Internet Portal dedicated towards the South Asian Community in the United States and Canada. The aim of our Portal is to provide the South Asian community services and information rich content that adds value to our lives on an everyday basis. This may cover utilitarian functions such as Classifieds, careers to the more fun elements like coverage of all events, movies, ticketing and marketing events across the sub continent. We feature up-to-date and relevant articles on immigration & visa related topics. Our Lifestyle section contains information about living in the US and making the right choices for ourselves & our families towards health, wellness, food, travel, design and more.