For me, tori bendi is an irresistible traditional Konkani curry which is associated with many sweet, unforgettable memories, some of which, I must share with you today. I was just 19 when I got married, and was quite thin at that time. At my husband’s ancestral home, I was received with great affection by my in-laws, who loved me as their own. Sensing my weakness for spicy, tangy curries, my mother in law would often prepare delicious tori bendi, the thought of which, even now, makes me drool!
She would lovingly serve me rice and tori bendi with her own hands, often pressing me to have second and third helpings. When she wasn’t present, my husband took it upon himself to pour a little extra curry onto my plate. He would then serve a bit more rice with a mischievous smile, saying, “You’ll need it to finish the curry”. Then would come another ladleful of curry “to polish off the rice”. This continued till I could eat no more! And I did eat a lot also because the rice and the delicious tori bendi were always accompanied by freshly deep-fried crisp hot chili papads (mirsange happolu).
Today, I relieved those nostalgic memories as I sat down to lunch with my husband and my children. We had rice and tori bendi with papads, chili papads, kirla bhojjo (deep-fried bamboo shoot patties), clove beans-potato stir fry, and fresh cowpea seed stir fry. Tori bendi, of course, was the star among them all.
Tori bendi, when prepared with green mango, and with salted bamboo shoots, tastes absolutely heavenly. All I need is hot rice, tori bendi, and chili papad for total satiation! Here is the wonderful tori bendi recipe for you. And by the way, tori bendi tastes even better the second day! Enjoy!
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