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!
|Prep Time||30 minutes|
|Cook Time||1 hour|
- 250 gm black pigeon-eyed peas (red pigeon peas / kali tori in Konkani, karutha thuvara in Malayalam)
- 100 gm tender green mango (or cucumber tree fruit of same weight)
- 50 gm salted tender bamboo shoots pre-soaked in water overnight (see note 1)
- 10 gm hot red chili powder
- 5 gm garlic cloves
- 15 gm salt
- 30 ml cooking oil
- 1000 ml water
- Wash and drain the pigeon-eyed peas. Put them in your pressure cooker and pour in the water. Secure the lid and set on high heat.
- As soon as you hear the first whistle, turn down the heat.
- Once you hear the second whistle, switch off the heat and let the cooker cool naturally.
- Once the steam has cooled and subsided, open the lid and check to see if the peas are cooked, by pressing one or two between your fingers. If they are still hard (these peas get stubborn with age), put the lid back and set on the stove again. Cook until you hear a whistle and then switch off to cool.
- Meanwhile, chop the mangoes into large pieces. Discard the seed (stone) and set the pieces aside.
- Crush the garlic cloves lightly and set aside.
- Cut the tender bamboo into large pieces and set aside.
- Open the lid of the cooker when it is sufficiently cool.
- Set a curry vessel on high heat. Pour in the cooking oil and tip in the crushed garlic. Stir continuously.
- As soon as the garlic is roasted (it will start turning dark brown), lower the heat and tip in the chili powder. Stir well to mix it in and quickly tip in the contents of the cooker.
- Add the mango pieces, the bamboo shoot pieces (or the banana pith pieces) and the salt. Turn up the heat.
- As soon as it starts boiling, lower the heat and cover partially with a lid. Stir occasionally and let cook for 10 minutes. Switch off the heat and cover with the lid.
- Your delicious tori bendi is now ready to serve. For added taste, you can let it rest for an hour or more. I usually make the tori bendi in the morning to let it rest and grow tastier by lunch time.
- Serve with a pile of hot rice.
- Please go through my article, Tender Bamboo in Konkani Cuisine for salting and unsalting instructions. If salted bamboo shoot is unavailable, please use banana pith of the same weight. The pith of yellow or red skinned bananas is excellent for cooking. Please avoid the banana pith of all robusta varieties as these are bitter.
- Vegetarians can try pouring a ladle of curd or buttermilk over the rice and tori bendi and enjoy the ensuing gourmet taste!
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Yummy! was in search of a bendi recipe and saw this post, nicely presented, hope to see more of your recipes.
Thank you so much, dear Simran! We are having a homestay now ( https://sharanyam.com ), so I am unable to find time to post new recipes. However, you can see many of my older recipes in my previous blog, https://mouthwateringfoodrecipes.blogspot.com/ .