Choru (rice), a thoran (veggie with coconut), a mezhukkuperatti (stir fried veggie without coconut), a non veg dish and a chaaru (gravy) curry. This is the standard lunch menu back home. Even when I started cooking I also used to have the same menu. As the years passed on, there was a slight change. If you are expecting that the menu became more elaborate over the years, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m not sure whether I told you before…I actually dont enjoy making the normal rice & curry. It’s not exciting enough ;) However since I dont have any other option but to make it myself, I do it. I’m sure, I’ve told you that I’ve not yet mastered the art of cooking veggies, I mean the normal everyday stuff . Its not that they taste horrible or bad, but i always feel something is missing, may be it’s just my mindset. Do you feel the same or is it just me?
Now, before we go into something else, I’ll just tell you about this kovakka peera. Kovakka is one of the veggies I like. I usually make mezhukkuperatti (stir fry) with it. But when I saw this recipe, I was sure that I would like it. It’s almost like a meen (fish) peera. Meen peera is one of the typical Kerala dishes were you cook fish in a mixture of grated coconut, shallots, green chilly and gambooge (kudampuli). Usually its made with small variety of fish like kozhuva (anchovy)… (I forgot the names of others) and small size shrimp. Shrimp (chemmeen) peera is my fav one. Its been ages since I had this, so I thought, I’ll try it. Btw, I know some people who make meen peera without meen. It actually happens during Lent time :)
Please give it a try and see and I’m sure it will be a change from the usual veggie preparations. Here goes the recipe:
- Kovakka – 250 gms, cut lengthwise
- Green chilly – 4, slit lengthwise
Small onion – 6, finely sliced
Grated coconut – 1/2 – 1 cup
Jeera (cumin) – 1/2 tsp
Garlic – 1 – 1 1/2 tsp, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Gambooge (kudampuli)- 2 pieces, soaked in water
- Coconut oil
Crush the number 2 ingredients ( I mixed it well using my hands, njeraduka). Add the other ingredients to this along with 2-3 tbsp of water. Cover & cook on low fire. It will take 7-10 mins approx. Serve hot with rice.
Notes: It will take sometime for the flavor to set in, ideally it tastes better the next day. Check in between cooking and give it a stir. You can make meen (fish) peera also the same way. I’ve made this with canned tuna also and it was good. Omit jeera if you are making meen peera. Also try adding grated ginger for meen peera. ( a tip shared by Elizabeth, one of the readers)