Ingredients to serve for four:
- Bittergourd - 2 to 3 or if it is smaller variety - one cup
- Toordal - 1/2 cup
- Tamarind -lemon size or Tamarind paste 1 teaspoon.
- Channa dal - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
- Dried red chillies - 5 or 6 ( remove the stalks)
- Coriander seeds - 6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons)
- Urad dal - 1/2 teaspoons
- Coconut - 1 teaspoon
- Tomato - 1 (optional)
- Channa or Peanuts - 3 teaspoons.
- Salt to taste.
- Dissolve the tamarind in 1 and 1/2 cups of water and keep it aside. ( if you are using raw tamarind, dissolve using warm water, mash it with your fingers and filter to remove the debris and fibres)
- Clean the toor dal and put it in the cooker vessel.
- Add 1 cup of water and add the turmeric powder
- Pressure cook for 20 minutes ( till the dal becomes soft and mash able).
- If you are using Channa soak overnight and pressure cook else if you are using peanuts soak for 10 minutes.
- Using a spoon oil, fry the red chillies, coriander seeds,urad dal, channa dal,coconut and grind them to a fine paste.(Optionally, you can add one tomato while grinding. This will give color as well as flavor. But traditional rasavangi will not contain tomatoes.) Keep aside.
- If you are using the bigger variety, cut the bittergourds into slices. The smaller variety (which is called midhi pavakkai and very tasty and less bitter) can be slit into half and used.
- Pour two teaspoons of oil in a skillet ( kadai). Put the mustard seeds. Wait till they splutter. Add the hing and the cut gourds.If you are using channa you can add the cooked channa here.
- Add tamarind water.Add salt. Let this boil for 10 minutes.Add the soaked peanuts if you are using them instead of channa.
- Add the ground masal and let it boil for a few minutes.Take out the dal, mash the dal with a hand churner or a thick spoon and pour this into the boiling pitlai.
- Add the curry leaves, Coriander leaves.
- Cook in a low flame till the smell of the dal disappears and the and you see the pitlai boiling with bubbles in them. It should be a little thicker in consistency than the regular sambhar.
- For more flavor you can add some more curry leaves at this stage.
This goes well as a gravy with plain rice or even as a side dish like 'kootu'.