To my mind, tendli’s most valuable asset is its wonderfully crunchy texture. Even cooked, it retains a deeply satisfying snap that I love.
I don’t cook tendli as often as I’d like to, chiefly because I don’t get a chance to make frequent trips to the Indian grocery store which is a fairly long drive away and which is the only place I can find it. Also, it is a little labor-intensive to prep the vegetable.
Still, when I do find it, I cannot resist this wonderful veggie. For this bhaji I cut the tendli into small rings. It doesn’t take that much longer, and it also helps cut the cooking time. Plus, it makes for a pretty presentation.
So here’s the recipe for my tendlichi bhaji. A simple, nutritious and easy recipe for a quick weeknight. Enjoy!
- About 3 cups tendli, washed, ends cut off, and sliced into rings
- 1 tbsp canola or any vegetable oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp udad dal (black gram dal)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tsp red chili powder like cayenne
- ½ tsp turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp grated coconut for garnish (Optional. I didn't have any on hand when I made the bhaji this time but it's a wonderful addition.)
- Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and then the udad dal.
- When the udad dal starts to brown, add the curry leaves and stir quickly. Add the chili and turmeric powders and stir for a few seconds.
- Add the tendli rings and stir well to coat.
- Add salt. Cover and cook on a low flame, adding water if necessary, about 15 minutes or until the tendli is tender enough to your liking.
- Garnish with coriander. Sprinkle some grated coconut on top, if using.
- Eat hot with rotis or as a side dish with rice and dal.
Also try my Cauliflower Sabzi, another side that goes beautifully with Indian dishes.
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