In Tamil Nadu we extend mince dishes with either dried beans or peas, or with vegetables. Butter beans, also known as double beans, are added either in dried form or as fresh beans when in season. I have used dried beans in this preparation because it is commonly available in all food stores.
This recipe, created by my mother, counters the primary objection to bitter gourd – that it is bitter. The bitterness of the gourd is offset by the sweetness of the potato and coconut, resulting in a delicious combination of subtle flavours. It was always prepared as a side dish and was wildly popular in my family. I still remember my cousin visiting us when were children and eating the entire bowl of chips while he was playing carom with us. My mother felt highly complimented, not only because her preparation was such a hit, but also because he was my father’s sister’s son and my mother had been engaged in a long-term culinary contest with her sister-in-law 🙂
In Tamil, Urundai Kari means meatballs. The meatballs are either used in kozhambu (curry) or they are fried. In most families the curry and the fried balls are served in the same meal because of the labour that is involved in making these. The recipe I have used here is my mother’s and though I have arrived at the same taste, the method that I have used is suited to the modern-day lifestyle.
35 years as a working mother and homemaker made me realise the need for a wholesome meal that a tired cook could dish up easily, which would also be tasty and gobbled up by the family. I developed this recipe for working mothers as a quick, low-cost, and nutritious dish. Children who refuse to eat their veggies will hardly notice the vegetables in this 🙂