Radish is available in Tamil Nadu all through the year. I have already posted a Beef and Radish Curry recipe. The radish thuvaram (or fry) is a recipe I have taken from my family cookbook. I recall my mother making it very often. At that time I wasn’t too fond of it because the radish was fibrous. Now we get tender radish, and I’m beginning to love it.
In Thirunelveli vegetarian cooking, the word ‘thuvaram’ means adding a ground coconut masala to the vegetable and frying it. This is different from other fried vegetable dishes where only plain ground coconut or coconut scrapings are used. Many Tamilians may not even be familiar with this dish, and I hope it will be an interesting addition to your repertoire.
Radish is a vegetable that doesn’t boast even a single nutrient in significant amounts and only contributes a very strong flavour to the dish. This dish is something you eat only for your gastronomic pleasure 🙂
- 500g Mullangi (White Radish)
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ C diced Onion
- ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
- 2 T Vegetable Oil
- 1/3 C Coconut Scrapings
- 1 ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 4-6 Garlic Cloves
- Wash the radish. Use a light brush to remove the earth sticking to it.
- Top and tail the radish, and pare the skin.
- Dice the radish.
- Pressure cook the radish with the chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, and half a cup of water for 15 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a medium non-stick kadai or wok.
- Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the onion and fry till translucent.
- Drain a quarter cup of the cooking water from the radish and set aside.
- Add the radish and the rest of the cooking water to the kadai, and bring to boil.
- Mix the ground ingredients in the cooking water previously set aside.
- Pour this mixture into the radish.
- Stir well and cook for a few minutes till the radish is almost dry.
- Add the curry leaves. Stir once and remove from heat.
- If the radish has a lot of earth adhering to it, scrape off the earth using a brush.
- I always use Kashmiri Chilli Powder for its rich colour and mild flavour. If you are using any other chilli powder, use only half the amount.
- I use sunflower oil supplemented with rice bran oil because of its neutral flavour and cholesterol-lowering properties.
- Do not cook the radish with the masala till it is very dry. The garlic may get burnt, and it will give an unpleasant taste.