Friday, October 17, 2014

Root Veggies With Green Chile Pesto (Kerala Style Root Vegetables With Green Chile Sauce)

Sweet & Regular Potatoes with Green Chile Pesto
I call this dish Kerala boil ( Kizhangu vevichathu/puzhungiathu - boiled tubers or root veggies) - it is one of life's simplest of pleasures; just gather together just one or as many types of root veggies as possible for their delicious diversity. Add the traditional pounded green chile chutney made in minutes to complete the meal and ah - a meal to please the hobbit in anyone!! The green chile chutney is similar to chimichurri.

In Kerala, there are many varieties of root veggies which lend themselves to making Kerala Boil. The main traditional and inexpensive root veggie for this dish is Kappa, also known as marakizhangu or maracheeni (Cassava, Tapioca, or Yuca); but  Sweet Potatoes (both orange and cream colored), Chembu (Taro), and  various types and colors of  potatoes may be added for variety. The veggies are typically cut into thick cylinders known as chenda (drum). I do not limit it to starchy roots and tubers but love to add other veggies such as summer and winter squash, corn on the cob, carrots, etc. for a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. I not only boil the veggies but steam, roast, bake or broil too!

The recipe is very simple. Here I only had sweet potatoes (a couple each of both cream color and the orange color) and a few regular potatoes; time to go shopping, I know :)

If fresh curry leaves are not available, make the chutney with fresh cilantro; delicious!

Serves 4

4 - 5 lbs Assorted Potatoes & other Root Veggies
Sea salt

Clean the veggies by scrubbing and washing them. They may be peeled or not; cut into thick rounds. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a Tbsp of salt and add the prepared veggies.  Cook until tender, drain and keep hot.

Alternately, the veggies may be baked, roasted or even cooked over hot coals in a barbecue.

Green Chile Pesto/Chutney

2 - 3 green chiles, chopped (you may use more if you like)
2 stems Fresh Curry Leaves, chopped
3 - 4 Shallots or 1 small Red Onion, chopped
Sea salt to taste
3 - 4 Tbsp Coconut or Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pull the leaves off the stems of curry leaves and discard stems.

Pound green chiles, curry leaves and shallots in a mortar with a pestle until coarsely crushed. If you must use the food processor, please chop everything by hand first and then pulse just two or three times just to mix.

Add the salt and enough oil and mash a little to make a sauce.

Taste and add more oil to mellow out the taste of chiles and shallots/onion.

Coconut oil is traditional choice and is delicious; but good olive oil is very tasty also.

Serve spoonfuls of the sauce over the hot vegetables.


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