sweet potato carrot & kale palya

21st January 2010

Palya is a Kannada (South Indian language) word for a dry side dish made with any vegetable or a combination of.  Palya is usually cooked in a dry heat which brings out the flavour of the vegetables; when the natural sugars in the vegetables caramelize and the flavour is concentrated. The vegetables are cooked with very little or no water added. Small pieces of uniformly cut vegetables – Julienne thick or thin, diced, finely shredded, or in thin diagonal slices – are sautéed in a little ghee or oil in a heavy bottomed pan until they are partially cooked and browned. When using vegetables like sweet potato, potato, beetroot or eggplant, I usually sprinkle them with a little water and cover with a lid, and cook on low heat for 5 mins to soften them.

This is a photo of my sweet potatoes which I dug up the other day. Unfortunately, they look a little worse for wear but their taste is so sweet and delicious. I have had to come up with many dishes to use them in. This palya is a good one!

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These are some of my favourite palya combinations :

– Julienne sliced beetroot, small broccoli leaves and kale

– Julienne sliced carrot, yellow and green beans (I love the vibrant colours of orange, yellow and green)

– Cauliflower, potato and peas (lightly steam the potatoes and cauliflower beforehand)

– Julienne sliced cabbage, crumbled tofu and thinly sliced carrot

– Grated carrot and mung beans (as in the easy sprouting recipe)

– Donna came up with a nice combination of tofu, mung bean sprouts and grated sweet potato which she will share with you at a later date.

I served this with mung beans with Indian spices & lemon and brown rice.

sweet potato carrot & kale palya

ingredients :

1 Tblsp ghee

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp rasam powder

1 small-medium sweet potato, cut into thin Julienne pieces

1 large carrot, cut into thin Julienne pieces

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

¼ cup dried shredded coconut, or fresh if available

100g kale thinly sliced, – or use any green leaves. I sometimes use a combination of spinach, kale and small broccoli leaves from the garden

salt to taste

fresh coriander leaves, chopped

preparation :

Heat the ghee or oil in a large, non-stick frying pan on medium heat.  Add the mustard seeds and fry until they pop. Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to darken, add the rasam powder.  Fry for a few seconds, then add the carrot and sweet potato.  Mix well until the vegetables are well coated.  Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins, stirring often over low heat or until the sweet potato softens.  If you feel the mixture is too dry, you can sprinkle it lightly with a little water.  When soft, add the jaggery and coconut, mixing well.  Add the kale and continue cooking on low heat for a few minutes, stirring often.  Turn off heat and leave covered for 10 mins, or until the kale has wilted.  Add the coriander and salt to taste.

Enjoy!!!!

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Shared goodness from Stacey

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