This is a dish that took me by surprise. It was served at a South Indian restaurant, where one expects the usual assortment of delicious vegetable sides to go with white rice and fluffy puris, the circular deep fried bread.
But the first bite left me totally amazed. Here I was thinking this is a vegetable, when it was actually the sweetest apple I had ever tasted, coated with a generous amount of coconut, mild spices, and a delicious coconut oil flavor. It was a treat. An unexpected range of flavors that worked so well together.
And if you're not a big apple fan, this is a wonderful, unusual way to try and change your mind.
- 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons split black gram
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 large red onion finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 cup scraped coconut flesh
- 2 small green chills (such as Thai bird chilis) slit lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon ground red chilli
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 medium red apples cores removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the black mustard seeds and the split black gram. Stir until they pop, about 1 minute. Add the curry leaves and step aside as they splutter. Stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned about 4 minutes. Add the coconut, green chills, chill powder, turmeric and coriander. Stir to coat the coconut with the spices and oil.
Add the apples, salt and water. Stir to combine. Cover with lid and allow to cook until the apple is tender, about 15 minutes. Serve as a side to an indian vegetarian meal.
Heavy bottomed lidded pan