Athalakkai in Tamil(Momordica cymbalaria- botanical name) / Kaasara Kaaya in Telugu, Karsikayi in Kannada, Kattupaval in
Malayalam and in Marathi it is known asKadavanchi, Kuduhunchi.


Athalakkai looks very similar as small bittergourd but, both are very different in shape and taste. South Indian recipes like Poriyal(stir fry), fry, pulikulambu( tamarind gravy) and vadagam can be prepared with this vegetable. Check this wikipedia link to know more about this vegetable http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momordica_cymbalaria

This vegetable is very much common in our native. When we were kids my grandparents and few other close relatives used to send the fresh ones to us or bring it to us if they are visiting and some parts were cooked in salt water and sun dried and later used as a vathal/vadagam and had with rice and gravy or these sun dried vadagams itself were used in gravies or stir fry's.
So next time you see this fresh veggies, try to cook it fresh or sun dry them as vadagams and use it in your favourite fry's or gravies.

I will update this post with some picture of the fresh vegetable later but you can have a look at how the fresh vegetable will look like from this link https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Momordica_cymbalaria_fruits.jpg

Athalakkai - 1 kg
Water - enough for immersing
Salt - a handful

Clean and wash the fresh athalakkai. If needed can also trim the edges though not necessary.

Take a wide pan/vessel with lots of water and salt. Bring it to a boil. Add this veggie and half cook till they are soft.

Drain water and spread on a cloth or steel plate. Place under direct sun and sun dry for 1 - 2 days or check if they are crispy and fully dry or keep again for another day. Remove and store in a air tight container for late use.

Usually for sun dry items salt is added more than needed so that it does not get spoilt and can be used for many days. So when preparing any dish with it adjust salt accordingly.

9 comments/Reactions:

MyKitchen Flavors-BonAppetit!. said...

Very new recipe to me,my mom used to do Vadagam using Dried Brinjals,chillies,onions and others.Seems yumm and luv to try it soon.Thanks for sharing this.

Kalyani said...

very interesting & new one to me .........

Sravs said...

So new to me !! looks delicious !!

Ongoing Event - Festive Food

Aruna Manikandan said...

sounds interesting and new to me..
Thx. for sharing :)

Jaisy James said...

interesting one never seen this before thanks for sharing

chef and her kitchen said...

interesting one,never saw this

Savi-Ruchi said...

totally new for me. Keep it going Padma.

Priya Suresh said...

Quite a new vathal for me, seriously looks fabulous..

Padhu Sankar said...

Sounds new to me

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