Southekayi (also written as ‘southekai’) is in local Mangalorean languages, a term given to the field marrow. It goes by several names such as yellow cucumber, Mangalore cucumber, Malabar cucumber & Madras cucumber too. In Kannada, ‘huli’ technically means ‘sour’ but the term is also synonymous with a light, watery curry preparation (sambar) that is popularly made along the coast of Karnataka. While the curry base for this recipe calls for coconut too, the recipe I referred to did not have any. Instead, a spice blend is used to make this curry. Earlier this week I had shared the recipe of the ‘Huli Pudi‘. The advantage of this is that you can make a batch of the powder and refrigerate it and use it whenever you want to make a quick sambar without having to grind fresh masala (which is a must if you use coconut). This Southekayi Huli recipe calls for cow peas which are also called as ‘red chawli’ or brown ‘alsande’. These are just a smaller version of the black eyed peas that are probably more famous. Since I had a pack with me I was on the lookout for a recipe and I found just the right one.
I have adapted the recipe from Jaya V Shenoy’s cookbook ‘Dakshin Bharat Dishes’ which has a lovely collection of vegetarian dishes. Most of the recipes are written in units of measure that were popular a few decades ago and so may require intermediate cooking skills to decipher them and adapt according to today’s cup measures. I have done just that. The result was something beautiful. The sambar goes perfectly with boiled rice and some fried fish on the side. If you wish to make it as a side to idlis, you may skip the cow peas.
Southekayi Huli is a Sambar that is famous along coastal Karnataka, made with field marrow (yellow cucumber). Cow peas or black eyed peas may be added to it. Tastes delicious with piping hot rice!
- 400-500 grams field marrow/yellow cucumber southejai/mogem
- 3/4 th cup cow peas red chawli, washed & soaked for 8-12 hours
- 1 green chilli slit (deseed to tone down the spice if you wish)
- 2-3 teaspoons grated/powdered jaggery adjust to taste
- 1 marble size ball of tamarind soaked in 2-3 tablespoons of water
- 3 teaspoons huli powder (adjust to taste) recipe on the website
- salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
Discard the water in which the cow peas were soaked. Refresh with fresh water once and transfer to a pressure cooker. Add enough water to cover the peas, add salt to taste and pressure cook on a full heat for 2-3 whistles or till tender. Transfer the cooked peas into a bowl and retain the cooking stock (the water) in the cooker.
Wash the field marrow, cut into half (lengthwise) and remove the pith and seeds. There is no need to peel it. Cut again into cubes and add these to the cooker. Add a little water if required, the green chilli and pressure cook on a full heat for 1 whistle. Let the cooker cool down again before you open it.
Extract a thick juice from the soaked tamarind and add the spice blend (huli powder) to it. Transfer this mixture to the pressure cooker and bring the curry to a boil. Adjust the spice, salt & tamarind accordingly. Add the jaggery too. You should be able to taste a fine balance of sweet-sour-salty-tangy. Turn off the heat
In a small pan meant for seasoning, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and when they stop spluttering, add the curry leaves and fry them for a few seconds. Pour this into the prepared curry and cover the pan immediately.
Serve hot with rice
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