When it comes to a favourite spice, its a difficlut choice, since I like most of the spices, but Teppal or Sizchuan pepper as it is known definitely tops my list.
It is very commonly used in Konkani cuisine. During season, people collect it and try to use the fresh spice as much as possible. It is also dried during this season and made ready to stock up for the rest of the year. So a Konkani household will mostly forever have stock of this spice. This is what dried Teppal looks like. It has a black seed inside which is removed and not seen in this pic.
Teppal has a very strong pungent and peppery taste. The spice is just used in dishes for its flavour but cannot be bitten into or eaten. One has to pick it out from the dish and keep it aside. If bitten into by mistake, you will be really sorry, coz it leaves a very strong burning kind of sensation and flares up the tongue. So, though you will love the unique aroma and flavour that this spice imparts to the dish, be sure to remember to pick it out from your dish while eating and not bite into it :)..
Teppal is used in a whole lot of curries and dishes, from vegetarian to fish. But today, I will share with you a very simple potato curry that we make and which is called Talasani..
Potatoes, cut long like french fries - 3 medium
Teppal/Sizchuan pepper - 7-8 pieces
Red chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - small lemon sized ball. ( Soak this in water and once soft squeeze out all pulp from it. Alternately, use ready to use tamarind extract ).
Salt - to taste
- Slightly crush the Teppal/Sizchuan pepper with a pestle, and soak it in very little water. Keep aside.
- In a pan, heat little oil, put in the cut potato pieces, saute for a while.
- Add the soaked Pepper pieces alongwith the water, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, tamarind water, and salt and mix well.
- Add little water, cover the pan and let the potatoes cook till done but not mushy.
- Once done, the dish should be dry and not watery.
- Serve hot as a side with rice and a curry.
Note : You can either cook this without adding any water or the way I have mentioned here, by adding water. To cook without water, you will need to saute the potatoes in slightly more oil and then cover the pan and cook on very low heat till done.
The dish usually is made very spicy, and looks bright red in colour, but somehow, I didn't get the colour.
DO NOT eat the peppers. Pick them out while eating.
So, off this goes to Sunita...Thank- you for hosting and Congratulations on completing one full year with THINK SPICE Sunita..
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