Beerakaya pappu is a andhra style dal recipe made with ridge gourd, tomatoes, toor dal & spices. Beerakaya translates to ridge gourd and pappu to dal or lentils. So beerakaya pappu is nothing but ridge gourd cooked with dal. Most andhra restaurants serve a variety of lentil dishes in the vegetarian meal like this beerakaya pappu. These dal dishes would be cooked with a vegetable, chilies and tangy tomatoes. Thus the dal tastes tangy, hot and tasty.
Most telugu speaking house holds prepare a lentil dish cooked with some veggies for their lunch everyday. This beerakaya pappu is one such dish that is made often.
These lentil dishes are super quick to make as it just needs dumping all the ingredients in a pressure cooker & cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Then a seasoning or tempering is done.
I have always seen my mom preparing all the lentil dishes in a pot in pot method where rice is cooked in one bowl and pappu in another bowl in the same pressure cooker.
For some reason I always make all my lentil dishes directly in a pressure cooker which saves a lot of time. However you can also make this beerakaya pappu following a pot in pot method and cook the rice in one pot & pappu in another.
Tips to make beerakaya pappu
1.Always use tender, young & fresh ridge gourd that has no seeds. This kind of gourd is sweeter and less fibrous so it tastes very delicious.
2. Experiment with different kinds of dal. Most andhra pappu recipes are made using only toor dal or kandi pappu. But I always love using little moong dal in all pappu dishes as it yields a thicker texture & is lighter on the tummy.
3.Andhra dishes are extremely spicy , garlicky and hot. But we do not eat very hot foods so I have used a moderate amount of all these. Feel free to add more chilies, garlic, red chili powder & tamarind.
4. I usually avoid green chilies & tamarind in most of my lentil dishes as these ingredients make the dal dishes very acidic.
So if you love simple dishes like me then skip both the ingredients and squeeze in little lemon juice before serving.
Traditionally most andhra pappu dishes are served with hot rice, ghee, pickle & vadiyalu (andhra style fryums).
Beerakaya pappu goes well with rice, chapathi or phulka too.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Talimpu for beerakaya pappu
- 1 tbsp Oil or ghee
- 2 sprigs curry leaves fresh
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- ½ tsp mustard
- ¼ tsp cumin or jeera
- 1 pinch hing or asafoetida
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 red chilies broken
- ½ tsp red chili powder (optional)
How to make the recipe
How to make beerakaya pappu
- Wash the ridge gourd well and peel the skin. Cube it to 1 inch pieces.
- Add dal to a pot or pressure cooker. Rinse it well a few times and drain the water. Pour 1½ cups water.
- Then add ridge gourd, onions, green chilies, tamarind, tomatoes & ginger garlic paste. Cover with a lid.
- Pressure cook for 3 whistles if cooking in a pot in pot method. I usually cook directly in the cooker for 2 whistles.
- Once the pressure reduces. open the lid & mash the dal to smooth. Add turmeric and salt.
- Adjust the consistency by adding water if desired. Bring it to a boil if you add more water.
- Heat oil in a pan for tadka. Add red chilies, mustard, and cumin when they begin to splutter, add garlic and curry leaves. Fry till the curry leaves turn crisp. Add hing & red chilli powder.
- Quickly mix & pour this over the dal. Off the heat and mix well. Serve beerakaya pappu with rice ghee and pickle.