Wednesday, 28 December 2011




     1)    Bitter gourd – 125 gm.

     2)    Cucumber tree fruit – 125 gm.

     3)    Taro rhizome of elephant ear plant called monday in Konkani and chèmbe in Malayalam – 150 gm.

     4)    Potato – 125 gm.
     5)    Tender long cowpea beans – 2 Nos.

     6)    Hot green chili – 1 no.
     7)    Red hot chili powder – 2 teaspoons
     8)    Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
     9)    Salt – 1½ teaspoons
     10)     Water – 500 ml.
     11)     Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
     12)     Coconut oil – 2 teaspoons
     13)     Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon
     14)     Split black gram lentils (urad dal) – ½ teaspoon

     15)      Asafoetida powder – 2 pinches
     16)     Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
     17)     Jackfruit seeds if available – 100 gm.

To Cook:

          Split open the bitter gourd and remove the seed core. Chop roughly to medium sized pieces in the shape of your choice (see note).

          Peel the taro rhizome and the potato and chop roughly to pieces. Cut off the tip with the stem from each of the cucumber tree fruit and cut them lengthwise into 2 halves. If jackfruit seeds are in season, remove their translucent plastic-like skin coat and cut the seed lengthwise into 2 halves.

          Cut off the tips of the tender cowpea beans and cut them across into 4 cm. pieces. Pluck off the stem of the green chili and cut it once lengthwise and once across into 4 pieces. Pluck the curry leaves from their sprigs and set aside.

          Set a 2 litre pressure cooker on the stove. Pour in the coconut oil and throw in the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds are about to finish popping, tip in the split black gram lentils. Stir till they turn golden brown and then tip in the fenugreek seeds. As soon as they start spluttering, tip in the asafoetida powder and the curry leaves. Stir once and pour in half a litre of water.

          Tip in all the chopped vegetables. Sprinkle the chili powder, the turmeric powder and the salt. Put on the lid. As soon as you hear the first whistle, turn down the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and let cool naturally. The residual steam within the cooker will slowly cook the curry to perfection.

          Once the cooker is cool enough to open, the teek umman is ready to serve. Serve as a side dish to rice or as a dipping curry for machkat, dosas or roasted idlis. You will love this special curry which is so full of goodness.


     1)    There is no hard and fast rule with regard to the chopping up of all the vegetables since the chopping size varies from chef to chef. So also, the ingredients may vary provided that a sour vegetable is compulsorily included along with the rest of the vegetables. The commonly used sour vegetables are cucumber tree fruit, star fruit and tender mango. The tender mango happens to be the best of the lot owing to its superior flavor.

     2)    Traditionally, this curry is prepared not in a pressure cooker, but in a khadiyea colmbul (Konkani) or in a kallchatty (Malayalam) which is a vessel carved out of soft stone. The stone vessel stores up a good amount of residual heat and the curry goes on boiling even after it is taken down from the wood burning stove. The aroma wafting out from the khadiyea colmbul combined with the flavor of the wood fire is such that you will find your mouth so full of saliva you could perhaps float a ship in!

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