In Delhi, we used to buy this plant/creeper by its Bengali name "Pui Shak". I believe it's also pretty popular in Vietnam, China and other far-eastern countries. I have seen it in sold in Indian shops in UK and US too.
Apparently the luscious growth of this plan in the Konkan area is due to its being fed with water used to clean the fish being prepared to cook :-)
There are a few popular varieties to making this ambat - and I present my favorite - the one with dal.
Time to prepare: 40 minutes
Ingredients for Vaali Ambat:
- 1 cord of Vaali Bhajji - cut into 2 inch pieces, leave leaves whole if medium sized.
- 1 loose fist of Toor dal (Thogari bele in Kannada)
- 1 cup - coconut gratings
- marble sized tamarind
- 5 - 6 red chillies - seperately roasted
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (aka sasive in Kannada) - for seasoning
- 2 tsps - cooking oil of choice - for seasoning
- Pressure cook the toor dal until soft.
- Grind to a fine paste - coconut, tamarind, red chillies.
- Add toor, vaali bhajji, ground masala - a little water - bring to a boil
- Season with the mustard seeds,
- Enjoy with hot rice!
- Dried shrimps are added to this curry to make the "Ghanshe" - a delicacy
- seasoning can be done with roasted garlic too - will taste great.