Kadgi Sukke…Raw Jackfruit Curry

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So sorry Guys! I uploaded the photos thinking I will type in the post soon and poof, the modem conks out. Just had the “modem guy” come in and straighten things out. And, So the post comes in.

Raw jackfruit is a quintessential konkani ingredient. It is used as a star of the recipe like in this dish or as a subtle ingredient in a beans curry dish. Either way, it is found in every konkani kitchen. However, in my part of the world, the fresh ones are not available. I make do with the canned ones. I use the ones that preserved in water and salt only. No artificial preservatives. My rule of thumb for any canned veggies. The good thing about using them canned is you don’t have to struggle with cutting an actual raw jackfruit which is full off a sticky sap that no ordinary soap can get rid off. Plus, they are cooked half way through which makes it a snap to make dishes like these ones. Just rinse them REALLY good.

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1 10 oz can of raw jackfruit, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 tsp Brown sugar or 1/2 golf ball size Piece of jaggery
Salt to taste

To be ground together, with water as required, into a coarse paste

3/4 cup Shredded coconut
2-3 Red Chillies, roasted in a little bit of oil
1/2 tsp Tamarind Paste
1 tsp Coriander Seeds, roasted in a little oil (maybe with the chillies)

Seasoning/Tadka

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
6-7 Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Good Quality Coconut Oil

Cook the Jackfruit in a cup of water, covered, till cooked through. A good indicator is, if it is mashed when pressed by the ladle, its cooked. Doesn’t take more than 3-4 minutes. Add the ground paste, Jaggery, salt to taste. Mix and cook till any liquid present is boiled away. In a seasoning pan, heat the oil, add mustard seeds. When they get crackling, add the curry leaves. Step away from the pan as they are going to sputter. When the sputtering stops, add it to the curry and immediately cover it. Mix the seasoning in before serving. Serve with rice and dal or with rotis. Enjoy.

Cauliflower Upkari (Cauliflower cooked with mustard seeds and whole chillies)

Cauliflower Upkari

When you are eating something as spicy and in-your-face (or should I say in-your-tongue) as Avre Bendi, the side dish has to be suitably subtle. Else, you risk having too many flavors, to enjoy any one of them. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Enter the upkari, the great konkani stir-fry.

This is just vegetables tempered with mustard seeds and dried red chillies cooked in a little water till done. Salt, of course and garnished with coconut gratings. If you have been following this blog, then you know by now that no konkani dish is finished without the addition of coconut gratings. After all, it is a coastal cuisine. Sugar or jaggery is added depending upon how bland or bitter the vegetable used is. However, with cauliflower, none is needed.

So on to the upkari….

1 cauliflower chopped into florets

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

2 dried whole chillies or a pinch of chilli flakes

salt

1 tbsp Coconut Gratings

Heat up oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. After they sputter, add the chillies/flakes and the cauliflower florets. Add salt, a little water. Cover and cook till the florets soften and water dries out.

Very simple and very delicious. Just a few things to be careful about. Add very little water since cauliflower cooks very fast and releases water during cooking. Don't overcook the vegetables. Just soften them enough and they are good to go. They go wonderfully with any spicy curry. In konkani cuisine, they are usually made to go with curry using beans or legumes and there, you have a complete meal….

Gatte ki Sabzi

I am so late for the JFI-Flour event, its ridiculous. But, as a fellow blogger just told me (I was late for her event,too), Life Interferes…I couldn’t just not post, so I am posting a recipe that was meant for that event, but could’nt make it in time.

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Gatte ki sabzi is an rajasthani dish that I used to have at my friends place when in college. I don’t remember any meal at her home that did not have this dish. This a totally desert dish, as in Rajasthan–Desert of India. There are no vegetables used, just besan dumplings(Gatte) that are used in its place, simmered in a curd sauce. Its tasted just amazing. I had tried a lot to replicate the flavors, but did not succeed until I found these two forums that gave a detailed description of how it should be made. Namely; eGullet and Another Subcontinent.

Though this dish is not the first name that comes to mind, whenever I am thinking of what to cook; Its right at the top of the I-want-something-different-today list. So without much ado, I present “Gatte ki Sabzi”…

For the Gatte

1 cup Besan/Chickpea Flour
1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Dhaniya Powder/Coriander
a pinch Hing/Asafetida
a pinch Haldi/turmeric
salt to taste

Mix everything together and form a tough dough using

1 tbsp Buttermilk at a time

Shouldn’t need more than 2 tbsp.

Knead for minute and roll it into a 1″ thick rope. Like so

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Besan Rope before boiling

Take

3 cups water

in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil. Put the coiled Dough rope into the boiling water carefully. Putting it in boiling water is important or else it will stick to the bottom of the Pot. Continue boiling till the rope rises to the top. Drain reserving a cup of the water. Cool.

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Dough rope after boiling

Cut across the rope to form 1/2″ circles. I sliced at an angle. (I have been watching too much Food Network).

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Sliced Gattes

Heat

3 tbsp Vegetable Oil/Peanut Oil/Canola Oil

in a wide pan. Add the Gattes in a single layer and brown on both sides.

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Pan-fried Gattes

Gattes are Ready.

Gravy

In a bowl, add

1 cup curds
1 tsp Red chilli Powder
1 tsp Dhaniya Powder/Coriander
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Amchur Powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Besan
1 cup of the reserved water from boiling the gattes

Mix thoroughly. Strain, if the besan forms lumps.

Heat in a wide pan, preferably the same pan you fried the gattes in,

2 tsbp Vegetable/Canola/Peanut Oil (Remaining from the frying)

Add, one after the other,

1/4 tsp Rai/Black Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
4-5 Curry Leaves
a pinch Hing/Asafetida
2 tbsp tomato paste

Fry till the mixture leaves oil. Add the curd mixture and the gattes and bring to a boil. Lower flame and simmer till the gravy thickens to desired consistency. Thicker, if serving with rotis/chapatis; thinner if serving with rice.

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Recipe source :
eGullet has a nice step-by-step recipe with photos.
Sangeeta from Another Subcontinent gives detailed explanation to prepare this dish.

Of ‘Maa ka Pyar’ and Gaajar ka Halwa ( And Beetroot, too)

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Two brothers; One a cop, the other on the wrong side of the law. Both brought up in poverty by their hard-working widowed Mother.

The cop tries to convince the other brother to surrender to the law while the gangster tries to convince the cop to join the other side.

Says the gangster to the cop : “Aaj mere paas gaadi hai, Bangla hai, Rupya hai. Tumhare paas kya hai?”
( Today, I have Cars and Bungalows and Money. What do you have?)

Says the Cop to the gangster (Drumroll, Please) : “Mere paas Maa hain aur maa ke haath ka bana gajar ka halwa hai”.
( I have Mother on my side and the Carrot pudding she makes)

For the uniniated, this is the scene from the movie “Deewar” which defines Bollywood, the hindi-language film industry of India. Of course, the carrot pudding part was my addition. The cop doesn’t say that in the actual movie. But hey, he just might have. See, the movie ends with the gangster dying, in the arms of his mother, reminiscing about her gajjar ka halwa (If i remember right. Or was it some other movie where Amitabh dies in the end?). See, every Hindi film protaganist talks about the love for his mother and her “gajjar ka halwa”. At least they did in the 70′s and the 80′s. Almost all movies, introduce the mothers character with her son walking into her kitchen with demands for that delicacy. I had always wondered why gajar ka halwa? Why not anything else? Now, I have a theory.

See, carrots are really cheap in India. So even the more poorer homes can afford to grate some carrots, add some sugar and make this dish. Secondly, most mothers probably thought,” Ok If this is what it takes for them to eat something healthy, then why not?. Eat on, bete(Son)”.Of course, its more healthier counterpart, Beetroot halwa, doesn’t really work. Because, you see, it just looks too healthy. All that fabulous color and you know that, that thing is good for you. How can something that healthy be your favorite food?. Besides, Can you imagine someone saying ,”Maa, tumhare shakunder ke halwe ki yaad aayi”. So, gaajar ka halwa, it was?

Do you agree? Or have you got any other theories? Lemme know…

Don’t discount the beetroot halwa, though. Its amazing served warm with a scoop of ice cold vanilla Icecream on top. Hmmmmmm……Hmmmmmm…Good!!!

For now, heres the recipe

2 cups grated Carrots/Beetroots, Whichever you choose to make.
4 cups Whole Milk
2 cups Sugar
A pinch green cardamom powder
1 tbsp Ghee
Chopped nuts of your choice

I cheat on the sugar part sometime. Add less of the sugar. But, 1:2:1 ratio of Carrots:Milk:Sugar is the ratio my Mom uses for all her veggie Halwas.

Put the carrots and the milk in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer and stir and simmer and stir and simmer and stir and simmer. Until the milk dries up. Basically, you are making khoya (Milk dried into its solids), but its gonna have all the delicious carrot/beetroot flavor in it. This takes about an hour. Once done, add the sugar, cardamom powder and keep stiring and cooking, till the sugar melts and reaches softball stage. Basically, the halwa starts spewing like a volcano spitting lava. Do I have to remind you to watch your hands while you are stirring this? Once it reaches this stage, add the ghee, stir once and take it off the flame. Serve warm. Stays good in the fridge for about a week, but mine never lasts that long.

This is my entry to Revathi’s FMR-Comfort Foods and ARF/ 5-a-day Tuesday at Sweetnicks

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