Gabbe Hullela / Plantain Stem Curry ......... A delicious side dish curry that goes well with Dal-Rice or Roti ........ Heullela is a dish prepared somewhat in chutney style with added veggies ........
Hullela is a famous GSB Saraswat Konkani Amchi dish. This is really simple to make and I would call this dish a sort of cross between chutney and salad. Salad because the vegetable is mostly cut and added to the masala mostly uncooked. But since Gabbo / plantain stem if not very tender tends to leave out threads it is pressure cooked to one whistle befor adding in to the masala. The masala again is ground like the way we do for chutney and is added to the vegetable, mixed and seasoned. The masala here is not cooked. But then again this dish should be served prepared and served immediately at room temperature as it gets spoilt / fermented if kept for few hours as it is not heated. You can keep the same in the fridge and then keep it out for an hour before serving to bring it to room temperature too. The same dish is prepared with cucumber by and large by all Amchies and is the most famous one by the name Taushe Hullela ie Cucumber curry. Preparing the same with plantain stem is an age old and traditional recipe lost in the mists of time. This dish is really simply and awesome one, so if you are able to get plantain stem in you vicinity, do try out this dish.
** Cut a 6 inch in length of cylindrical piece of gabbo / plantain stem vertically into four pieces and then slice them into thin 1/3 inch slices with a sharp knife. If you use a very sharp knife for cutting then there will be lesser wastage of threads that leave out through the sides when cutting. As you cut them to slices, you will find there are threads coming out of the cut pieces plantain stem, these should be discarded. The final cut pieces should have no loose threads hanging out of them.
** You will have about 3-4 cups of cut pieces. As you cut them put them directly into the water, as they tend to get blackened immediately. Leave them in water till the time of cooking. You can chop them into small pieces too if desired. I like the quartered cut pieces as you get to enjoy them better than small ones. You may choose as you wish.
** Put the cut pieces in pressure cooker pan with little bit of water just enough to cook them, ie they should be just about immersed in the water and pressure cook on medium heat for 2 whistles. Let the pressure fall on its own. Once cool enough, open the lid carefully, stay away and let the steam pass off. Now allow the cooked pieces to cool completely and come to room temperature. If they turn brownish, do not despair, they are edible and can be consumed without worry.
** For Masala : Grind to a fine paste 1 cup freshly grated coconut, 1 red chilly, 2-3 green chillies, marble sized tamarind, ½ inch piece of ginger. When the paste is almost done add ½ tsp of mustard seeds and grind for another minute of two. Remove the paste and keep it aside ready till needed.
Now add the prepared masala, ½ inch grated ginger, 1-2 chopped / slit green chilly and salt to taste to the cooked gabbo / plantain stem and mix well. This is a semi dry curry. So add in water only if necessary.
For tempering: Heat 1 tsp oil in a kadai. Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and when they begin to splutter add 7-8 curry leaves and pour this over the gabbo / plantain stem curry – heullela. Mix all well and serve immediately.
Note: This dish is not heated. It has to be served immediately. It will get fermented if kept at room temperature for long time. However you can keep the same for a few hours in fridge and bring to room temperature when serving. However it is recommended that it be served immediately.