Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bitter Gourd ~ Raw Jackfruit Curry With Sichuan Pepper.

Bitter Gourd ~ Raw Jackfruit Curry With Sichuan Pepper and Seasoned with Coconut Oil / Karate ~ Kadgi Teppal Ghalnu Randai Seasoned With Narlele Tela … A yummy spicy traditional Konkani Saraswat Dish with aromatic flavor of Teppal / Triphala / Sichuan Pepper … Goes very well with Red Boiled Rice / Rice …..

** Spicy curry with the addition of Sichuan Pepper / teppal is quite a common one in our GSB Konkani Saraswat Community. Prepared mostly in temples specially in Goa during festival periods. Teppal / Sichuan Pepper are found in plenty in Goa and are very aromatic. In temples or during festive season we do not add in onion or garlic to any of the dishes for spiritual reasons. We either season it with hing or mustard seeds and curry leaves or with teppal / sichuan pepper. The dish with the addition of this ingredient turns very aromatic along with coconut oil that is added to it. A unique taste that has to be enjoyed with hot steaming rice to know the exact taste as it is very difficult to pen down unless you experience it. Fully grown Teppal / Sichuan peppers are sundried till they are crispy and fully dried without trace of any water. They turn out blackish in colour when fully dried out. The center black seed and the stem should be removed and discarded before using the same. Once the masala is ground it is added on at the final stage and further ground till well blended and prepared as the curry paste OR coarsely ground with water only and strained and the water only is added to the curry. I am posting in a picture of teppal / sichuan pepper to enable you to understand exactly what it is as there are many names for this aromatic herb throughout the country. Do check in for the same. This herb is even used in the preparation of fish curries specially sardines and the dish really turns out yummy. 

** Konkani Saraswath Cusine as I have written many a times, is such a vast subject and there are thousands of recipes that I find myself not doing enough justice to the same. I am falling short in both experience and time at many a times. There are so many to-do-list in my mind that I get upset at times that I am not able to cope up with the speed of rolling time. But with the encouragement that I get through my friends here and the request messages for particular dishes lives up my mind and gives me the go ahead signal to do my best. In the process of learning and posting, I may at times miss out on small matters due to pressing time commitments. I would be highly obliged to all of you if you could let me know of any faults if you do come across which are never intentional. Do keep sending me those messages of requests for more of Authentic Amchi / Konkani Saraswat Food Recipes. I will try my level best to oblige by cooking and posting the same. I do understand with the passage of time liking have changed and our children are more enjoying world wide foods. But one should always make an attempt to hold on to roots be it in value of culture or food. And the onus lies on us parents to do so. So please do introduce our food in your home and enjoy them with family and friends. 

** Wash and cut 2 large sized karlea’s / bitter gourds into 1/3 inch size rings. You may scrape the outer rough skin on the karela’s if you find them too bitter to consume. You may also remove the inner seeds if you wish. You can also  apply salt to the karela's after cutting them into pieces and leave them aside covered and then wash off the with water. It removes the bitterness to a great extent. But frankly I neither scrape the outer skin or remove the seeds nor the apply salt and wash. I just slice them and use them as it is. I strongly believe the taste is as one adapts it. Also nature has provided each vegetable in its own unique way for consumption for health benefits. I do not believe in tampering of the same. However, you free to follow any method you wish to. 

** In my locality we get the raw jackfruit all cleaned and cut into huge chunks while purchasing. But if you don’t get it, just slice off the spiked skin portion of the jackfruit and the center pith and then cut them to pieces. See to it that you oil your hands and the knife as jackfruit is sticky and has a rubber like liquid oozing out while cutting the same. Cut them into pieces, wash well and keep them ready aside. In all you will need about 200 gms of cut pieces. 

** Put the cut raw jackfruit pieces in a pressure cooker pan in a layer. Now top it with a the karela pieces. Add in enough water for cooking of the two. Pressure cook to one whistle only. It does not take much time in cooking and we don’t want it too mashed up. So plz. be careful while adding the water. About 2 cups is more than enough. Let the pressure drop on its own. Once able to open the lid, do so and allow to cool a little bit. Once it has cooled down add the veggies into a thick bottomed vessel.

** For Masala : Grind to a smooth paste 2 cups of freshly grated coconut along with 8-10 red kashmiri chillies and a small marble sized tamarind with little bit of water. You can use the cooked water from the pressure cooker for this purpose too. The paste should be very smooth. Once done add in about 8-10 teppal / sichuan pepper and further grind till done. This is one method, the other method is to grind the teppal / sichuan pepper separately in water and then sieve it. Use the sieved water while grinding the masala. You may choose any method that suits you. 

** Note : The addition of teppal / sichuan pepper depends upon how much aromatic it is. If too strong use less and vice versa. The older the shelf life of the teppal the less aromatic it becomes and you may have to add in more while newly dried once are more aromatic and you may need to add in less. Also it depends again upon individual liking as some prefer lightly perfumed dish while some prefer it with strong smell. So use your judgment while adding in the teppal to be precise. With experience you will learn to adjust the same. Also remember to snip off the stem and the center black seed from the teppal before grinding. 

** Add in the ground masala and salt to taste to the cooked ingredients and mix well. Add in water to bring the gravy to a thick pouring consistency. The consistency should neither be too thick nor too thin as it is to be served with rice. Off course you can enjoy the same with roti / bhakri etc. But this one really goes well with rice. Now bring all to a boil. Once the curry comes to a full boil, lower the heat and simmer the curry for 5 more minutes. Meanwhile check in the water consistency and add more if required as once you boil the curry, it tends to become thicker. Lastly add in a large tablespoon of fresh coconut oil as it is into the curry and mix well. Remove from fire and keep it covered tight with a lid aside for the flavours to seep in properly. Say for about 10-15 minutes. Serve the curry hot with rice or any other dish of your choice. 

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