Recipe for curry noodle bowl with dried prawns
I’ve been off my blog for many months now. I don’t have excuses but I have a few reasons. Mainly because I was out of a job and was on a job hunt for the most part. I’m still only doing work on freelance/consultant basis. It takes its toll on the mind. Without dedication and focus (and money), it’s hard to keep a blog up and running. But I’ve been feeling bad about letting this baby of mine take the back seat (more like take the trunk) entirely. Going forward, I’ll try and update a few recipes as and when I feel like it, which essentially means, whenever I am in a better mindset. Till then, follow me on Instagram where I put up pictures.
Recipe for thouthe koddel / Mangalore cucumber curry
Thouthe koddel is what I grew up eating. Grandma and mother would make it at least once a week. It’s spicy, sour and is balanced perfectly well with a little jaggery. Like most Mangalorean curries, this one too has a coconut based ground spice mix. Koddel can be made with many vegetables – ash gourd, okra/lady’s finger, Malabar spinach and others. But my koddel was made with Mangalore cucumber, also called Madras cucumber, Thouthe in Tulu and southe kai in Kannada. It is a part of the cucumber family and the texture is close to that of bottle gourd, but tastier. Ideally it shouldn’t be turned into mush. Thouthe pieces should hold their shape and form and have a bit of give when you bite into them.
Have you seen those red squashes in supermarkets that says kokum juice? It’s mostly made during summers at home because of its cooling properties. It is also great to relieve acid reflux. I recently bought some and used it in my mutton curry. It acts as a souring agent lending a touch of sweetness to the curry. All you need to do is soak the kokum in warm water for it to release its juices. Then add the whole thing to your curry. Even the kokum. It tastes great once the sourness has toned down.
When you’re in no mood to cook but have enough material to whip up something for dinner in just a few minutes and about two steps, it’s time for makeovers for leftovers. Remember my kori sukka from a few days ago? In that post I mentioned I was saving the curry for something else. Here it is. One lazy night I turned it into an egg gassi. I could have made it easier by just cracking open the eggs into the curry but I hard boiled a few eggs and dunked them in the gassi.
The last time I made bafat was with pork, a few months ago. This time I wanted it with mutton. Not only that, I wanted it smoked. Who doesn’t love a good smokey flavour, right? Thankfully, the ironing guy had his shop open right beside my house. I got a couple of pieces of coal from him and used it to smoke the mutton curry. It turned out pretty smacking good. The smoke sure did seep through the curry and into the meat. This was lunch, and by dinner the curry got even better. You can find the recipe for bafat powder here.
Mutton on the bone - 600 gms
Onions - 2 sliced
Green chillies - 2
Bafat powder - 4 tbsp (2 tbsp if you don't want it too spicy)
Tamarind pulp - 1 tbsp if it's a strong paste, 2 if it's juice from the pulp
Garlic - 4 cloves crushed
Ginger - 1 inch piece sliced
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
A katori (small bowl) and 2 tsp of ghee
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and saute sliced onions till lightly browned.
Add green chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute some more.
Now add the mutton pieces, bafat powder, tamarind pulp, salt and water just enough to cover the meat.
Put the lid of the cooker on without the whistle and when you see the steam escaping the nozzle, put the whistle on. Cook on high till the first whistle is out. Then cook on low heat for 15 to 20 mins.
Let the pressure drop on its own before you open the lid.
Now open the lid, place the small bowl with the hot coal in it in the centre and pour 2 tsp of ghee on it. It will immediately emit smoke and you need to put the lid back on. Let it sit like that for 15 mins. No need to move it else the coal might end up in your curry. Take the lid off and remove the bowl with the coal. Reheat before serving.
I served this with peas pulao. You could serve with plain rice, jeera rice or any other kind of rice.
I’ve completely gotten into this mode of cooking a proper vegetarian meal every night this week. Thankfully I had the ground coconut masala and cooked tur dal in the fridge already. All I needed to do was cook the vegetables and bring it together with the dal and masala. The cabbage palya barely took 7-8 minutes to cook, so it wasn’t an elaborate process.
The drumstick curry
Yield: Enough for 4 people
Drumstick - 2 medium ones cut into 2 inch pieces
Red shallots (sambar onions) - 7-8
Tomato - 1 quartered
Masala - 3 tbsp of previously ground masala + 3 dried red chillies + 3 cloves garlic + 1 tsp tamarind pulp all ground together
Cooked tur dal - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1 tbsp crushed
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind pulp water - 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves for garnish
Salt - to taste
Ghee/oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Cook drumsticks in water for 6-7 minutes or till it's slightly soft when you poke it with a fork/knife (I didn't know how else to check) and keep aside with the water it was cooked in.
Heat oil/ghee and add all the ingredients for tempering and let them splutter.
Now add the tamarind water and let it come to a boil for about 3-4 mins.
Add the masala and dal along with tomatoes and shallots. Let this bubble on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the drumsticks, salt and chilly powder.
Take it off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves.
The cabbage palya
Cabbage - 1 small, shredded
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Channa dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1-2 tsp (depending on how you like it)
Salt - to taste
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, channa dal and curry leaves. Let them splutter.
Add the turmeric and chilly powder.
Add cabbage and stir well.
Add salt and cook for 5 minutes. I like mine slightly on the crunchier side. If you want it to be cooked though completely cook it longer.
I served the curry and cabbage with rice and a side of yoghurt and mango pickle.