Wonderful entries of Mangala
This is one favourite recipe of all Konkani speaking people on the coast. Since kantola called as ‘Phagil’ is seasonal, all wait in anticipation for its arrival along with holy Ganesh Chathurthi and many communal and regional festivities. Traditionally there are many dishes made from kantolas, but we loved this one so much, that any instance we found them in the market, wanted all of it in the form of ‘phodi’ (deep fried slices) and so this is the only one I know to make. Luckily, this vegetable which belongs to the gourd family, although not at all bitter, is available in Singapore. It’s the bigger variety, with a great taste.
½ cup rice flour
2 tsp chilli powder or as per taste
Peanut sized aesofatida dissolved in water or aesofetida powder
Oil for deep frying
Cut each of the kantolas into 4-5 thin slices lengthwise, apply salt and keep aside for 15-20 minutes. In a bowl, mix the rice flour, chilli powder and aesofetida along with little water to make into a masala paste that isn’t watery. Drain the water from the kantola slices and mix them with the masala. Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry the slices. Drain over paper napkins, after frying. Spicy phagila podi is ready to savor.
It can be shallow fried also on a dosa pan. For this, the slices have to be lightly patted on dry rice flour or rava before frying. Fry on each side for 3-4 minutes. Other vegetables like small brinjal, ladies finger, bitter gourd, Suvarnagadde (Indian yam), raw banana, ripe banana (Nendrabale), gujje(tender jackfruit), are also used to make delicious Phodi.
Needless to mention of the popularity of fish and the ground coconut masala, Mangalore, the coastal queen of Karnataka promises pure satisfaction to taste buds looking for simple yet delicious food. What surprises the visitors most, are the unknown vegetarian recipes, again with basic coconut-chilli-tamarind masala that can create a variety of mouthwatering curries to go with Rice and ever popular ‘Dalithoy’ (Dal delicacy).
Having been brought up with these delicacies been cooked everyday, I never gave it much of a thought, it was just a part of living in an ancestral home with huge family, neighbours and visitors. After being caught in the mad rat race, presently, when my home is occupied by just 2, neighbours are aliens, and visitors are merely a scary thought, I now realize that my mother, aunts and grannys who practically lived their lives in the kitchen, were cooking bonds within families. I cannot reverse time hoping for ‘olden days’to return, but I do try to use cooking as one of the tools to keep my tiny family happy.
Here’s one of the everyday treats, ‘Sanna Khotto’
½ pav rice, soaked in water for over 2 hours
1 cup grated coconut
½ lemon sized deseeded tamarind
7-8 roasted red chillies
1 small piece of hing (asofetida) or powder
½ cabbage finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
Add the soaked rice, tamarind, roasted chillies, aesofetida along with little water in the mixer and grind into paste. The mix should not be watery. Add salt to taste. To this, add in the chopped cabbage and onion mixing well. Fill up greased idli containers with this mix using a spoon or with hand. Steam them in a steaming vessel, just like idli, for 15 mins. Open after the vessel has cooled for sometime, spicy Sanna Khotto is ready to serve. It tastes best when u smear a little coconut oil while serving.
This dish can also be made without cabbage and onion. Most times, when the masala for ‘pathrode’ is left without leaves to roll, Sanna Khotto is good solution. Some people also like to add toor dal in the mix. The same mix can also be used to make ‘Sanna Polo’ translating to ‘small dosa’ where it is spread in small circles on a dosa pan, with hand and fried on both sides for 3-4 mins.
This is the first time am ever posting any recipe. Thanks to SWC Karnataka, I was motivated. Having spoken so much on costal Karnataka and particularly Konkani dishes, definitely ‘Dalithoy’ cannot be left out. In good humour, ‘Dalithoy’ is considered as Konkana’s ‘Kula Devu’ or family God.
A comfort dal preparation to eat with rice.
½ Pav Toor Dal
Water – 1 ½ tumbler
Green chillies – 2-3 split at centre
2 Red chillies
Oil/ Ghee 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds and curry leaves for seasoning
Hing (Aesofetida) powder- 1 tsp/button sized piece melted in water
Salt to taste
Pressure cook the washed toor dal for 2 signals. Keep the cooker on low flame for 5 mins after the signal has gone off. Churn the dal or mash with the back of the spoon, add green chillies and salt. Add a little water depending on how thick/watery as per need and let it boil. Meanwhile prepare the seasoning by heating the oil/ghee, add mustard seeds and once they splutter add the curry leaves and red chillies. Add this to the dal and let it boil for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the aesofetida powder in the dal and mix well. Super Dalithoy is ready to serve with white/ parboiled rice.