Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mooga (Kulitha) Saar Upkari - Moong

Saar-Upkari is a typical dish combination of Uttar Kannada and Dakshin Kannada konkaniites. It is prepared from pulses - green gram or horse gram where curry and vegetable side dish (Upkari) are symbiotically prepared from each other.

This is a simple, no-pretense, comfort food for may konkaniites. No other curry and side dish combination go so well hand-in-hand :-)

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Fire content: 3/10


  • 200gms green gram (moong) or horse gram (kulitha)
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp mustard - for seasoning
  • 2 tsp oil - for seasoning
  • 4 garlic cloves - for seasoning
  • 3 spoons - coriander seeds - for the Saar masala 
  • 1 spoon Jeera - for the Saar masala
  • 6 red chillies -  for the Saar masala
  • 1 green chilly -  for the Saar masala 
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves -  for the Saar masala
  • 6 tsps - grated coconut -  for the Saar masala
  • 5 tsps - thick tamarind pulp
  • marble sized jaggery


  1. Pressure cook the moong (or kulitha) with 7 times the volume of water. Approximately 5 whistles.
  2. After pressure cooking, separate the liquid and the cooked moong into separate vessels. 
  3. The liquid will be used to make a dilute gravy and the cooked moong will be made a side-dish.
  4. Upkari - Season in a little oil - mustard, red chilli, curry leaves and garlic - add the boiled moong with the grated coconut. Heat and mix for 5 minutes. Your side-dish upkari is ready.
  5. Saar / Curry - Season 2 spoons of oil with mustard, curry leaves and garlic - add the onion and fry till translucent.
  6. Fry and grind in a mixie the 6 items marked as "for the Saar masala" above.
  7. Add this masala to the fried onion - add tamarind pulp - add the liquid separated from moong and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Enjoy with hot rice!

Prawn Pepper Fry / Dry - A Kerala-Konkan delicacy

This is a veritable Kerala-Konkani classic recipe - a dry dish of prawns cooked with freshly ground black pepper. Maybe because both prawns and pepper are adored and available in plenty in this region, the two are married together in this dish. Simple and delightful.

If you want to know how to clean and de-vein prawns, check this YouTube video.

Cooking time - 15 mins
Serves - 2 or 3
Heat factor - 6.5 on 10 (on a Konkan palate)


  • 250 grams Prawns - Cleaned and De-veined - you can retain the tail and legs - looks great
  • 3 tsps Pepper powder - Freshly ground - (tip - with mortar and pestle if possible)
  • 50 gms Ginger + Garlic paste (if you don't have paste - about 8 cloves of garlic and 1 inch of ginger)
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tsp - Red chilly powder
  • 1/2 (half) spoon turmeric powder
  • 4 tsps - cooking oil of choice
  • 3 spoons - coconut gratings
  • 15 curry leaves  
    1. Marinate the prawns with chilly powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt - longer time the better (minimum 30 minutes).
    2. Smash the green chillies finely with salt and the ginger garlic paste. Ideally use a pestle-mortar again.
    3. heat oil in a pan and fry onions and curry leaves until onions are reddish brown - 
    4. Add the chilli/ginger/garlic mixture and fry for 2 minutes on a medium flame
    5. Add prawns now and a little water (about 5-6 spoons)
    6. Close pan with a lid - keep on a small flame and allow to steam for about 7-10 minutes. Occasionally stir. When the prawns are reddish brown stained- they are ready.
    7. Add coconut about a minute before you remove from the flame.
    8. Enjoy as a side-dish with rice and some fish curry!
      I was allergic to all crustaceans all through my childhood and twenties. Slowly grew out of it, one prawn at a time. Make sure you de-vein your prawns!

      Saturday, December 26, 2009

      Sukkile Sungata Kismuri - Dried Shrimp Mix - Shrimp Kosumburi

      This dish is one of my personal favorites. This is so incredibly simple to make and fantastic to taste. This dish like very few other evokes the feelings of the sea to me. Incidentally, these sun dried shrimps impart a highly desired taste - umami - called as the 5th taste. What more can one ask for?

      This dish is meant to be an accompaniment to (fish) curry and rice.

      sukkil sungat kismuri

      Serves - 4
      Preparation time - about 10 minutes

      Ingredients -

      1. A fistful of dried shrimp
      2. 1/2 (half) cup of freshly grated coconut 
      3. 1/2 (half) onion - medium chopped
      4. 3/4 (three-fourth) tsp - red chilly powder
      5. 1/2 (half) spoon tamarind juice
      6. Salt to taste
      sukkil sungat kismuri
      1. Without oil, dry fry the shrimps on a flat pan - low medium flame - for about 10 minutes.
      2. While frying, keep turning gently every couple of minutes. When done, allow to cool and gently break away the front crisp end - with your thumb and index finger. 
      3. Mix all ingredients with your fingers just before you actually eat. This dish is meant to be crispy and crunchy.
      4. Enjoy with rice and some curry of choice! 

      You may like to try these recipes too

      a. Delectable Kundapur CHICKEN CURRY
      b. Prawn Pepper Fry / Dry - A Kerala-Konkan delicacy
      c. Wet Masala Anjal Fish Fry - Konkani Mangalore Style
      d. #1 CLAM RECIPE - Kubay / Kubbe / Tisre Sukke - AWESOME CLAM GINGER MASALA

      Friday, December 25, 2009

      Dalitoy - Daalitoy recipe - Daali Thoi recipe - (The "lentil soup") - Everyday Konkani Delight

      I spent some time wondering what the first post recipe should be about... something fancy, fish or chicken, non vegetarian, spicy or flamboyant?

      After some thought - the answer was simple - I will start with "Dalitoy" - the quintessential comfort food for Konkanis everywhere. Dalitoy is a staple accompaniement to rice, usually served with some simple vegetable side-dish (upkari).

      The dalitoy recipe below is just the basic version for bachelors and first time cooks. There are about half a million different versions of this simple dish, but don't worry about it. Here it is:

      Serves - 4
      Preparation time - about 30 minutes

      Ingredients -
      1. Toor Dal (also called Lentils/English, Thogari bele/Kannada, Turchi dal/Marathi, Kandi pappu in Telugu) - 1/2 (half) cup
      2. 1/2 (half) spoon Turmeric (haldi) powder
      3. 6 green chillies
      4. 3 red chillies
      5. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds - for seasoning / tempering
      6. 2 tsps oil - for seasoning / tempering
      7. 2 sprigs Curry Leaves - for seasoning / tempering
      8. Hing (also called asafietida) - 1 small chickpea sized - for seasoning / tempering
      9. Salt to taste
      1. Wash the Toor dal thoroughly - twice.
      2. Pressure cook dal, turmeric powder and green chillies with about 1 litre of water - until soft.
      3. Optional and recommended- you can mash the dal with the flat end of a cup - this makes the curry more thicker.
      4. Remove from cooker and heat in a seperate vessel - adjust consistency and add salt to taste.
      5. Heat the oil seperately - add the Hing, curry leaves, red chillies. Be careful not to burn it.
      6. Add the seasoning to the dal.
      7. Enjoy with rice and some upkari of choice! Tastes awesome with a spoon of Ghee (clarified butter)
      Tips and Other variations
      • You can add 2 chopped tomatoes to the pressure cooker - gives a nice tangy taste.
      • Seasoning - can be done with onion and garlic instead of Hing. But never use both garlic and hing together - as they both are strongly pungent.
      • Mom's secret ingredient - Add 2 spoons of dried Kasoori Methi leaves just before seasoning - imparts an unbeatable new flavor to the curry.