Saturday, October 20, 2007

Moogan Ghasshi

My maternal grandmother, Amma was from Mangalore, South Canara. She used to grind all the masalas, batter for idli etc on her "Ragda". It is a stone grinder with a whole in between where you put the ingredients to be ground. and a big cylindrical stone is used to grind the masala in a clock-wise motion. I found this picture of Ragda on the internet.

Most of the vegetarian Konkani (South Canara) curries have a ubiquitous trinity of coconut, red chillies - preferably byadgi - and tamarind. The seasoning you use for tempering the coconut oil, decides the name of the curry. If the tempering is rai (mustard seeds), hing (asafoetida) and curry leaves, it is Ghasshi. If the tempering is finely chopped onions, it's Ambat. If it is garlic, then it's Koddel/Bendi. The masala remains the same, but just the tweaking of the tempering makes such a big difference. Gasshi and Ambat are on the milder side where as koddel/Bendi are fiery hot.

Today, I made Moogan Ghasshi - something we used to have on religious feast days when onion or garlic is avoided. It's one of my all-time favorite Konkani curries.

Moogan Ghasshi (Serves 4-6)
Ingredients
1 cup moog sprouts, boiled
salt to taste

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
3-4 dried red chilies
1 tsp tamarind pulp

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7 curry leaves

Method
1. Boil moog sprouts. If using pressure cooker, make sure to have only one whistle, else they will be overcooked.
2. Put moog sprouts in a saucepan. Add ground masala and about 1 cup water.
3. Let it boil. Add salt. Lower the heat.
4. Heat up a small saucepan. Add oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
5. As the mustard seeds splutter, add the entire seasoning oil to the Ghasshi. As soon as you hear "chrrrrrrrrr" sound, switch off the gas, and quickly cover the pot with a lid. This way the flavor of the tempering remains in the Ghasshi.
6. Serve with rice or chapati

Note -
1. Ghasshi can also be made with black chana sprouts. This Chana Ghasshi is traditionally served in many Konkani homes on Fridays.
 

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