Monday, December 10, 2007

Papleta Fanna Upkari

Finally, here comes a Konkani seafood dish without any coconut! It's a fiery dish. Fanna means tempering/fodni/vaghar/tadka/chonk and upkari means side dish. We make Fanna Upkari of Sungath(prawns/shrimp), Paplet (Pomfret) or bangda (mackerel). General rule of thumb is keep bigger and better pieces of pomfret/mackrel for frying or coconut based curries and use "less sought after" pieces for fanna upkari. :-) Same "funda" (or principle!) applies to the Kalputi.

My husband had not tasted Konkani cuisine before marriage. He really enjoyed eating Konkani food because it somewhat reminded him of Thai food that he had begun to enjoy after coming to US. He is not a big foodie, I mean, he will enjoy the food and that's it. Unlike me, he will never bother to think about the ingredients or guess the ingredients based on taste etc. Once when I was cooking "FannaUpkari", he happened to come to the kitchen. I wanted to make an authentic curry then, so I was using coconut oil. He just screamed! He had never ever seen coconut oil as a cooking medium before. He thought (& still believes!) that since I was out of oil , I started using the hair oil for cooking!:-) I tried my best to convince him that it's not the hair oil from the vanity but it's indeed a cooking oil from the kitchen pantry, but in vain! Oh well, he just couldn't get over the shock for a long time!

This is how we make it.

Paplet Fanna Upkari (Serves 4)
1 medium Pomfret cleaned and cut into pieces
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 big onion, very finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chili powder (or more the merrier!)
2 tsp tamarind pulp

1. Marinate the pomfret pieces with salt and turmeric powder. Refrigerate till ready to use.
2. Heat oil. Add chopped onion. Stir fry on a low flame till onion is deep brown, but not burnt.
3. Add chili powder. stir fry quickly. Add tamarind pulp and about 1/2 cup water.
4. As water comes to boil, add the fish pieces. Adjust salt.
5. Simmer till fish is cooked and the gravy has thickened.
6. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

1. The consistency of this gravy should be such that it should just stay put in one place! All I mean is not too thick not too thin consistency!
2. You can adjust the chili powder per your preference. However, to appreciate the taste, this curry needs to be fiery hot!
3. Traditionally, only coconut oil is used for this gravy.

Vee (of Past, Present and me) has an awesome recipe for Prawns Fannaupkari here.

This is my contribution to the grindless gravies event at When my soup came alive.


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