This is a quintessential konkani recipe. It is a very popular dish prepared during special occasions as it doesn't have onions or garlic in it. Also no function or ceremony would be complete without this dish. Growing up, I was never really fond of this dish, but of course, now, I love it.
This dish has very unique flavors from the roasted coconut, varieties of spices roasted in oil, and the sweetness from jaggery and sourness from tamarind, and the toasted sesame seeds complements all the flavors making it an unique dish.
Typically, this dish is prepared using Winter Melon or Ash gourd. However, you can also prepare this using pumpkin, zucchini or cucumber, and it tastes equally great.
Ashgourd/Winter melon peeled and cut into cubes about 2 cups
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig/5 to 6 leaves
Cooking oil about 4 tsp
Salt to taste
Tamarind 1 medium sized lump
1/2 tbsp jaggery
Salt to taste
Coconut gratings about 1/2 cup
Fry the below items in 2 tsp oil:
Coriander seeds 1 tbsp
Red chillies 6, or more if you want to make it spicy
Bengal gram dal/Chana dal 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds or methi 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder/haldi 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Raw rice washed 1 tsp
Black sesame seeds/til 3 tsp
1) Cook Ashgourd with little turmeric and jaggery/brown sugar.
2) Meanwhile, in a saute pan, toast/roast the coconut gratings until light brown. Be careful not to burn.
3) Fry ingredients from Coriander seeds to raw rice in little oil, and keep aside.
4) Wash the sesame seeds and drain the water and and roast till dry.
5) In a blender, add the roasted coconut, fried ingredients along with sesame seeds and tamarind and blend to a paste using little water - the masala need not be very fine.
6) Add the masala/paste to the cooked ash gourd, add water, salt and water to make a thick gravy and bring it to good rolling boil.
7) Heat oil in a small pan. When heated through, add mustard seeds; when it starts sputtering, follow with curry leaves and add this over the curry.
Serve hot with rice.