Cookbooks simply amaze me. I usually start looking for a recipe when I have something handy and then spend hours in search of perfect recipe. Then after reading so many tasty 'dishes' I just make something in a jiffy to satisfy my hunger. This is going on for few years. Then came bloggers from different parts of the world and with different cuisines. And now I search for the perfect recipe according to the ingredients I have in fridge or pantry. When I take my laptop on the kitchen counter my husband knows that there will be something exotic on the plate later that evening. But when he sees me with 'Raschachandrika' he knows something nice and homely meal is on its way.
This book can be (may be is considered) as Konkani food bible like 'Ruchira' for Maharashtrians. There are so many simple day-to-day dishes in there that makes this a must have cookbook. It must the simplest cookbook I ever seen in terms of writing recipes 2-3 simple recipes per page! There is one thing I miss in these old cookbooks is pictures. Pictures give you an idea of how the dish supposed to look. But with Ruchira or Rasachandrika, you can make anything without a doubt. Here is one simple recipe I enjoyed recently -
Raw Banana Sukke
2-3 raw bananas (or plantains)
1/4 cup chana daal
1/4 cup grated coconut (or little less I used about 2-3 tbsp)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4-6 dry red chilies
1.5 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
small ball tamarind
salt, jaggery per taste
mustard seeds and curry leaves for taste
1 tbsp oil
Soak chana daal in 1 cup water overnight or 4-5 hours minimum. Wash and peel bananas and cut them in 2 inch pieces and immediately add them into water to avoid blackening. Add soaked chana dal and enough water to cover the dal in thick bottom pan and let it cook. Cover the vessel to speed up cooking. Meanwhile soak tamarind ball in little bit of warm water for 10-15 minutes and extract juice discarding pulp. When dal is fully cooked add banana pieces and cover the pot and let the bananas cook. In a small kadai heat 1/2 tsp oil and add fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and urad dal. Fry it till golden brown and keep aside to cool down a bit. Now grind coconut, fried ingredients, red chilies, tamarind pulp, turmeric powder together to make thick paste using as little water as possible. Add this masala to cooked bananas boil it over low flame. In a small kadai heat remaining oil and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry it till mustard seeds start popping and add to the banana mixture. Add salt and jaggery. Serve hot with chapatis or rice.
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