Monday, July 15, 2013

Kanda Lasun Masala

Onion-Garlic-Masala a.k.a. MisaLaleli Chutney

This is actually known as MisaLaleli(mixed) Chutney in Satara-Kolhapur-Sangli-Solapur region. Everyone I know makes supply that lasts for 6 months to a year. It is a very labor intensive job but saves time in daily cooking. Usually this is done just after Diwali taking advantage of October heat or in summer before Monsoon starts.

Kanda Lasun Masala

Process starts with getting masala ingredients needed for garam masala and dried red chilies. I have given almost whole procedure when wrote the garam masala recipe. Red chilies are spread on polythene sheet or bed sheet in the sun for a day or two then stems are removed by hand. This should be done while chilies are crispy. Sometimes chilies break and seeds come out. These seeds are collected separately. Even though seeds bring needed spice to the whole masala, it also makes color of the whole chutney little lighter. To avoid that spicier variety of chili is used. My mom likes to use Sankeshwari and Byadagi variety, first one gives spice and the later gives color. Removing stems is very time consuming and can make your fingertips sting. Once all the stems are removed, it is taken to the Kandap Machine to make chili powder. Next thing is to make Garam Masala. Once masala and chili powder are ready then next one on the list is to slice onions, grate more dried coconut, peel garlic. And that itself sometimes can take one full day!

As I said earlier, every household has their own proportions and I am sharing my mom's proportions. We do not enjoy very spicy food so this version suits the best for us. We use this for almost all the sabjis and usals and amatis at home. My mom almost never uses any other masala for her daily cooking. Some  sabji's my mom makes are - stuffed eggplants, ambat chukyachi bhaji, Kolhapuri misal, ghevaDyachi bhaji etc.


Let's see how my mom makes the misaLaleli chutney -

1 cup Garam Masala
5-6 cups Red Chili Powder
1 lb (0.5 Kg) Red Onions
1 Large Bulb Garlic
1 cup Dry Coconut Grated (loosely packed)
1/4 cup Salt (or as per taste)
1/2 cup Oil (Divided use)

Preparation - 
Peel and thinly slice onions. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add sliced onion and start sauteing on low flame. You have to cook the onion without burning it. It can anywhere between 45 min to 1 hr. Add more oil, 1 tbsp at a time, if needed. This step is very important in the whole masala making process so please do not try to save time here. Otherwise the whole masala can go bad in just few days.
When onion is cooked well, it looks caramelized and tastes sweet.
Once the onion is cooked well, let it cool completely. Do not put it in the refrigerator to cool it faster.
Now dry roast grated coconut and set aside to cool and then grind to fine powder.
Grind garlic to fine paste with little salt if needed. Do not use water.
Once onion is cooled completely, grind it in batches to fine paste. Do not use water.
Now all the ingredients are ready for mixing.
Divide everything in 4 to 5 parts and add one part of each ingredient in food processor with 'S' blade. Run the food processor to mix thoroughly. Once its mixed taste test for salt and add if needed and mix again. Remove it in a large mixing bowl.
Repeat the process for remaining parts.
Now mix everything in the mixing bowl and adjust salt if needed. The final product will feel damp to your hands and that is the correct consistency. If you put more oil then it might feel wet.

Bright Red!

Tips -
  1. To save time, you can cut onion, sun dry it for a day or two and then fry it in oil to avoid cooking for long time. But this method needs more oil.
  2. If you do not have food processor, use food safe gloves and thoroughly mix with hands.
  3. If you accidentally use more oil then cut down oil when using this masala in sabjis. 
  4. If you accidentally make this masala salty then adjust salt when preparing the sabji etc.
  5. Spread this chutney over fresh jowar bhakri and generously spread oil is a very favorite breakfast for lot of people in the region. 
  6. If you have access to KaraLe/Thistle seeds/Nyjer seeds, you can dry roast about 1/2 cup and grind to fine powder and mix it in. Final product will have black speckles.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Godi Batati Rassa

Godi - Sweet
Batati - Potatoes
Rassa - With gravy

This is a recipe from a community called Pathare Prabhu, they are originally from Mumbai. I first had heard about this dish in P. L. Deshpande's Bhraman Mandal. I did not know the recipe and did not know anyone who can share authentic recipe. I have read various renditions claiming the original but I was not convinced. A friend gave me a packet of Pathare Prabhu Masala during recent India trip. And that made me look for more authentic recipes to use up the big packet. I tried it as normal garam masala once but I really wanted to use it in the authentic recipes. My quest took me to a very nice series of videos by Mrs. Kalpana Talpade. The videos are homemade without any professional editing or even any fancy equipment. And that attracted me more to the recipes. I have made Godi Batati Rassa multiple times and now I have bookmarked Ananasache Sambare and Kobiche Bhanole. I enjoyed her video series so much that, I got in touch with her. And she came across as warm person as she is in the videos.

Even though the name is sweet potato curry, the actual dish is not sweet, does not have any jaggery or sugar. The person who named this dish, must be really being sarcastic :) I followed Mrs. Talpade's recipe so I am sharing it here with her permission and all the credit goes to Mrs. Talpade.

Godi Batati Rassa

5 Small/Medium Potatoes (I used white or Yukon gold)
1 cup Cauliflower Florets or Red Bell Peppers
1 Large Onion
4-5 Cloves of Garlic
1" Blob of Ginger
1 tsp Pathare Prabhu Masala
1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder *
Pinch of Turmeric
Pinch of Hing
Salt per taste
2-3 tbsp Oil
Water as needed

Preparation - 
Peel potatoes and cut in half or quarters. Cut onion in large pieces too.
Cut cauliflower (or red bell peppers) in large pieces. 
Heat oil in heavy bottom vessel and add hing. Let it sizzle for a minute.
Add chopped onion, saute until translucent.
Add potatoes and cauliflower, saute for few minutes.
Add salt, Pathare Prabhu Masala and chili powder. Add about a cup of water.
Make ginger garlic paste in mortar pestle, add that.
Mix everything, cover with deep plate. Add about 1/2 cup water on the plate.
Put something heavy on the cover.
Let it cook until potatoes are well done. Enjoy with chapatis or rice.

Tips - 
  1. * I omitted red chili powder as the masala I got, has chili powder added to it. 
  2. Putting water on the cover makes sabji cook with less water due to condensation technique. 
  3. I liked the version with bell peppers more.
  4. If you do not have Pathare Prabhu Masala and use garam masala, it will be simple Batata Rassa Bhaji.

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