Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Stopover at the Konkan Coast!

I have been writing about Kerala cuisine for more than a year now and so was wondering if I can show you the sign board, ‘Detour Ahead’! I feel like taking a stopover at the Konkan Coast as I happened to enjoy the Konkan flavour a bit!! Wondering who lured me into this and gave me an opportunity to cook something with a very quintessential ingredient in Konkani food? Who else can it be? Shilpa of Aayi’s Recipes! I know, she doesn’t require any introduction in the blogging world, and when she very lovingly asked my interest in being a part of the Arusuvai Friendship Chain, which “is about sending along a surprise ingredient as a gift to your friends for them to prepare something tasty with it, share the recipe, and pass on other surprise ingredients to more people”, I was excited and more thrilled when the mail-man dropped the package at the door. The contents of the package, especially the secret ingredient was as though Shilpa clearly understood my interest in anything authentic and traditional giving me a taste of the Konkan flavour. Along with the surprise ingredients came a batch of her homemade Tomato Pickle, which was really tasty and some chocoloates, accompanied by a cute card. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of all the gifts Shilpa sent as I was really amidst our relocation and was not in a position to click the picture but I did save the card!


The surprise ingredient was Poha Masala Powder known as Phova pitto/Kumta Masala in the Konkan region. After receiving the package when I read her notes on the same, I was really happy that she chose to send me something that is widely used to cook a classic dish at her place. In her own words, “What is the first thing any Konkani person can remember when you say “breakfast or evening snack”? Almost 90% of people say it is ‘Kalayile phovu‘ (Kalayile means mixed, phovu is phoha/avalakki)…… So this is even given to people who work for long hours in sun. Basically it is a food very famous in rural areas”.

Once I settled at the new place, I set off to try this masala powder and my first stop was at ‘Kalayile phovu‘ , from Shilpa’s blog itself. She had written in her post that “This was a must in all Konkani wedding breakfasts along with upma. But these days idlis and wadas have replaced this traditional dish”. What more can stir up my curiosity!! With the desire to enjoy a traditional Konkani dish with one of their classic ingredients I made that classic dish and did enjoy Kalayile phovu, which is flattened/beaten rice mixed with the freshness of grated coconut and embellished with a touch of Poha Masala Powder/Phova pitto/Kumta Masala and jaggery. I liked the sweetness of jaggery correctly balanced with the mild heat from the Masala. From her other posts, it was clear that it could be used in other vegetable dishes too and I started experimenting with vegetable stir-fries which really worked well. I liked the way it spiced up the vegetables. Our favourite discovery was the use of this Masala Powder in Potato Fry and believe it or not, we like it so much that I made a batch yesterday and one this evening too! Potato Fry with Masala Powder/Phova pitto/Kumta Masala tastes better when cubed potatoes are cooked in lot of oil and it holds its shape well, unlike the ones cooked in microwave first and then sautéed in little bit of oil with Poha Masala. This can be a side dish or a spicy appetizer. The one in picture slightly got overcooked in microwave as I did not want to use that much oil again and hence the bad shape.

To Cook Potato Fry with Masala Powder/Phova pitto/Kumta: In 2-3 tbsp oil, splutter some cumin seeds/jeera; add ½ tsp red chilly flakes and stir well; to this add ½ cup of finely chopped onion and cook till it is transparent and now add 2 tsp Poha Masala and stir well. At this stage, add cubed pieces of two medium size potatoes with salt to taste and cook covered, until the potatoes are soft. Switch off the stove and add a tablespoon of chopped mint and coriander leaves to dress up the entire dish. For a health friendly version, cook potatoes in microwave first and then sauté in oil with onion and Poha Masala and garnish with herbs.

Shilpa, Thank you so much for such a thoughtful gift :)

To continue this Friendship chain event, I passed a packet to Shaheen of Malabar Spices and to another friend of mine.

Check out Shilpa’s blog for the authentic Konkani dishes!

Wishing you all a great week ahead!

Luv
Shn
No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 Kitchenmishmash.blogspot.com. All rights reserved.

26 comments:

  1. Oh wow...Really tempting and delicious poha and poataoes..Its breakfast time here and what can I ask for... :))

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  2. Aha, Shn, that surely is a nice detour, (mine in real life is other way round-hee konkani married to a mallu)The use of masala with potatoes is awesome, hey but they surely don't look out of shape! They look very tempting!! Pohu looks great too!!

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  3. Wow, can imagine how lovely the poha must have been with the masala!

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  4. That masala sounds fabulous, must try. Glad you got to savor the authentic Konkani dish!:)
    Did you read the last few sentences in my post at FH about your Eshtu? ;D

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  5. Shn , back here to let u know u can substitute the aval with chappatis, fresh or stale, cut into small squares mix this same masala, its yummmmmm!

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  6. being a konkani myself i love this..i make this phovu kalleylolo whenever i want something sweet quick:) ..love this

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  7. That poha pic is so inviting....so got a taste of authentic konkani...enjoy

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  8. Wonderful use of masala to make poha and potatoes, Shn! Am so glad you were able to get in on the fun despite having to move. :)

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  9. I got to ur blog accidentally..but i totally love it...
    me soon to be a bride..and im so glad u have this..i have stopped saving vanitha recipes..;)

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  10. I got to ur blog accidentally..but i totally love it...
    me soon to be a bride..and im so glad u have this..i have stopped saving vanitha recipes..;)

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  11. i love konkani music...yet to try out konkani recipes except fot the odd fish fry i might have had in goa...

    simply amazing the variety in breakfast indian cusine has compared to europeans who have just bread and crossiants!!;-P

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  12. Hi again..Got an award for you dear..:))

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  13. two talents ladies join together and multiply many more great dishes! My mouth starts watering once sees your yummy patatos!

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  14. One more masala and potatoes recipe. Yummm!

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  15. Ohh you are so sweet Shn. I had missed this post. Thanks for all kind words. I am very happy to know you liked the masala :). The potatoes...thats something I would love to try soon.

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  16. Swati, yeah....i understand....i feel the same when i browse thru food blogs in the morning :)

    Purnima, oh...so instead of a stopover, u took a lifelong ticket in the Kerala Express! Enjoy the ride :)

    Jyothsna, it was good....something like our aval nanachathu but with a touch of heat from the masala....:)

    Asha, i was floating after reading your post :D

    Arundathi, thank you :)

    Purnima, hey..thanks for that idea.....will try when i end up with leftover chappathis :)

    Ranji, yeah. i enjoyed it too....i would have it as a tea time snack too...!

    Bhags, yes..thanks :)

    Sandeepa, which one..? I got this one only!

    Divya, thanks :)

    Kalai, you re so sweet dear, thank you :)

    Ursjina, somehow your message made me feel good coz when I was a new bride, I dint know anything, so now when someone is contemplating to refer my recipes, mm..that sure makes me feel good...btw, dont throw away those vanitha recipes, incase mine is disaster, you can sure go back to those :P Congrats and wishing you all the happiness :)

    Mathew, I havent listened to any konkani songs, except one in some hindi movie...so embarrasing :P Goan food is really good....especially some of their fish and chicken preps...btw the variety of that bread and croissants is also really admirning right...for me whaveter be the breakfast, if I have a heavy one, then i need to sleep well :D

    Swati, thank you dear...an honour to receive from a designer like you :)

    Gattina, hahha...thank you..:)

    Aparna, Thanks :)

    Shilpa, hey do try that ...CJJ who is not all that a lover of potato frys, 'loved ' it, especially when cooked in lots of oil....i am sort of getting addicted to it too :)

    Shn

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  17. this is a quick fix recipe in my kitchen too.i always make phova pitto...nice o know that you are enjoying our konkan taste:)

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  18. Lovely potato masala.,,,lovely pics as always

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  19. poha and potaoes combination...hmmm good,nice recipe..Would love to see u on my blog and get ur feedback.

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  20. Hi mishmash :) long time, thats a nice phovu kalleylolo you have made:) I am a konkani too , I have posted similar recipe:) Glad you enjoyed konkani food:)

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  21. Very good... my friend, very good...
    By

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  22. I think am demanding too much..am always expecting something new to come in your blog every weekend..konkan express has arrived at its destination..Now yatrkaaru evide aanu sredikendanthu!!;-P

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  23. Nanditha, Oh yes dear...it was really nice....tasted something like our aval nanachathu but with a mild heat from this masala.

    Rachel, thank you dear :)

    Hetal,thank you:) Will sure drop by your page :)

    Roopa, oh yeah....how ve you been? I checked your site and the recipe was quite interesting....

    Mathew, yaathrakkaru should move to "Crap Express"... heheheh :D Been sitting there wondering, to post or not to post and thats when I saw your comment....enna pinne post cheythekkam ennu vicharichu :P

    Shn

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