travel for me is all about getting to know the local people through their culture, arts and traditions, and what better than their food. while i don’t think i am a foodie from what i understand to be the modern sense of that word… i don’t understand ingredients, can’t guess whats in the pot unless told, and i can’t even tell if the salt is less or more… but i do love to eat and that shows in my ever burgeoning weight… so that qualifies me to mumble about food right?
over the last one year, when i travel to a new town or city, i get a recipe back, especially if i really loved it it reminds me of that trip and all associated memories. so got back recipes of soup from chettinad, vegetable curries from matheran, dipping sauces from greece, wheat bread (almost toast) from chettinad, salad dressing from jhadpoli, maharashtra and my latest ‘goan style pumpkin curry’!
we had recently been goa and visited a heritage hotel vivienda das palhacos and this was one of the vegetables for lunch. this is a popular non-vegetarian goan dish adapted to vegetarians. we got pumpkins instead of prawns i think! i totally overate… just to make you realise how much, i think i single handedly finished off the entire serving of this curry! it was just so delicious. the juicy pumpkin, softened by the cooking but still holding its own, coated in this wonderful green curry base and then coconut. mind you, not coconut milk like thai curries. all of these ingredients mix together to give one such texture in each mouth full, the soft pumkin crumbles with the first bite, the smooth green spicy masala hits the tongue and then that crunchy sweet of the coconut intertwined.
the pumpkin pieces were juicy, the green curry coated them brilliantly and it went extremely well with rotis the pulav they served. i asked the chef who just gave me all the ingredients with the word ‘some’, made sense then but once back i realised i needed to have them by measure. so emailed simon and in a couple of days i had mail 🙂
so a tried and tested recipe, its ‘easy-peasy’ to make. made some modifications, adding that in italics… i didn’t click pictures when i made it… (yes, kicking myself for that) but in my fridge sit the ingredients waiting to become a glorious curry…
1 kg pumpkin (red / orange) peeled and diced 1″
4 tablespoons veg oil – i put half the quantity and it was fine
2 to 3 chopped onions
1 grated coconut – half is enough, i put a whole one and was toooo much coconut. also, i break the cn into pieces and put it in the mixer-grinder till fine. works!
to be ground into masala:
1/2 pod garlic… medium-sized cloves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 green chillies
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon sugar
3 to 4 green cardamoms
1 tablespoon dry coriander seeds
3 tablespoons fresh coriander
blend all the above ingredients into puree, except onion & coconuts.
saute the onions till golden brown and add the blended paste and cook for 15 mins
add 2 cups of hot water (or more) to the paste and cook the pumpkin together
once, 3/4th cooked, add the grated coconut and cook for 6 to 7 mins (avoid pumpkin getting mashed).
serve with rice or roti and you’ll be licking your lips silly.