Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Konkani Delicacy: Kadgi Chakko

As in previous years, M got to make the delicious Kadgi Chakko, for Boston's Konkani Diwali gathering last weekend. M excels at it, and is one of my favorites.

Kadgi (a variant of the jackfruit), is a small round-ish fruit with a bumpy thick skin. Much like the jackfruit, but not spiky. The meat inside is white, the large seeds and rest are all edible. Chakko, is a typical coconut-based 'sukka' (dry) masala. The spices are delicate and don't cover-up the kadgi taste. Its gritty and fibery texture goes well with the basic rice and dhal. I like it with chapattis. Important to get the deep red color of the chakko. Keeping Kadgi Chakko in mind, during our recent visit to Kumta, we picked up a bag of baedgi mirsaang red peppers - known for their bright color and delicate spice.

Making Kadgi Chakko: A quick recipe
Ingredients & Procedure:
1. 3 cans of kadgi (will feed an average family of four; or 1 hungry guy and his wife!)
2. Freshly roast 15 red chillies (M uses 10 baedgi mirsang for their color and 5 of the garden variety spicy red peppers from here)
3. Separately, roast 1 tsp coriander seeds + ¼ tsp methi seeds
4. Blend: ½ cup grated coconut, roasted chillies, coriander and methi seeds. Add ½ tsp tamarind (not pulp) and ½ tsp jaggery/gur
5. Boil kadgi pieces separately and drain. Cut wedges in smaller pieces, if you prefer
6. Blend other ingredients finely.
7. (For PhaNNa/Tadka) Heat 1 tsp oil, throw in 1 tsp mustard seed. As it starts to sputter, add about 10 kari pattar (curry leaves). Take off the heat and mix with the blended masala.
8. Heat the blended masala on a low flame till it starts to simmer. Add salt to taste and kadgi pieces.
9. Mix well, taking care not to damage the kadgi pieces.
10. Heat till the water has evaporated, leaving a ‘sukka’ (dry) masala.
11. Leave aside for about 15 minutes for the spices to “soak in.” In the meantime, help clean the dishes!
12. It is considered polite to serve your guests first, and then serve yourself, one serving at a time!

Baedgi mirsang for sale at a market store in Kumta

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