Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Special - Kube Mutli (Cockles/Clams In A Gravy With Mini Rice Dumplings)

It's not too often that I find fresh cockles or squid in the fish market that I go to. On my recent trip there, the 'mogorle' (fisherwoman) in her shrill voice excitedly told me that I must buy the fresh cockles that just arrived. Knowing that this particular lady never cheats me, I immediately agreed to buy 3 'wantas' (which means batches in Hindi).

Depending on where they are sourced from, one needs to be careful while cleaning them. While in Mangalore, you can vouch for their freshness and cleanliness, in places like Mumbai, you often get cockles that are filled with 'ubeer' (filth), so it's really important to clean them thoroughly & then place them in the fridge for a good 30minutes so that they open their shells (gasping for breath - poor things) so you can clean them properly before steaming/cooking them.

While I often make a 'Sukkha' (dryish dish with coconut & spices) out of the cockles, this time around I decided to make the 'Kube Mutli' with my prized possession.

Sometimes I wonder who created a dish like the Kube Mutli. Mutli is also known as Pundi in Kannada & Tulu and Kube is known as 'Marwai' in local language. Whoever thought of adding cockles to rice dumplings swimming in a gravy made of coconuts!! Whoever it was deserves a pat on their back(s) cuz this is one of my most favourite Mangalorean dishes.

I have called it a Sunday Special cuz that's the day of the week when we have a grand meal. The entire week goes by in a mad rush & I resort to making simple dishes that are not too time consuming. I am not sure if many of us would try our hand at making this authentic dish in today's time & age cuz it took me a loooong time to make this entire dish from scratch. But it was worth the effort since I am slowly beginning to learn the importance of 'slow food' in this age of fast foods & instant gratification & zero nutrition, I hope you make it too - someday, when you have at least a good 2 hours on your hands.


Here's a snapshot of how a batch of cockles looked like. Gorgeous arent they? I call them the gems of the sea

Kube Mutli
Recipe Source: My Mum

You Need:
About 60-70 cockles, washed, drained and meat retained in only one shell (kerl) of each cockle while discarding the other (else you'l have a clutter of empty shells & loads of tiny disappointments :-)

OR
600-700gms Chicken (If you are unable to find cockles in the city where you live) - This variation is known as the 'Kombi-Mutli'

For the Mutli:
  • 250gms (uncooked) boiled rice (also called as 'Ukdo' in Konkani, 'Ukda' in Hindi & Marathi & Idli rice in English) - washed and soaked in water for at least 1 1/2 hours
  • Salt to taste
For the Gravy:
  • 4 long red chillies (kumti mirsang)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
  • 2 handsful grated coconut (to be ground along with masala)
  • 1/2 coconut (1 volen) to extract milk (roce) OR 4 tbsps coconut milk powder dissolved in 500ml warm water
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped (to be ground)
  • 1 small onion finely sliced (for frying)
  • 1 small ball of tamarind (as per taste)
Method:

To make the Mutlis:

1. Drain the soaked rice completely and grind it fine along with salt. While grinding add very little amounts of water only if required (if you are grinding in a mixie you may require to add small amounts of water just to get the blade going) - Trust me, this can be a painful job! If you have a 'gatno' (grinding stone) or a wet grinder - then consider yourself blessed!
2. Place the batter in a thick bottomed vessel or kadai on a slow flame & allow it to roast a bit - this process is called as 'ubzounche' in Konkani which involves partial cooking of the batter by placing freshly ground wet batter over slow flame to help it arrive at a dough ball kind of consistency which then allows you to make small mutlis (balls) out of it & then steam them in a 'tondor' (steamer)
3. Give the batter a stir or two and switch off the flame when you can see that dough looks a little transparentish. Allow to cool for not more than a minute
4. The next step is a little tricky - try & make balls - a little bigger than marble size, without burning your hands, but if you wait for the dough to cool too much, then it becomes hard & you wont be able to make that kind of a 'little dimple' impression on each mutle (thats the singular form of the Mutli)
5. While you are busy making the mutlis, place sufficient water in a tondor/steamer & bring it to a boil.
6. Place the mutlis in a steel bowl and then onto the 'shelf' inside the tondor. Cover the lid & steam for 15minutes. Switch off the flame & open the cover. Place a thin muslin cloth (called as 'Bairas' in Konkani) over the mutli bowl so that the vapour falling off the tondor cover doesnt make the mutlis soggy. Allow them to sit for a while till your gravy is ready.



To make the Gravy:
1. Heat a pan & dry roast the following one by one -  dry red chillies, sliced onion, coriander seeds & grated coconut. Remove & allow to cool
2. Grind the roasted ingredients with the rest of the ingredients - peppercorns, garlic, jeera, mustard & haldi to a fine consistency. If you have a thin roce (coconut milk) extracted out of the coconut (not powder method) you can use that to grind the masala


3. Heat a big pan (large enough to accomodate the gravy+mutlis+cockles) and add some oil. When the oil is hot, fry the sliced onion to golden brown
4. Add the ground masala and fry well. Add the masala water (from the mixie) and bring it to a boil. Add the roce/coconut milk and boil for 1minute
5. Add in the mutlis. Cook for 5mins on slow fire
6. Add the cockles and salt to taste & cook for another 2-3 minutes.
7. Turn off flame and allow it to rest for 5mins (this allows the mutlis to soak in the gravy)
8. Serve hot!

16 comments:

  1. Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!!!!!!! Kuben is an all time favorite of the family, especially hubby's!! Mum makes this dish, I have never personally tried this. I cannot wait to get back to India to prepare it as we get no kuben and also the required rice here...:( You have made this recipe sound so simple!!! Great job Shireen...:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much dear!!! This is our favourite at home, but I dont make it often due to the availability of kube as I mentioned and also the tedious process...hope u get to make it real soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. very nice Shireen :) This is my all time favourite mangalorian recipe too! U can make the same recipe with chicken too and it tastes just as yum! It's awesome that u have so much patience to make it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks a ton Sheryl!! Yeah, was contemplating on making the kombi-mutli, but I found the kubes at the right time :) Glad u liked the post, thanks so much for the compliments :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yummmmm!! I think I just fell in love with a dish again!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad u liked it Michelle! Mlorean food is comfort food for all of us I guess!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved your blog, going through all your recipes one by one, planning to cook the chicken curry without coconut today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Iona! Let me know how the chicken curry turned out!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kombi Mutlein is a goan dish. Am i right ? I dint know the masala is the same though. Cherie and I were hunting for the recipe since we(I) don't get good Kubein. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ Sonia, Kombi mutlein is just a variation of the kube mutlein, you can do it either ways :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kube Mutlin an awesome awesome dish.... i can finish a whole vessel alone...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Shireen, I am glad I can find recipes for most of the Mangalorean dishes here! Thanks for that :)
    However, I do not have a tondor/steamer at home. What would be a substitute to make mutlis in this case?

    Thanks,

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Anonymous...thanks for the lovely compliment :) So glad that u are able to find most of the recipes u like on this blog. If you do not have a tondor or even a dhokla steamer (which is smaller than a tondor), you may use a pressure cooker without placing the weight (whistle) - place a little water in the cooker & a cooker stand in the centre. When the water comes to a rolling boil u can then place the vessel in which you keep your mutli on the stand. Cover the lid and steam cook for 15mins.

    If you do not have even a pressure cooker, then you can place a regular vessel with water in it - bring the water to a boil. Place a colander that fits perfectly on this vessel and place ur vessel with the mutli into the colander. Cover the mouth of the colander with a tight lid so that no steam escapes (alternately you can cover it with aluminium foil & then place the lid). This is the best alternative. Hope it helps! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi

    Which fish market in Mumbai do you go to?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am going to try this dish. I am really grateful to you for keeping the tradition of mangalorean cooking going. It reminds me so much of my childhood when I used to visit my grandparents in malpe and coondapoor whne they used to prepare these dishes with such ease using firewood for cooking and the gatno for grinding. Hard work but extremely tasty food. I tremember Kube bakhri somewhat similar to multis. Keep it going before our children forget these great dishes. You doing a great service to all faithful Mangi's

    ReplyDelete
  16. @ Richie: Thanks so much for liking this post and for sharing your precious memories with me. I hope you enjoy this dish!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Special - Kube Mutli (Cockles/Clams In A Gravy With Mini Rice Dumplings)

It's not too often that I find fresh cockles or squid in the fish market that I go to. On my recent trip there, the 'mogorle' (fisherwoman) in her shrill voice excitedly told me that I must buy the fresh cockles that just arrived. Knowing that this particular lady never cheats me, I immediately agreed to buy 3 'wantas' (which means batches in Hindi).

Depending on where they are sourced from, one needs to be careful while cleaning them. While in Mangalore, you can vouch for their freshness and cleanliness, in places like Mumbai, you often get cockles that are filled with 'ubeer' (filth), so it's really important to clean them thoroughly & then place them in the fridge for a good 30minutes so that they open their shells (gasping for breath - poor things) so you can clean them properly before steaming/cooking them.

While I often make a 'Sukkha' (dryish dish with coconut & spices) out of the cockles, this time around I decided to make the 'Kube Mutli' with my prized possession.

Sometimes I wonder who created a dish like the Kube Mutli. Mutli is also known as Pundi in Kannada & Tulu and Kube is known as 'Marwai' in local language. Whoever thought of adding cockles to rice dumplings swimming in a gravy made of coconuts!! Whoever it was deserves a pat on their back(s) cuz this is one of my most favourite Mangalorean dishes.

I have called it a Sunday Special cuz that's the day of the week when we have a grand meal. The entire week goes by in a mad rush & I resort to making simple dishes that are not too time consuming. I am not sure if many of us would try our hand at making this authentic dish in today's time & age cuz it took me a loooong time to make this entire dish from scratch. But it was worth the effort since I am slowly beginning to learn the importance of 'slow food' in this age of fast foods & instant gratification & zero nutrition, I hope you make it too - someday, when you have at least a good 2 hours on your hands.


Here's a snapshot of how a batch of cockles looked like. Gorgeous arent they? I call them the gems of the sea

Kube Mutli
Recipe Source: My Mum

You Need:
About 60-70 cockles, washed, drained and meat retained in only one shell (kerl) of each cockle while discarding the other (else you'l have a clutter of empty shells & loads of tiny disappointments :-)

OR
600-700gms Chicken (If you are unable to find cockles in the city where you live) - This variation is known as the 'Kombi-Mutli'

For the Mutli:
  • 250gms (uncooked) boiled rice (also called as 'Ukdo' in Konkani, 'Ukda' in Hindi & Marathi & Idli rice in English) - washed and soaked in water for at least 1 1/2 hours
  • Salt to taste
For the Gravy:
  • 4 long red chillies (kumti mirsang)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
  • 2 handsful grated coconut (to be ground along with masala)
  • 1/2 coconut (1 volen) to extract milk (roce) OR 4 tbsps coconut milk powder dissolved in 500ml warm water
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped (to be ground)
  • 1 small onion finely sliced (for frying)
  • 1 small ball of tamarind (as per taste)
Method:

To make the Mutlis:

1. Drain the soaked rice completely and grind it fine along with salt. While grinding add very little amounts of water only if required (if you are grinding in a mixie you may require to add small amounts of water just to get the blade going) - Trust me, this can be a painful job! If you have a 'gatno' (grinding stone) or a wet grinder - then consider yourself blessed!
2. Place the batter in a thick bottomed vessel or kadai on a slow flame & allow it to roast a bit - this process is called as 'ubzounche' in Konkani which involves partial cooking of the batter by placing freshly ground wet batter over slow flame to help it arrive at a dough ball kind of consistency which then allows you to make small mutlis (balls) out of it & then steam them in a 'tondor' (steamer)
3. Give the batter a stir or two and switch off the flame when you can see that dough looks a little transparentish. Allow to cool for not more than a minute
4. The next step is a little tricky - try & make balls - a little bigger than marble size, without burning your hands, but if you wait for the dough to cool too much, then it becomes hard & you wont be able to make that kind of a 'little dimple' impression on each mutle (thats the singular form of the Mutli)
5. While you are busy making the mutlis, place sufficient water in a tondor/steamer & bring it to a boil.
6. Place the mutlis in a steel bowl and then onto the 'shelf' inside the tondor. Cover the lid & steam for 15minutes. Switch off the flame & open the cover. Place a thin muslin cloth (called as 'Bairas' in Konkani) over the mutli bowl so that the vapour falling off the tondor cover doesnt make the mutlis soggy. Allow them to sit for a while till your gravy is ready.



To make the Gravy:
1. Heat a pan & dry roast the following one by one -  dry red chillies, sliced onion, coriander seeds & grated coconut. Remove & allow to cool
2. Grind the roasted ingredients with the rest of the ingredients - peppercorns, garlic, jeera, mustard & haldi to a fine consistency. If you have a thin roce (coconut milk) extracted out of the coconut (not powder method) you can use that to grind the masala


3. Heat a big pan (large enough to accomodate the gravy+mutlis+cockles) and add some oil. When the oil is hot, fry the sliced onion to golden brown
4. Add the ground masala and fry well. Add the masala water (from the mixie) and bring it to a boil. Add the roce/coconut milk and boil for 1minute
5. Add in the mutlis. Cook for 5mins on slow fire
6. Add the cockles and salt to taste & cook for another 2-3 minutes.
7. Turn off flame and allow it to rest for 5mins (this allows the mutlis to soak in the gravy)
8. Serve hot!

16 comments:

  1. Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!!!!!!! Kuben is an all time favorite of the family, especially hubby's!! Mum makes this dish, I have never personally tried this. I cannot wait to get back to India to prepare it as we get no kuben and also the required rice here...:( You have made this recipe sound so simple!!! Great job Shireen...:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much dear!!! This is our favourite at home, but I dont make it often due to the availability of kube as I mentioned and also the tedious process...hope u get to make it real soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. very nice Shireen :) This is my all time favourite mangalorian recipe too! U can make the same recipe with chicken too and it tastes just as yum! It's awesome that u have so much patience to make it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks a ton Sheryl!! Yeah, was contemplating on making the kombi-mutli, but I found the kubes at the right time :) Glad u liked the post, thanks so much for the compliments :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yummmmm!! I think I just fell in love with a dish again!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad u liked it Michelle! Mlorean food is comfort food for all of us I guess!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved your blog, going through all your recipes one by one, planning to cook the chicken curry without coconut today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Iona! Let me know how the chicken curry turned out!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kombi Mutlein is a goan dish. Am i right ? I dint know the masala is the same though. Cherie and I were hunting for the recipe since we(I) don't get good Kubein. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ Sonia, Kombi mutlein is just a variation of the kube mutlein, you can do it either ways :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kube Mutlin an awesome awesome dish.... i can finish a whole vessel alone...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Shireen, I am glad I can find recipes for most of the Mangalorean dishes here! Thanks for that :)
    However, I do not have a tondor/steamer at home. What would be a substitute to make mutlis in this case?

    Thanks,

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Anonymous...thanks for the lovely compliment :) So glad that u are able to find most of the recipes u like on this blog. If you do not have a tondor or even a dhokla steamer (which is smaller than a tondor), you may use a pressure cooker without placing the weight (whistle) - place a little water in the cooker & a cooker stand in the centre. When the water comes to a rolling boil u can then place the vessel in which you keep your mutli on the stand. Cover the lid and steam cook for 15mins.

    If you do not have even a pressure cooker, then you can place a regular vessel with water in it - bring the water to a boil. Place a colander that fits perfectly on this vessel and place ur vessel with the mutli into the colander. Cover the mouth of the colander with a tight lid so that no steam escapes (alternately you can cover it with aluminium foil & then place the lid). This is the best alternative. Hope it helps! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi

    Which fish market in Mumbai do you go to?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am going to try this dish. I am really grateful to you for keeping the tradition of mangalorean cooking going. It reminds me so much of my childhood when I used to visit my grandparents in malpe and coondapoor whne they used to prepare these dishes with such ease using firewood for cooking and the gatno for grinding. Hard work but extremely tasty food. I tremember Kube bakhri somewhat similar to multis. Keep it going before our children forget these great dishes. You doing a great service to all faithful Mangi's

    ReplyDelete
  16. @ Richie: Thanks so much for liking this post and for sharing your precious memories with me. I hope you enjoy this dish!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)