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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Meet Mirsang/Puli Munchi (Salt & Chilli Paste)

I am sure that whoever is fond of fish is undoubtedly fond of its fried form! It goes without saying that being a Mangalorean I love fish in any form - in a curry, fried, baked, grilled or steamed, but the fried variety wins hands down any day. It is a known fact that even people who have never eaten a lot of fish in their lives tend to prefer it fried than in a curry as the fried version invariably tones down the 'fishy' smell.

In Mangalore, we use a ready to use salt and chilli paste called the 'Meet Mirsang' which is very handy and can be made to use basic fish curries besides being used to marinate fish before frying. This paste was traditionally ground on a 'Gatno' (grinding stone/mortar & pestle made of granite stone) and scooped out with a dry 'katti' (coconut shell) as even the moisture from one's hand could render the paste useless when stored at room temperature. This also explains why vinegar is used to grind the paste which along with salt acts like a preservative.


During my childhood, the yummiest fish fry was always marinated in Meet Mirsang, it is only during the latter years of my time in Mangalore that out of sheer lack of time that we resorted to a quick fix of the marinade made of Bafat Powder, tamarind paste and salt. I continued that tradition (of using Bafat powder) for many years after getting married. I think I need to thank my blog for making me break out of my comfort zone and try out traditional recipes which are actually not as much of an effort (or rocket science) as I had thought earlier. 

When I was a child, we would have fried fish (fresh or dried) on Saturdays and more often during the Monsoons, I don't know the reason behind it, but it just seemed so perfect. We also had meal combos that just tasted heavenly. Like the vegetable gravy - Valchebaji ani Guley and Sardine Fry or Daliso Saar (Mangalorean Watery Dal/Lentils) and Mackerel Fry. Since the time I got married I have tried to maintain this custom and also love to have fried Mackerels with Kulta Kaat (Horsegram & Madras Cucumber Curry)

I am sure every family has their favourite combinations...if you have the same memories that I do, do let me know what your favourite combinations are...


The Meet Mirsang has definitely added that spark into our mealtimes as it makes fried fish ultra tasty and makes us pick out all edible parts of the fish and thoroughly enjoy the experience of having a meal with loved ones at home. Chatting and talking and helping ourselves to that extra spoon of boiled rice and curry or saar (recipe to follow) to accompany the pieces of fish waiting to be finished.


Picture above: Mackerels marinated in Meet Mirsang are sizzling on a hot 'kail' (frying pan)

For people who are hard pressed for time, it is best to make this paste in small batches and refrigerate it (if you are using water to grind). You can use it for a multitude of recipes including chicken and fish curries that call for a combination of the chillies, jeera and vinegar.

Meet Mirsang 
You Need:
  • 100 dry red chillies (Bedgi/Byadge - also known as Kumti Mirsang/Kundapur chillies)
  • 1 tsp cumin/jeera
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi powder
  • 8 tsp salt (increase it as per taste)
  • 12 tbsp vinegar (or about 150ml) *see note
Method:
Remove the stalk of the chillies and grind to a powder with the jeera and turmeric powder if you are using a dry mixer grinder. Add the salt & vinegar and grind to a fine paste. If you are using the traditional Mangalorean Gatno you can toss in all the above ingredients to grind to a fine paste. 

Note:
If you are using a mixer grinder to grind this masala, you will notice that the given quantity of vinegar will not be sufficient to achieve the paste consistency. Ideally Meet Mirsang is made with vinegar to grind the spices and hence may require as much as 500-750ml of vinegar. This helps the paste to remain fresh and for very long periods of time when stored even at room temperature.


Since I am not too fond of the vinegar and it's acrid smell, I use just about 11-12 tbsp and supplement the liquid requirement with boiled & cooled water - this of course means you cannot store the paste outside at room temperature as it will spoil fast so I make in small batches and refrigerate and use within 2-3 weeks at the most.

You can also substitute vinegar with tamarind paste and refrigerate it.

22 comments:

  1. Meet Mirsang looks so spicy and tangy. Excellent preparation.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  2. Omg, mouthwatering..hot fiery chilly paste..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the colour and texture..Looks so yummy shir..i used to love the bangde fry which aunty used to make at Mangalore. now i know the secret behind that yummy fry..Will try it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Homemade is always best, looks perfectly done

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG!!! that fish looks so yummy. want to finish every thing:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks very interesting and something which I seriously love to try out. I am settled in HK now, but I used to stay in Thane before that. You have a wonderful blog. Happy blogging and have a great day!!
    http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks a lot Deepa, Priya, Rinku, Sharmilee, Rumana and Purabi!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh my god!! i gotta try this! this looks mouth watering and would add new flavour to my cooking. wil make this and give you a feed back :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks Anjum! Try it & let me know, its a very handy & versatile paste :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Smitha MascarenhasJune 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Hi,

    Thanks for the recipe. I always wanted to make meet mirsang since the taste of Bafat powder+vinegar (or tamarind paste)+ salt can never match the traditional meet mirsang. But I have limited quantity of Kumti Mirsang. So would like to know what quantities should be used when making a small batch of meet mirsang (say to last for a week). Awaiting your reply....

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Smitha

    I am not so sure about the small quantities. I guess 10 long chillies, 10 short chillies, vinegar and salt to taste and a pinch of jeera ground to a paste will result in 1/10th of the quantity i made. Should serve you well.

    Alternatively, you can powder

    1 tsp Jeera, red chillies (1/4kg), 1 tsp haldi - just use this with a little tamarind juice or vinegar or fresh lime juice and salt to taste. My MIL says you can store this powder for a long time and use as required. Ensure that your chillies are crackling dry or else you can't powder them :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I want to make the fried fish with this masala for my husband. Since I am a vegetarian, I have no idea which fish will go well for this dish. Do you have any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  13. @ Neha: This marinade can be used for any type of fish. I can suggest fish names depending on where you live. You can safely use the marination for Pomfret, Surmai (King Fish), Sardines, Mackerels, Ghol & Sole/Tongue Fish - Do adjust the spice level and salt according to your taste.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Shireen... I am Akshata and I too am a mangalorean.. I was happy to see a blog with so many mangalorean dishes.. May be you can add some recipes like Mangalore cucumber koddel, pineapple curry, mixed fruit curry, semige with sweet coconut milk or chicken curry, pathrade, marvai pundi (rice balls soaked in shell curry), different bendhis that we make (vegetable cooked in light tamarind water and with garlic-chilli flake tadka), boodhi kumblakai puli (curd curry)..etc.. So many dishes are coming on my mind.. The way we make pulimunchi at home is quite different.. I will share the recipe with you someday.. :) I am already drooling thinking about all the food.. :P Well my favorite combo is simple tomato saar (just onion, tomato, green chilli with garlic tadka), mackeral/anjal fry (chilli pwd, turmeric, lime, salt), curd and rice.. :) :) simple and delicious..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks Akshata!! You have given me so many recipe ideas - I will try them out one by one! Hope you have tried some of my recipes and enjoyed them too! Happy cooking!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Shireen,

    Please can you let me know how much are 100 dry red chillies roughly equivalent to in Grams? Would it be around 250 grams or something?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Rhea,

    Sorry I don't have my weighing scale at present so won't be able to help you. In my opinion 250gms would be more than 100 as the chillies are dried & very light in weight

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Shireen. Im a recent visitor to ua blog. I happened to c a recipe in ua blog while browsing d net n nw im addicted to ua blog. As i finish my house work ( im a home maker) the very first thing i do since few days is going through ua recipes. To be frank i love reading ua life experiences in mangalore( i too am a mangalorean) i just enjoy reading every detail of it. Actualy most of d tyms i dnt even read d caption of d recipe but read d first few sentences or d topic with which u hav narrated . Thanx a ton for sharing ua experience being a mangalorean as well as sharing d bestest recipes iv always been searching for. Last but not d least may i know which place in mangalore u belong to?? N wer did u do ua schooling ( only if u dnt mind sharing it n ofcourse knowing school name is nt to help me recall my senior or so its just out of curiosity to know which school in mangalore teaches such a wonderful vocabulary cz ua vocabulary is just amazing

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @ Prathista: Thanks so much for your lovely comment!! I am pleased to know that you not only like my recipes but enjoy my writing too! By the way I went to Ladyhill School near Urwa Church, Mangalore. Did you study there too?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy to hear from u. No dear shireen im from Kulshekar n studied in St Joseph's .

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nice to know that Prathista :) And by the way I was from Urwa parish, now belong to Kulshekar parish but live in Dubai :D

    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 :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Meet Mirsang/Puli Munchi (Salt & Chilli Paste)

I am sure that whoever is fond of fish is undoubtedly fond of its fried form! It goes without saying that being a Mangalorean I love fish in any form - in a curry, fried, baked, grilled or steamed, but the fried variety wins hands down any day. It is a known fact that even people who have never eaten a lot of fish in their lives tend to prefer it fried than in a curry as the fried version invariably tones down the 'fishy' smell.

In Mangalore, we use a ready to use salt and chilli paste called the 'Meet Mirsang' which is very handy and can be made to use basic fish curries besides being used to marinate fish before frying. This paste was traditionally ground on a 'Gatno' (grinding stone/mortar & pestle made of granite stone) and scooped out with a dry 'katti' (coconut shell) as even the moisture from one's hand could render the paste useless when stored at room temperature. This also explains why vinegar is used to grind the paste which along with salt acts like a preservative.


During my childhood, the yummiest fish fry was always marinated in Meet Mirsang, it is only during the latter years of my time in Mangalore that out of sheer lack of time that we resorted to a quick fix of the marinade made of Bafat Powder, tamarind paste and salt. I continued that tradition (of using Bafat powder) for many years after getting married. I think I need to thank my blog for making me break out of my comfort zone and try out traditional recipes which are actually not as much of an effort (or rocket science) as I had thought earlier. 

When I was a child, we would have fried fish (fresh or dried) on Saturdays and more often during the Monsoons, I don't know the reason behind it, but it just seemed so perfect. We also had meal combos that just tasted heavenly. Like the vegetable gravy - Valchebaji ani Guley and Sardine Fry or Daliso Saar (Mangalorean Watery Dal/Lentils) and Mackerel Fry. Since the time I got married I have tried to maintain this custom and also love to have fried Mackerels with Kulta Kaat (Horsegram & Madras Cucumber Curry)

I am sure every family has their favourite combinations...if you have the same memories that I do, do let me know what your favourite combinations are...


The Meet Mirsang has definitely added that spark into our mealtimes as it makes fried fish ultra tasty and makes us pick out all edible parts of the fish and thoroughly enjoy the experience of having a meal with loved ones at home. Chatting and talking and helping ourselves to that extra spoon of boiled rice and curry or saar (recipe to follow) to accompany the pieces of fish waiting to be finished.


Picture above: Mackerels marinated in Meet Mirsang are sizzling on a hot 'kail' (frying pan)

For people who are hard pressed for time, it is best to make this paste in small batches and refrigerate it (if you are using water to grind). You can use it for a multitude of recipes including chicken and fish curries that call for a combination of the chillies, jeera and vinegar.

Meet Mirsang 
You Need:
  • 100 dry red chillies (Bedgi/Byadge - also known as Kumti Mirsang/Kundapur chillies)
  • 1 tsp cumin/jeera
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi powder
  • 8 tsp salt (increase it as per taste)
  • 12 tbsp vinegar (or about 150ml) *see note
Method:
Remove the stalk of the chillies and grind to a powder with the jeera and turmeric powder if you are using a dry mixer grinder. Add the salt & vinegar and grind to a fine paste. If you are using the traditional Mangalorean Gatno you can toss in all the above ingredients to grind to a fine paste. 

Note:
If you are using a mixer grinder to grind this masala, you will notice that the given quantity of vinegar will not be sufficient to achieve the paste consistency. Ideally Meet Mirsang is made with vinegar to grind the spices and hence may require as much as 500-750ml of vinegar. This helps the paste to remain fresh and for very long periods of time when stored even at room temperature.


Since I am not too fond of the vinegar and it's acrid smell, I use just about 11-12 tbsp and supplement the liquid requirement with boiled & cooled water - this of course means you cannot store the paste outside at room temperature as it will spoil fast so I make in small batches and refrigerate and use within 2-3 weeks at the most.

You can also substitute vinegar with tamarind paste and refrigerate it.

22 comments:

  1. Meet Mirsang looks so spicy and tangy. Excellent preparation.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  2. Omg, mouthwatering..hot fiery chilly paste..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the colour and texture..Looks so yummy shir..i used to love the bangde fry which aunty used to make at Mangalore. now i know the secret behind that yummy fry..Will try it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Homemade is always best, looks perfectly done

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG!!! that fish looks so yummy. want to finish every thing:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks very interesting and something which I seriously love to try out. I am settled in HK now, but I used to stay in Thane before that. You have a wonderful blog. Happy blogging and have a great day!!
    http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks a lot Deepa, Priya, Rinku, Sharmilee, Rumana and Purabi!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh my god!! i gotta try this! this looks mouth watering and would add new flavour to my cooking. wil make this and give you a feed back :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks Anjum! Try it & let me know, its a very handy & versatile paste :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Smitha MascarenhasJune 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Hi,

    Thanks for the recipe. I always wanted to make meet mirsang since the taste of Bafat powder+vinegar (or tamarind paste)+ salt can never match the traditional meet mirsang. But I have limited quantity of Kumti Mirsang. So would like to know what quantities should be used when making a small batch of meet mirsang (say to last for a week). Awaiting your reply....

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Smitha

    I am not so sure about the small quantities. I guess 10 long chillies, 10 short chillies, vinegar and salt to taste and a pinch of jeera ground to a paste will result in 1/10th of the quantity i made. Should serve you well.

    Alternatively, you can powder

    1 tsp Jeera, red chillies (1/4kg), 1 tsp haldi - just use this with a little tamarind juice or vinegar or fresh lime juice and salt to taste. My MIL says you can store this powder for a long time and use as required. Ensure that your chillies are crackling dry or else you can't powder them :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I want to make the fried fish with this masala for my husband. Since I am a vegetarian, I have no idea which fish will go well for this dish. Do you have any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  13. @ Neha: This marinade can be used for any type of fish. I can suggest fish names depending on where you live. You can safely use the marination for Pomfret, Surmai (King Fish), Sardines, Mackerels, Ghol & Sole/Tongue Fish - Do adjust the spice level and salt according to your taste.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Shireen... I am Akshata and I too am a mangalorean.. I was happy to see a blog with so many mangalorean dishes.. May be you can add some recipes like Mangalore cucumber koddel, pineapple curry, mixed fruit curry, semige with sweet coconut milk or chicken curry, pathrade, marvai pundi (rice balls soaked in shell curry), different bendhis that we make (vegetable cooked in light tamarind water and with garlic-chilli flake tadka), boodhi kumblakai puli (curd curry)..etc.. So many dishes are coming on my mind.. The way we make pulimunchi at home is quite different.. I will share the recipe with you someday.. :) I am already drooling thinking about all the food.. :P Well my favorite combo is simple tomato saar (just onion, tomato, green chilli with garlic tadka), mackeral/anjal fry (chilli pwd, turmeric, lime, salt), curd and rice.. :) :) simple and delicious..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks Akshata!! You have given me so many recipe ideas - I will try them out one by one! Hope you have tried some of my recipes and enjoyed them too! Happy cooking!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Shireen,

    Please can you let me know how much are 100 dry red chillies roughly equivalent to in Grams? Would it be around 250 grams or something?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Rhea,

    Sorry I don't have my weighing scale at present so won't be able to help you. In my opinion 250gms would be more than 100 as the chillies are dried & very light in weight

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Shireen. Im a recent visitor to ua blog. I happened to c a recipe in ua blog while browsing d net n nw im addicted to ua blog. As i finish my house work ( im a home maker) the very first thing i do since few days is going through ua recipes. To be frank i love reading ua life experiences in mangalore( i too am a mangalorean) i just enjoy reading every detail of it. Actualy most of d tyms i dnt even read d caption of d recipe but read d first few sentences or d topic with which u hav narrated . Thanx a ton for sharing ua experience being a mangalorean as well as sharing d bestest recipes iv always been searching for. Last but not d least may i know which place in mangalore u belong to?? N wer did u do ua schooling ( only if u dnt mind sharing it n ofcourse knowing school name is nt to help me recall my senior or so its just out of curiosity to know which school in mangalore teaches such a wonderful vocabulary cz ua vocabulary is just amazing

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @ Prathista: Thanks so much for your lovely comment!! I am pleased to know that you not only like my recipes but enjoy my writing too! By the way I went to Ladyhill School near Urwa Church, Mangalore. Did you study there too?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy to hear from u. No dear shireen im from Kulshekar n studied in St Joseph's .

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nice to know that Prathista :) And by the way I was from Urwa parish, now belong to Kulshekar parish but live in Dubai :D

    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 :-)