Last week one of my uncles was here from Nairobi to attend the wedding in the family. As he was staying with us Roshan and I decided to prepare some traditional Mangalorean dishes as it is not very often that he gets to eat it where he lives. We decided to bring out our prized packet of 'rotti' (crispy thin rice crepes/ wafers) and serve it with kori ghassi (chicken curry) and some vegetable dish on the side. We had never prepared this combo of two veggies, both of which are our favourite and off it went on the menu.
Kadle manoli stands for garbanzo beans & ivy gourd cooked together in a dry dish garnished with lots of coconut and aromatic spices. The dry roasting of the grated coconut is key for that aroma and deliciousness which is inherent to Mangalorean dishes. This is what a sukka is all about. Coconut is not just used as a garnish but is actually roasted for a long time until it releases a bit of its oil and also this technique helps change the colour of the coconut to a pale golden brown.
Since Roshan is an expert at roasting coconut on a slow fire to perfection I let him prepare this dish (honestly, I was lazy and wanted to finish organizing my clothes and accessories for the wedding - haha!). While the coconut was roasting he put together a beautiful curry for the rotti. If you have never tried this combination you don't know what you are missing!
My uncle thoroughly enjoyed his meal that day and yes, we helped ourselves to seconds and thirds and since a huge amount of both dishes was prepared we enjoyed the leftovers the next day too. If you are keen to enjoy this very traditional Mangalorean meal, then do give both these recipes a try.
Recipe - Kori Rotti Chicken Curry
- 1 cup black garbanzo beans (black chana, kadale)
- 250-300gms kg ivy gourd ( manoli, tendli)
- 1 medium sized onion finely sliced
- 1-1/2 cups grated coconut
- 1/2 inch jaggery, powdered
- 1-1/2 - 2 tablespoons (adjust to taste) Kundapur Taal masala powder or Bafat powder
- 1 marble sized ball of tamarind
- salt to taste
- oil for frying
- 1-2 sprigs curry leaves
- 3-4 garlic flakes lightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon oil
1. Soak the black garbanzo beans/chana in ample amount of water for at least 12-14 hours. Once done, discard the water, refresh once with fresh water and transfer them into a pressure cooker. Add water enough to cover them and a little more. Add salt to taste, cover the pressure cooker and cook for about 3 whistles - depending on the variety and quality of chana used you may need to cook further until they are tender. Remove and keep aside - do not discard the stock/cooking liquor of the chana.
2. Wash and trim the ends of the ivy gourd and quarter them vertically (cut into 4 parts lengthwise)
3. Heat the oil and fry the onions till golden. Add the coconut and the masala powder and fry it on a low heat for about 5-7 minutes taking care to avoid burning. The coconut should roast very nicely on a low heat and release a nice aroma
4. Add the sliced ivy gourd, give it a good mix and cover the kadhai with a small and tight lid (as close to the mixture so that steam gets trapped and helps cook the ivy gourd) - you have to cook it this way on a very low heat and constantly monitor so that the contents don't burn.
5. When the ivy gourd is cooked halfway through add the cooked chana, jaggery, tamarind and salt and a little bit of the cooking liquor (stock) of the chana. Cover the kadhai again and continue to cook till the ivy gourd is completely cooked.
6. In a smaller pan heat oil for seasoning and when hot toss in the crushed garlic and the curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the cooked kadale-manoli.
7. Serve hot with rice or chapathis