Summer vacation for Little Miss M is all done. School started last week and she is one happy kitty. I don't remember ever being happy about returning to school after holidays. Summer holidays for us as kids meant visiting cousins or meeting them at my grandfather's house in Mysore. That house holds a lot of great memories for all of us.
It was/is one of those old, rambling houses built in the early 1900s, with 20 foot ceilings, a large courtyard at the center with a tulsi plant on a beautiful pedestal, an uggrana (storage room/pantry) that was larger than the kitchen (which was quite big itself) and the surrounding gardens with many fruit bearing trees and flowering plants. There was this old jackfruit tree that bore so many fruits that whoever visited our house during the season got to take one home! There were wood apple, guava, amla, gooseberry, mulberry, jamun and ramphal trees and we all were adept at climbing them to get to the goodies. We've had numerous falls and bruises from those, many major, most of which our parents never even came to know about. I shudder to think about them now! Four cousins and I, who were all one to two years apart in age, pulled many stunts that would freak me out now, if M or S ever tried any of those! I narrate those stories to M as adventures of the "Famous Five of Mysore" and she loves to hear about our various romps and escapades. Cousin A was the oldest, the responsible one. I was next, followed by cousin V, who was the naughtiest and got into most trouble. Then came cousin D, the other girl in the gang and finally cousin V, the youngest and therefore, the target of many pranks. For my sis D who was a few more years older than us, we were just little pests that needed to be put up with or ignored but she did a good job of mediating our many fights and playing the big sister to all of us, when required. So many stories, I could write a book about it or even a series, really! :) Good old days.
Onto the recipe now. This dish is popular in most Konkani homes. First of all, it has potatoes which is like a universal favorite and then, a fiery and slightly tangy masala to top that with. What is not to like? My MIL always adds a bit of fenugreek seeds, which I really like. That can be skipped, though.
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into thick cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp coconut oil
salt to taste
8-10 dried byadgi red chilies (or 2 regular red chilies and 3-4 byadgi)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
5-6 seeds methi/fenugreek
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/4 tsp thick tamarind concentrate
Boil the cubed potatoes in a pressure cooker, along with a little salt. Keep aside.
Dry roast coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and the red chillies. Once cooled, grind to a smooth paste along with coconut and tamarind, using a little water.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the chopped onions, until browned.
Add the ground massol/masala, boiled potatoes and 1/2 a cup of water. Season with salt and mix well. Add more water for a thinner curry.
Bring to a boil, then let it simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.
Serve hot with rice and dalithoy or tawa rotis.