Soyi bahjill chane gashi (chick-peas in roasted coconut gravy) + Stuffed Bitter-gourds I (Konkani? Tamil?)

April 6, 2007 at 5:54 PM (bitter melon/gourd, channa/ gram, dishes by cuisine, dishes by main ingredient, India, Konkani, legumes/pulses- whole or split, Tamil Nadu)

    I’ll admit this to all of you: my absolute favorite legume/pulse is channa, AKA gram, chole, garbanzo bean, chick-pea……kabuli or badi/kala…..and also known as many, many other names around the world, but I know it as delicious!

    Over the years, I have tried several recipes of Indian origin, most of them Punjabi. I can’t blame them for their fondness, no….not at all! And while I find great pleasure in devouring these near-spherical wonders in rich browned onion and tomato or tamarind sauces, I found myself yearning for something new, something that I hadn’t yet found, and yet steeped in a long tradition that had as yet not revealed itself to me. That is, until a few days ago, when I happened upon a very intriguing recipe hidden in the folds of Manjula’s marvelous collection of Konkani recipes, Daalitoy.

     I think what intrigued me most while reading over her recipe, besides the lush coconut, red chile, and tamarind- based gravy, was the very subtle use of lightly-roasted methi seeds to add an almost imperceptible note within the layers of flavour. Manjula described two ways of making this dish: the first was with fresh, unroasted coconut and the use of methi made optional. As I tend to welcome a bit of luxury and greater complexity in flavour, I opted to prepare what she described as “a special variation of chane gashi” made with roasted coconut called soyi bahjill chane gashi.

    Let me tell you now, I was not disappointed! This dish, because of the complex aromatics released while roasting not only the coconut, but the chiles and methi as well, and also added to this the final tadke with its bounty of curry leaves, will literally bask your olfactory senses in sheer delight! Such a few, simple ingredients made into perfection! And look, I haven’t even mentioned the chick-peas since I began. It’s that good.


    This dish is traditionally prepared with the addition of a mild-flavoured, starchy vegetable that soaks up the delicious gravy like a sponge. She strongly recommends green jackfruit (fresh or tinned) if you have access; I opted for one of the other three that she mentioned: green banana (such as unripe plantain). After tasting this, I think I could recommend a few more, if I may be so bold: sweet potatoes, taro root, sweet cassava, jicama….

Soyi Bajill Chane Gashi

1 C chane, preferably kala/badi, but kabuli is fine too

1 C coconut, freshly grated or frozen

10-16 dried red chiles

a piece of tamarind, the size of a small lime

8-10 fenugreek/ methi seeds

1 C diced green jackfruit(fresh or canned)/suran(Indian yam)/green banana/potatoes

salt to taste

2 t oil

1/2 t mustard seeds

a pinch of hing(my addition…for greater authenticity, Manjula stated that this is not usually included.)

4 sprigs of curry leaves

1)Rinse chane and soak in water for 24 hours. Drain and cook in pressure cooker(20 min at 15#) or boil in water until just tender. Drain, reserving liquid.

2)Wipe the inside of a pan with oil and roast coconut, stirring constantly over med-low heat, until golden and fragrant. Remove to grind.

3)Seed chiles(if desired) and break into pieces. Roast in the same pan until they turn a shade darker. Remove and add to coconut.

4)Soak the tamarind in hot water for 30 min; pour through sieve and press as much liquid through as you can. Discard pulp and seeds, but collect any extract clinging to the bottom of the sieve.

5)In a grinding mechanism(I used a food processor) grind the coconut and chiles, adding a bit of reserved chane broth when necessary to achieve a smooth paste. Add tamarind to balance the sweetness (This paste is called masolu).

6)Lightly roast the methi seeds until a shade darker and fragrant. (Do not let them burn as they become too bitter). Grind to a powder (I used a mortar-and-pestle and then added chane broth to the mortar to make a “methi water”).

7)Take the paste, methi, diced vegetable, and cooked chane in a pot, add enough reserved chane broth to thin to a gravy. Bring to a boil, and simmer, stirring frequently, to cook vegetable and blend flavours (5 min if using canned jackfruit or 30 min or so otherwise). Add more broth as needed, and salt to taste.

8)Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds. When they pop, add hing(optional) and curry leaves and fry for a bit. Pour this over the finished dish.

    I teamed this up simply with plain rice and, instead of Manjula’s suggestion of podi (vegetable fritters),  I decided on stuffed bitter melon (origin of recipe as yet unknown), and mosaru bajji, an excellent recipe I found within Shilpa’s collection. Thanks to you both (and hopefully neither of you are giggling over this combination for a meal!)  🙂


BONUS RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone can identify positively the place of origin of the following dish, I will post absolutely any requested dish in the world within one moon cycle. (disclaimer: if I absolutely cannot obtain a certain ingredient, reasonable substitutions must be allowed)

 Stuffed Bitter-gourds (from Premila Lal’s Indian Recipes, Premila Lal, 1968)

-written exactly as it is in the book

2 large bitter-gourds

2 T ghee

To be fried then powdered:

3 t black gram dhal

5 t coriander seeds

1/2 t cumin seeds

1/2 t fenugreek seeds

Grind to a fine paste:

8 dry red chillies

1 small ball of tamarind(size of a small lemon)

A little asafoetida (size of a tamarind seed)

Salt to taste

    Wash the bitter-gourds and cut into even round pieces. Remove only the seeds from the pulp then stuff these pieces with the thick paste made by mixing the fine paste with the powdered ingredients. Cook on steam ’til tender.

    Place a saucepan on a low heat and heat 1 tablespoon ghee. Transfer the cooked bitter-gourd pieces to the saucepan and pour the remaining ghee over them. Fry them on both sides ’til they become crisp and brown in colour.

    Serve with idlis, rice or chappatis, as preferred.

Bee of Jugalbandi has added in her comment: “Tamilians have this penchant for urid dal. J. says it looks very Tamilian (he’s one). Keralites would use rice flour to crispen it, so it isn’t from Kerala.

Anju from Mangalore has added from a comment: “The stuffed bitter gourd recipe is very similar to a Konkani dish my mom used to make (and I try to copy ineffectively) and is called ‘Karathe Pathrado’ (or ‘Karathe Kudko’ in some circles).  The only difference is the method of cooking the Karathe (Bitter gourd) after stuffing it.  My mom’s method calls for heating some oil, spluttering mustard seeds in it and placing the stuffed pieces in the hot oil.  After crisping up the bottom side of Karathe, water is added around the pieces (1/2cup maybe) and the lid closed and the pieces steamed until almost done.  Then, the pieces are turned over and cooked on the second side until that side has crisped up and the pieces are fully cooked.”


NOTE—–> This book, although printed under a single authoress, appears to be a compilation of recipes from many writers, as there is little uniformity in ingredient names or wording. (It reminds me of the American “church cookbooks” that are made by collecting donated recipes to raise charity money). A fine collection of recipes none-the-less….definitely a personal treasure…



  1. Anita said,

    Hats off, and sashtaang pranam!

    And you used your fingers too!! and that is not a plate or even a thali?!! [but not quite the banana leaf yet, thank God!]
    oh yes it is!
    If there was zeera, dhaniya, and amchoor in your stuffed karela, then chances are you were using a North Indian recipe. It is the most popular way of preparing karelas in UP. If prepared with sufficient oil, it cal last for a week even as travel food. I have had friends bring it on train travel trips with paranthas.
    (see ingredients in next comment…if you can identify place of origin, I’d be most grateful!))

    It does seem to stay good for a long time…that is one of the most wonderful things to give to un-initiated Umrikans to try….just the look on their face is priceless! Maybe not as good as Thai/Lao papaya salad (tam som/som tam) but a close second! I like them though….rather perky things….didn’t like the first one I tried (first batch was last year)…then I somehow finished them off in a few days…

    That is some spread, Pel! [bows again] aw….thanks Anita [blushes]

  2. Manisha said,

    1. What is that you ate off?
    2. Which of those veggies did you add?
    3. What did you use for stuffing the karela? I love karela in any form!
    4. Look for a white balance setting on your camera. It will help with more natural colors and this reddish glow will probably disappear.

    My jackfruit story:
    I can’t handle jackfruit after an overdose about 20 years ago in Goa. We left my aunt’s house to go to rural Goa for a ceremony at our temple followed by a ceremony even deeper in rural Goa at another Bhat’s (priest’s) house. This was for my great-grandmother who had passed away the previous year. After the ceremony at the temple, the Bhat’s wife served us lunch. Everything from the starters to the dessert had some form of jackfruit. We had jackfruit phodi, we had jackfruit bhaji, we even had the ripe jackfruit for dessert.

    Then we went deep into rural Goa. That Bhat had a wonderful home with orchards all around – mangoes and yes, jackfruit. His home was so cool, it was unbelievable. Had gobar (made of cowdung) floors. His wife welcomes us with fresh kokum juice. Yum. Then after the ceremony she served us jackfruit, jackfruit, jacfruit and more jackfruit.

    When we finally got home to my aunt’s home in Panaji, I was relieved that I might finally get some food. I was the first one in. And she had many jackfruit that had ripened in the time we were away…:shock: 😥

    Answers:1) Banana leaf- precut and pre-bent across the long fibers to make shaping into steaming vessels easy…
    2) Green banana (green plantain)
    3) stuffing: roasted urad dhal, roasted dhania, roasted cumin, roasted methi, red chiles, tamarind, hing, salt
    4) The room it was photographed in has orange panes…(coloured cellophane, waxed paper and duct tape) and appears in the “candied citrus peel” post 😀 I think I like orange a lot… the room is on the northwest corner of the house and is very drafty in winter…the orange gives the illusion that it’s warm….very pretty at sunset though, which is the only time it gets direct light.

    I’m sorry about your jackfruit overdose, but gosh 20 years…weren’t you just a teen-ager then?…….but gosh, 20 years…!!! let go…be one with the jackfruit….

  3. Manisha said,

    Ah! You skipped jackfruit! You can still be my friend!

    I get fresh jackfruit here in the Korean market. If you have one close by, you could risk our friendship and try it out.

    I tried jackfruit for the first time just over a month ago…ripe…frozen from a Lao grocery, with the rind still on…one of those mini-jackfruits with most of the rind cut off for you…, I had an inkling of what to expect from not only from some reading about jackfruit and durian and breadfruit, but also because I have some jackfruit and durian flavouring essences from Thailand….but still…’s a bit shocking to the western palate..I decided to make a jackfruit payasam with it (pureed jackfruit/coconut milk/gur/cardamom)…as I was yanking the slimy suckers off the rind and getting the seeds out, I was taking little nibbles…it tastes really good…there’s no way I could ever decribe it to anyone….and then that sulphuric smell mingles with it…my palate was really at a great loss as to whether I liked it or not….on the one hand it reminds me of pineapple, strawberries and vanilla pudding, on the other it reminds me of stagnant water or something…well, I made the payasam and then let it cool and all….I was taking little bites and getting accustomed to it….after a week of doing that I could say I like it now…the last bite I took I finally “got it”….it has a refreshing luxurious taste, sweet/sour and complex….I haven’t tried green/unripe jackfruit yet. I’ve seen it in jars and cans…oh wait! yes I have! it’s kinda fibery like bamboo shoots with not much flavour…that was like 12 years ago…I didn’t know what to do with it…

  4. Anita said,

    Manisha always has a story for every occasion! Manisha is also going overboard with her emoticons – the html is showing! Give some space, girl! 😉

    20 years is a long time…you should have recovered by now.

  5. Manisha said,

    Thsi WP is nto as smrat as I thouhgt it wsa. Whta to do?

    No. I cna smell it evne todya.

  6. Manisha said,

    Ah! So the orange is intentional.

    The roasted urad dal and tamarind in the stuffing for the karela makes me think it is more from a Southern Indian cuisine.

    Yeah…it’s a homey kind of photo 🙂
    I was thinking perhaps it[stuffed kerela] was an Andhra P. recipe…but then the heavier use of coriander seeds reminds me of some Keralan dishes too….I’m totally at a loss really…because like Anita said, these are common to the cuisine of Uttar Pradesh, but the use of tamarind plus roasted dhal really says south….

  7. anusharaji said,

    kinda made me smile how empty and alone the leaf became 🙂

    Trust me, it didn’t take long! 😀

  8. Musical said,

    The Chane gassi recipe sounds good, ummmm…..finger likcing good, Pel. Ah! if only i had access to fresh jackfruit. I’ll probably have to check out at the local Korean store (thanks for that tip, Manisha).

    On jackfruit, i much prefer the green jackfruit used for cooking (savory/as a vegetable) rather than a fruit. Punjabis make sabzis and pickle out of it. But the best jackfruit sabzi i ate was an Oriya version, with some shredded jackfruit, saute’d with some turmeric and lil’ spice. people also roast jackfruit seeds and use them as a snack! and then there are those delightful Kerala style jackfruit sweet chips 🙂

    Is this some karela fest going on?? I made some stuffed karelas too y’day: baked ’em though.

    Another pickle eh?[green jackfruit] You and I should count and find out which of us has more pickles….it might be close, as you sound as much of a pickle-holic as I am….hot, sour, salty anything is my weakness…that jackfruit sabzi from Orissa sounds good..I actually tried the roasted jackfruit seeds that I had- they are quite good!…..I saw a recipe for those Kerala-style jackfruit chips, but haven’t tried them yet….the Thais and Laotians seem to love jackfruit as well, so I think I just may go a-jackfruit-hunting soon! Have you ever tried a durian?

    What was in the stuffing you used for the kerelas?

  9. Anita said,

    Urad dal + tamarind- definitely south.

    Jackfruit subzi is a lot of work. Though the Delhi green grocers do peel it for you. But my Maharashtrian family insists on peeling the seeds before cooking – TOO MUCH WORK, people. It is so much easier after it has cooked, plus every one gets to do their share that way! 🙂 They throw out the fibrous part as well – just the seeds and the flesh outside the seed is used. In the North, they use tender jackfruit and the fibrous portion as well!! Reminds them of chicken!

    Ah! So the seeds are left whole in the sabzi? Good idea to leave the skins on and let the diners do as they wilt…The northern practice of using the rind is interesting…chicken you say? 🙂
    It kind of reminds me of a vegetable I discovered a few years ago: the young, tender “ends” of gourd-family vines…a Hmong lady showed me how to strip off the fibers from the stems- quite a delicious vegetable and a way to use the “prunings”… if you haven’t already, I recommend it….although I do recall that Shilpa posted a recipe using them- BRB okay, here is a tambli made with them… in summer the open markets here have many vendors selling them, but since I had vines that were “accidentally” planted and left to grow, I used these.

  10. elaichietcetera said,

    Hello all!
    I’ve decided to add the stuffed kerela recipe to the post at the end……………if anyone can find out the cuisine this is from, I’ll…..let’s see …[tries to think], what’s a good reward?

    I don’t know….think of one…

  11. musical said,

    Hey Pel,

    I made Karelas with two kinds of fillings:

    1. Turmeric+onion+tomatoes after saute’ing
    2. The dry filling that Anita described above

    I’ll post my different Karela recipes sometime.

    My guess too is for Southern Indian origins for your Karela stuffing.

    Oh, btw, the name of the state is Orissa and cuisine from Orissa is called Oriya cuisine.

    Thank you for the correction and saving my @$$… 😀 (I changed it) Thanks for checking out the recipe….it’s still a mystery for now, hopefully someone says “My family recipe is just like that! And we are from “n”…. Bring some of those stuffed karelas with you next time you stop! 🙂

  12. Anita said,

    Pel, you okay?? Didn’t know eating too much bitter gourd could do this to you…you seem to be talking to yourself 🙂 in case you hadn’t noticed…

    Even though there is little chance of me receiving the prize, I think some of the candied peel from the historic post would be a good one. Definitely not the tofu hot dog-mutsch! 🙂

    Candied citrus peel? I gave what remained of that delicious stuff to someone in Florida…. 🙂

    What?!!! What’s wrong with the mutsch? It was your recipe!!! 😀

  13. bee said,

    that looks like a south indian stuffing, definitely, with the urid dal toasted. everywhere else in india, the fondness for urid dal as a stuffing is not that high, or it is mixed with another dal like chana dal.
    plus the tamarind. north indians like to use lime juice or amchoor or anardana as the sour agent.

    tamilians have this penchant for urid dal. j says it looks very tamilian (he’s one). keralites would use rice flour to crispen it, so it isn’t from kerala.

    Bee…I would tend to strongly concur with you…..I found a few Tamilian bitter gourd recipes on the Hare Krsna site…..many similarities! I know a Tamil lady by acquaintance, and I may bring her a few in hopes that she likes bitter melon and would be willing to try them…

  14. Manisha said,

    Ding! Ding! Ding! Tofu dogs go to Bee!

    Pel, the masala should be toasted/roasted not fried, no? But I guess it’s part of the idiosyncracies of that book.

    Yeah….”fried” in this case seems to be a loose term for “place into a hot pan- with or without oil…”…….Like I said, this book has many indicators of being written by many different people…other recipes will say outright: roast using very little oil in a pan set over a flame….so, not a good book for beginners; a lot of splendid recipes though…….the Cooogi pineapple recipe and gulabi pulao that I sent to Shilpa and she posted are from there as well…

  15. Vee said,

    There are a lot of idiosyncracies of that book. Go to the ingredient glossary and look to haldi, ghee, curry leaf and you will know what I mean. The recipes are good, though.

    Glad to see chane ghashi here, pel. It is one of the signature dishes of konkani cuisine and my fave. Talking to yourself?? Too much karela will do that to you 🙂 Not a karela fan at all.

    Manisha, wow! Cannot imagine eating that much jackfruit. I know m’lore goes through a month when everywhere you go , you will find jackfruit in every form. I do not like ripe jackfruit so much. Raw jackfruit is good though, in various curries, sauteed , deep fried. Korean stores in my area do not carry the raw kind. 😦

    After I posted the chane ghashi recipe, I started worrying that it was a South Kannara dish instead of Konkani…so it is Konkani for sure? I must say I feel really lucky having you, Manjula and Shilpa around to post recipes and share traditions of a somewhat elusive cultural background. Do you happen to know of any Konkani cookbooks?

  16. Anita said,

    Name didn’t sound Tamil…so the tofu dogs go to…Vee! You are required to do a post upon receipt of the prized tofu dogs… 🙂

    Sorry Anita dearie… Chane Gashi is Konkani yes, but the great debate is over the stuffed bitter melons… so….it looks like YOU get the tofu hot dogs! 😀 Shall I send them by post?

  17. Manisha said,

    But, Bee already ate them. So there. :mrgreen:

    (Bee kya aur Vee kya…ek hi letter ka farak hai….)

    Thanks Manisha…I wasn’t quite sure how to put it… :-b

  18. elaichietcetera said,

    Thanks and congratulations! (unless someday we learn differently), and give a thanks to Jai as well….

    What would you like me to post? Like I said, anything…..I’m up for the challenge! 🙂

  19. Evil Jungle Prince said,

    I love your description of chickpeas as “magical orbs” — so true! I feel the same way when I’m eating them. It’s an aesthetic as well as a culinary experience. 😀

    How oft the two disciplines are entwined! Don’t go gettin’ me started on spherical foods now….for the last 3 months I have done so well in avoiding ladoos… 🙂

  20. Vee said,

    Manisha, Anita, mein kahan se aa gayi usme? I was not talking about the karela dish at all. Now, if it was anything other than tofu dogs..

    Pel, I think this is one of those dishes that is not only common to both the kanaras but also prepared in the same way. I cannot remember a single time we ate at a temple whether in North or south that does not have the ghashi whether roasted or not…

    [sighs] …all we had while growing up and going to catholic masses was weak coffee and stale doughnuts afterward, and stern-looking nuns who would growl if you even thought about taking two… thankfully I gave up all that fun at the ripe old age of 12.

  21. Anita said,


    But, don’t worry about them tofu dogs…it will be too much trouble. 🙂

    LOL…..oh…it wouldn’t be any problem at all! 😉

  22. Manisha said,

    Anita just wanted an excuse to use 😳 smiley is what it is! Otherwise she seems to be rather observant lately, knowing the difference between 5 and 6. 😈

    BTW, Anita, take a look at the chane ghashi recipe and see how many methi seeds are used! 4 or 5. 😆

  23. bee said,

    what’s your favourite drink? post it if you can.

  24. Anita said,

    8-10 methi seeds!!! Wow, that’s a lot. Definitely not Marathi Konkani! 🙄

    The Marathis don’t use methi seeds? Pity…..still, they have a way with besan that makes up for it……….Wait a second…it seems to me I know of a particularly pink vangi bhat recipe that has a heap of ’em in there…..

  25. Manisha said,

    Excuse me, please look in the original recipe. Not the Green Bay version. 🙄

    Green Bay version…..[scowls] I doubled the recipe! The only thing I changed was a pinch of hing!…..How far is Boulder from here?….. 😀

  26. Musical said,

    Every one seems to be counting the number of methi seeds, making me feel that i have been using them n large excess 😉

    Though, i am glad that i do that…..its supposed to be good for the joints 😀

    and wow! everyone is also into emoticons 😉

    I know! 😮 What’s up with that?!! 😀 It reminds of the “101 almond chicken”, where you MUST count them out…Thankfully I’m a real good counter! 😉

  27. Vee said,

    Are you a counter or a counter-top?? 😆
    No, I don’t know what that means. :Sheepish:
    And now I am blindly typing words to see if they magically transform to emoticons.

    Seriously, food in the temples of India are amazing. It is the waiting in line, finding a place to sit etc. that is the most tiring part. I miss it :sob:

    I can imagine…I’ve never been there and i miss it! 🙂 Counter or counter-top……hmmmmm…….let me do some research and I’ll get back to you on that one… 😀

  28. Alka said,

    Hello Pelicano,

    I’m a konkani from Kerala and this dish is a staple food in our culture. I think it is prepared differently. I have to ask my mom for the recipe. There are 3 types of ghassi: 1) with fresh coconut, 2) Soyi bhajjili ghassi (roasted coconut) and 3) Katteli bhajili ghassi (dry dry ccconut roasted). The former is made fresh, but for the latter two, the masala is prepared and stored in the boxes and the masala is diluted and added to the cooked veggies along with a sour thing like mangoes, tamarind, cocoum etc.


    That is most interesting Alka! If your mother is willing to share these recipes, I would love to see them if you would like to send them… so, tamarind is not the only option for souring? This would be so good with green mango…

  29. Manisha said,

    Vee, honey, don’t sob, try cry. Like so 😥

    Also, no need to torture the poor animals in an attempt to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Instead let me put you out of your misery:
    WordPress Smileys, y’all!

    How far is Boulder? Let’s see, probably 1300 miles or so and you are welcome to go there. Let me know and I will head for Green Bay. D told me we’ve been to Green Bay twice. Apparently I have an aunt who lives there. ❗

    I noticed you doubled the recipe only after I saw Anita say 8-10. If it tasted good, I wouldn’t worry about anything.

    Musical, methi is also supposed to be good for digestion. My aunt had told me to put 4 to 5 methi seeds in the chaunk, regardless of what I was making, to help with the post-partum backaches and pains. I did so but I still have a bad back. A lot of that is genetic and the rest is due to poor posture and lack of exercise. So methi has no chance of making a dent in that!

    And why is Bee trying to change the topic, might I ask? 😯

    Back on topic: is it too late to order karela seeds you think, Pel?

    Nope…not too late, are you like zone 5? They arrive in just a few days after ordering, and you can’t plant them outside yet anyway…you can start them indoors…..last year I didn’t plant the seeds until June…your aunt lives here in GB? It’s a small, small world… she nice?

    Oh,and Manisha:


    okay, I’m finished now. BTW I made your stuffed okra with no stuffing the other day…. and I doubled the chile amount, but only because you said it was okay……

  30. Vee said,

    If I have to keep refering to the list, where is the fun then? Btw, the methi in chaunk thing, was it the same aunt from green bay, the one you don’t remember? 👿

    Hi Alka,
    Whenever we made this soyi bhajjille thingy ,we always made it fresh. Now that you say it, [hitting my forehead with the back of my hand] it’s a damn good idea. Especially since the coconut is already toasted. Me likes. My mom makes a masala out dessicated coconut and lots of other spices and stores it. She calls it channa masala 😀

    Pel, is your research over?

    Nope! It’s always open for input…do you have some evidence you might be keeping?

  31. Manisha said,

    Gosh, what’s with all the shouting? 😯

    Yes, we’re zone 5 but that doesn’t matter cos we were zone 5 in Chicagoland, too. We get snow and hail till end of May. We get hail through summer too. We have winds that are crazy – I used to think 55mph was gusty. We get over 80mph gusts and in the past few months gusts over 100mph have been recorded. It’s very dry and the soil is different from Illinois. And the sun, it burns. The growing period is therefore very short. But I want to try karela anyway. D likes the idea and I think if I delete the okra conversation from my blog and continue to be extra-nice, he might help with preparing a bed for the veggies. 😛

    Yes, my aunt’s in GB in some gorgeous apartments with a gym and a lake. I thought I was in a dream when I visited her. It was beautiful. I thought she was in Milwaukee and that Green Bay just the name of her street or at the most suburb. But D tells me it was about 45 mins or more from Milwaukee. She is very nice!

    So did the unstuffed okra work for you? Someone wrote in saying it didn’t work for her. Dunno. It’s a very simple side to make without all the hassle of stuffing each individual okra and then using copious amounts of oil to fry them.

    Well, some of the besan kept sticking to the pan, but I kept at it with turning, but it’s so delicious I didn’t really care; I was eating it again later on, cold from the bowl in the fridge…Oh, your aunt lives in one of those…that’s a pretty area of town…I should get some photos…lot’s of hills and a big park you can get lost in. I go walking out there sometimes. Green bay is 1 H 45 m from Milwaukee actually, unless you speed 🙂

    I remember the soil out your way has a lot of sand in it….mix in some peat moss and kitchen trimmings, coffee grounds(helps hold in the moisture)…we get hail now and then too, but stuff on a trellis, especially under the eaves, get some protection…karelas truly are easy to grow though; like I said, at first I was worried, then boom! they took over everything and I truly couldn’t eat them fast enough. Just make sure they get regular watering. That’s it. The yellow flowers have a beautiful scent BTW.

  32. Sharmi said,

    Hi, Thanks for dropping by my blog with your lovely compliments!!
    btw I have always wondered how ppl manage to get plantain leaves for presentation. it makes the whole pic so nice and presentable. I too like chole a lot!!


    My city has many Thai and Laotian residents, so banana leaves are available frozen at the regular grocers. Your blog is a fantastic place to browse Sharmi; I think you have quite a flair for making delicious food that is also a treat to the eyes! Thank you for stopping, visit anytime!

  33. sra said,

    Hi Pel! I know of three Konkani cookbooks – Rasachandrika, another one by Saranya Hegde called Mangalorean Cooking, I think, and Sanjeev Kapoor’s recent publication – not sure of the name but I think it’s Konkan Recipes.

    Sra! Thank you so much for those titles; I made a note of them and will check them out!

  34. Manjula said,

    I can’t be more happier. Konkani recipes are everywhere now. Thats the power of blogging.
    Its really amazing that you have mastered the art of eating off the plantain leaves. Not many can do it so neatly.
    You know what? In the konkani tradition there are rules how you place the plantain leaves(I donno about other cultures). The leaf should always be placed such that the tip of the leaf is pointing towards your left. Now thats easy to figure out if you get a tip end of the leaf, a little hard otherwise.

    My leaves are from a special banana tree that bears only square leaves!!! 😀 That is a cool thing to share…thanks ya!

    I think the internet is the most wonderful thing for joining the Konkani people together; it is wonderful for me to watch the exchange of ideas and comparison of recipes and traditions from the different places that Konkanis have settled; I imagine that many of you have found relatives after meeting connections online and re-tracing lineages/family lines.

    I met a girl in high school with the same last name as my Bohemian grandmother. After talking together a bit, we both inquired of our families about our ancestors’ names; it turned out that we shared the same great-great grandparents, so we were third cousins!! 🙂

  35. Anju said,


    I am an authentic Konkani from Mangalore, Karnataka, India 🙂 The stuffed bitter gourd recipe is very similar to a Konkani dish my mom used to make (and I try to copy ineffectively) and is called ‘Karathe Pathrado’ (or ‘Karathe Kudko’ in some circles). The only difference is the method of cooking the Karathe (Bitter gourd) after stuffing it. My mom’s method calls for heating some oil, spluttering mustard seeds in it and placing the stuffed pieces in the hot oil. After crisping up the bottom side of Karathe, water is added around the pieces (1/2cup maybe) and the lid closed and the pieces steamed until almost done. Then, the pieces are turned over and cooked on the second side until that side has crisped up and the pieces are fully cooked.
    My husband and I love…love…love.. this dish.

    Anju- I am so glad you commented! I had posted this recipe hoping that someone like you would come along one day, saying, “Yes, I know this dish…” 🙂 Another commentor who is Tamil said it looked like it ‘might’ be from his cooking tradition, but wasn’t totally sure…

    Would you mind sharing your mother’s recipe with me? I would love to see the stuffing composition! And thank you for sharing that method of cooking- I will add it to the post.

  36. Badal said,

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