Carambola(Star fruit) Gojju and Saaru


It’s been ages since I wrote a post on this blog. Even though I’ve been in Bangalore for the past 3 months, it’s been impossible to find the motivation to try and write anything. After several days of storing this picture as a draft, I thought it would be good to post a recipe today. 

I had not tasted Carambola in Bangalore, even though it’s a tropical fruit and available in abundance. They are called ‘Kommarke HaNNu’ in my house. I recently discovered that they are also called ‘Kamala Drakshi’. 

Though they are a great source of vitamin C, the ones I got were extremely sour. There was no way of eating them as a fruit in their natural state. Since a had several, I decided to try cook them into something sour and sweet. 

Carambola already have a very mild pineapple flavor. They made an excellent gojju and a very flavorful rasam, which would make an wonderful drink in cold winters or for a lazy dinner. 

To make the Gojju- 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 Carambola fruit- dived into 1/2 inch pieces
  2. Gojju powder- recipe Here– 2 TBSP
  3. Jaggery – 2 TBSP or to taste
  4. Tamarind paste- 1 heaped Tsp or juice from a lemon sized ball. 
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Turmeric powder- 1/8 Tsp
  7. Mustard seeds- 1/4 Tsp
  8. Asafetida- a pinch
  9. Curry leaves- about  10
  10. Sunflower oil( or any neutral smelling oil)- 3 TBSP
  11. Water- 2 cups

Method: 

Make a tempering of the mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafetida in the oil. Add the Carambola pieces and sauté till they start getting soft and start changing color. Add a cup of water and the turmeric powder. Cook for a minute or two. Bring to a boil and add the remaining ingredients. 

Boil till the Gojju thickens and adjust the seasoning. I prefer a thicker Gojju to serve with Ragi mudde, so I add a little more Gojju powder. The amount can be adjusted as per thickness required. 

To make the Rasam( Saaru):

Make sure the Carambola is sour. 

  1. 1 Carambola cut into small pieces
  2. Coconut oil- 1 TBSP for seasoning
  3. 1 green chili- slit
  4. A few curry leaves
  5. Salt – to taste
  6. Jeera- 1/2 Tsp
  7. Asafetida- a pinch
  8. Jaggery- a small piece( optional) 
  9. Water- 3 cups

Method: 

 Add the Carambola pieces to the water and add the salt the salt. Cook the Carambola in the water till it’s completely soft and mushy. I used a hand mixer to mush up the pieces completely, so that they integrated well in the water. Add the jaggery if needed. 

Make a tempering of the jeera, asafetida, curry leaves and green chili in the coconut oil. Add to the rasam. 

Serve hot with rice or on its own as a drink. 

Boiled Peanut Chaat

Adapted from the book ‘Marwari cuisine’ by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. This is a really easy Chaat for peanut nutters like me. 

You will need to boil and shell about 5-6 cups of peanuts for this recipe that serves 2. A bit tedious, but really fun chaat for those rainy days. 

Ingredients:

  1. Raw peanuts- 5 cups, salted well and pressure cooked for 2 whistles. Shell the peanuts after they cool
  2. Tomato-1, fine chopped
  3. Onion-1, fine chopped
  4. Coriander- 2 TBSP, fine chopped
  5. Lemon juice- 1 TBSP
  6. Chaat masala- 1/2 TSP
  7. Jeera powder- 1/2 TSP
  8. Red chili powder- to taste
  9. Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients and serve, optionally with some crunchy sev on the top. 


Karkina Pudi( Curry Leaf Chutney Pudi)

IMG_0678

The weekend Hari and I visited my Veena Teacher in NJ. It was a pleasure to see her garden. Her Husband has a green thumb to envy. They grow a lot of Mysuru mallige and Kanankambara. They also have a couple of Curry leaf plants that are growing so happily in pots. Curry Leaf plants are not very easy to grow, I have tried and failed several times before giving up.

They gave me a nice packet of fresh curry leaves and she asked me for the recipe of Karkina Pudi, which I did not know. So, I called my Mom and she gave me my Paddu Ajji’s recipe. None of my Grandmother’s recipes were ever documented when she was alive. I really feel sad for that. My Mom remembers only some things, but she can go wrong with proportions. She gave me the recipe as she remembered it. I must say, I love the taste of the powder. This powder is also specially made for new mothers( bananthi) to aid digestion. I just love the taste of the Curry leaves and pepper with hot rice and lots of ghee.

Ingredients:

  1. Curry Leaves- 1 Cup, packed
  2. Toovar Dal- 1/8 Cup
  3. Coriander Seeds- 2 Tbsp
  4. Black peppercorns- 1 Tsp
  5. Cumin- 1 Tsp
  6. Dry Ginger powder- 1/2 Tsp
  7. Tamarind Powder- 1 Tsp
  8. Grated dry coconut- 1 Cup or from 1/2 the coconut
  9. A big pinch of Asafetida
  10. Salt to taste

Method:

Wash the curry leaves and pat them dry on some wet paper towels. Dry roast the leaves on a low flame in a kadhai till they completely lose all the moisture and become almost paper like. Remove from the flame and keep aside. Make sure that they have completely dried, but are not burnt.

Dry roast the Toovar dal till golden. Add the coriander, cumin, pepper and dry roast till fragrant. Add the grated coconut and roast till it starts turning golden. Add the ginger powder and saute. Take off the heat. Cool everything and powder with the Curry leaves, Tamarind powder, asafetida and salt.

Store in an airtight container.