Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bread Fruit Kaju Butter Masala

In Udupi, Diana Restaurant was quite famous since the Seventies, with their wonderful South Indian and North Indian snacks and dishes. Of the North Indian items, 'Poori Dhingri Masala' was my all time favourite. The mushroom masala had a lovely red gravy that tasted delicious and went well with hot puffed pooris. Similarly, Kaju Dhingri Masala was also popular. Here in Mangaluru, some vegetarian North Indian Restaurants had that dish. I have also tasted that dish made with tender cashewnuts a couple of times at one or two restaurants in the Eighties.

Just the other day,  Meena was planning to prepare some gravy item to go with phulkas for dinner. I said, we have a piece of Bread Fruit in the fridge from those sent by my friend Madhav Bhat from Honavar. I wanted to make some exotic gravy dish with it, and I'll try making 'Bread Fruit Kaju masala' the way restaurants made kaju dhingri masala. North Indians might not have ventured into making some dish adding bread fruit, for this tropical vegetable is not easily available there up North. 
Then I ransacked through the fridge to find essential ingredients. Meena showed me a surprise! There were at least 25 tender cashewnuts out of the 1000 we purchased recently for drying, that she had par-boiled and kept in the fridge to make curry. Thus my job was easy in preparing the dish.There was cream but it was nestling in the freezer, not very ideal for making rich gravy items. Cream that is old and frozen gets slightly denatured and loses its melting properties. It sort of becomes like paneer. We also ran out of tomato puree. My brain works differently when I am challenged to cook without some vital ingredients. I somehow came out with a recipe for Bread Fruit Kaju Butter Masala with whatever I could grab, and made it as delicious as they made in restaurants or even better! You will find out what all ingredients I used to make this lovely curry. This can be well relished with pooris, rotis or ghee rice.

Bread Fruit - 250Gms
Tender Cashewnuts(Or split cashewnuts) - 25
Salt - Around 3/4 Tsp or according to taste
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 1 Tsp
Brown Onion Paste - 2 Tbsp
Refined Oil - 4-6 Tsp
Melon Seeds - 2 Tbsp
White Sesame Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 Tsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 3 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 3/4 Tsp
Kasuri Methi - 1 Tsp
Tomato Ketchup - 1 Tbsp
Whole Cream - 2 Tbsp
Butter - 30 Gms
Chopped Coriander Leaves(Optional) - 1 sprig
Soak tender cashewnuts in warm water for 2-3 hours if fresh and in hot water if dried.
Peel and split into halves.
Boil them with a cup of water or pressure cook them without adding water for 1 min or till just cooked, keep aside.
Shave off the skin, remove the center core and chop bread fruit into 1/4" thick and 1/2" wide pieces, drop the pieces in cold water.
Soak melon seeds and white sesame seeds in little water for 10 minutes and then grind into a thick smooth paste.
Reserve the water obtained from washing the grinder.
Heat 3 Tsp oil in a thick bottomed pan.
Drain the bread fruit pieces and stir fry them in oil with 1/4 Tsp salt till slightly tender and golden in colour.
Remove and keep aside.
Add the remaining oil and fry brown onion paste along with ginger garlic paste for 2-3 mins or until raw smell disappears.
Add all the masala powders and salt along with kasuri methi and fry for 1 min.
Add tomato ketchup and fry for 2 mins.
Add little water if the mass is too dry.
Add melon-sesame seed paste, fry for 3 mins till oil separates.
If necessary sprinkle very little water.
Now add the butter fruit chunks and mix well.
Cover and simmer without adding water for 2-3 mins.
Now add water obtained from washing the grinder and mix gently.
Bring to a boil and then mix in cream.
Adjust for salt and thickness of gravy. 
You can add 50 ml water at the most, or else the gravy becomes too thin.
Mix in butter followed by cooked tender cashewnuts.
Cover and switch off the flame.
Garnish with optional chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.
I didn't add cashewnut paste to the gravy because we are adding cooked tender cashewnuts.
Tender cashewnuts better be added last and mixed in gently with the wooden spatula. Otherwise they tend to break.
You can use split cashewnuts, blanch them and boil them in case you can't get tender ones.
Frying Bread Fruit pieces before cooking them with gravy is mandatory, as bread fruit tends to cook fast and become mushy if directly cooked with gravy.
The gravy should be thick but not dry. 


shubha said...

Thank you for the step by step recipe. Can't wait to try this .

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thanks for liking this, Shubha.


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