Most weekends, DH makes fish on Saturdays and I make Kori Gassi on Sundays and we have been following this schedule for a while now. My husband takes great pride in making the gassi be it Mackerel (Bangude), Sardines (Bhutai) or good old Tilapia. But this weekend, we had a situation – the masala that maami (my mother-in-law) had made had run out and my husband wasn’t sure on how to make the base masala. I very kindly shared with him the recipe for Mangalorean curry powder, but he was running out of time as cleaning the Sardines was taking time so he asked me to help out. I promised to but on one condition – I would do everything myself (so that I could post the recipe here ;). He didn’t seem particularly thrilled with the idea because he thought I wouldn’t make the gassi as well as he makes (REALLY??) but I stuck to my ground and finally after “trying” to micromanage the cooking process, he gave up and let me do my own thing. The resultant Bhutai Gassi was phenomenal. Though he did not admit to it and when I pushed him for his feedback, he mumbled something like “one of the best” I have had so far, I will go as far as to say that it was better than the ones he makes (Shh!! don’t tell him, I said that).Print
- Base Masala
- 7-8 pieces of jaargey or kokum or 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 of medium sized onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Mangalorean curry masala (if you want make it from scratch you need 10 byadgi chillies,1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/4 teaspoon methi seeds fried in a teaspoon of oil and ground to a paste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup coconut,grated
- For tempering
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 sprig of kadipatta (curry leaves)
- 1/2 of medium sized onion, finely cut
- 1 pound of sardines / bhutai (~ 10 of them), cleaned
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
- 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise (optional)
- Soak jaargey or kokum overnight (if possible) or soak it in hot water for 15 minutes. Remove the jaargey and reserve the liquid (filter it, if required).
- For the Base Masala – Grind garlic,onions,coconut,salt,pepper along with Mangalorean Curry Masala and the reserved liquid from jaargey or (kokum or tamarind paste) with a little water to make it into a fine paste.
- For tempering – Heat oil in a medium sized kadhai or wok on medium heat and add mustard seeds to it. When they start spluttering add kadipatta to it. Let it fry for around 20 seconds and then add onions and fry them till they are translucent.
- Add the ground paste to the onions and add 1 cup of water or enough water to make it into a curry like consistency.
- When the gravy starts to boil, add the cut fish,green chilies and ginger paste, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook till it is done [Note – Sardines are very delicate, so do not stir the curry with a ladle while cooking, instead shake the kadhai gently with the help of tongs or cloth to stir.)
- Serve hot with rice.