Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Easy Kolhapuri masala -Kaanda lasun masala

This is about a most aromatic, traditional Maharashtrian masala from Kolhapur called Kaanda lasun masala (also known as lal tikhat). It is used in everyday cooking. It gives a nice bright red color to gravies (with vegetable, pulses, chicken, eggs or mutton). You can use this to make many stir-fry too.
 It makes a tasty, aromatic, thick gravy. It contains onion, garlic, coconut, oil, red chilli pd with garam masala. The masala looks slightly wet due to onion, garlic and oil. It stays good for few months if stored in a glass jar inside a dark cupboard. You don't have to add any other masalas when you use this in a gravy or a stir-fry.

Simple side dish using this masala- Mix it with some butter and spread this on your bread or rotis. Some raw sliced onions along with this makes a quick delicious meal without any cooking.

Traditional process of making is highly tedious and usually mothers made these in bulk and send it to their children. As searching for various masalas, cleaning, drying, roasting  each separately and grinding these masalas into fine powder is difficult, I have simplified it using a single garam masala pd (goda masala or MTR pulav masala) as this contains most of the  numerous masalas that are required to make this Kanda lasun masala. Add some green cardamoms (powdered without peeling) into the masala as store brought ones may not have much green cardamoms.

Kanda lasun masala is a mix of fried onions (ground into paste), unroasted garlic paste, roasted and coarsely powdered  mixture of white sesame seeds + dry copra + poppy seeds, chilli powder, salt and pulav masala /goda masala

Here's a quick version of Kanda lasun masala or Kolhapuri masala. You have to mix all the 4 items given below.

1. Masala and chilli pd mix
Take 1/2 cup goda masala or MTR pulao masala in a big wide bowl. To this add 1/4 cup byadgi chilli pd +1/4 cup kashmiri chilli pd.

2. Unroasted Garlic paste
Peel and grind 1 garlic cob into paste with 3 tsp salt.

3. Fried onion paste
Fry 2 medium onions (sliced lengthwise) on slow fire with 3 -4 tbsp oil till soft and caramelized ( but not burnt) and ground separately without water into a smooth paste. Do not add all the oil at once. First start with 2 tbsp and when it is half fried keep adding the rest as required.

4. Roasted and coarsely powdered nuts and seeds-
Dry roast  separately each of the given items till golden-
1/4 cup dry coconut (grated copra or dessicated coconut)  
2 tbsp white sesame (white til)  
2 tsp white poppy seeds (khus-khus
Cool these 3 and grind them together to a coarse powder using pulse motion (i.e., keep stopping the blender time to time so that these don't become an oily paste)

Now mix the ingredients from step 1, 2, 3 and 4 in batches.
Take a separate bowl and add 1/3rd masala and chilli pd, 1/3rd garlic paste, 1/3rd onion paste and 1/3 paste of step-4 (nut and seeds powder). 
Mix all these with dry hands or 's' blade of food processor till well mixed. 
Repeat this procedure twice to finish all the ingredients.
Store this in a dark cupboard preferably in a glass jar.

See that all the utensils and appliance are moisture free. 
This masala stays well at room temperature for many months. or you can refrigerate to keep it fresh for longer time.
Store brought masalas (spice) powders hardly have green cardamoms. If you like it's fragrance, do not forget to powder 10-12 green cardamoms (with its skin) and mix into the masala pd.
The masala already has salt, so take care while adding salt into gravies.

Recipe using this-

1. Flat beans stir-fry

2. Paalak soya wadi - Soy proteins in Split chickpea and Spinach gravy