Highlighting Mangalorean cuisine, Chef Eram Amberin from The Oberoi, Bengaluru, shares her special Jackfruit Gassi recipe for you to replicate at home!
A criminally underrated cuisine, Mangalorean food is a delicious amalgamation of different communities. From the Mogaveeras, Billavas, Bunts, Saraswat Brahmins, and Mangalorean Catholics all the way to the Bearys, there’s a beautiful culmination of flavours with parallels across several Indian classics.
From vindaloos to xacutis, sorpotel to buns or goli bhaji, there’s a delightful array of sweet and savoury to choose from. What makes the cuisine an ultimate comfort food even for novices are the familiar flavours. So if you’re from any part of the South, or have an affinity for coconut in your mildly spicy but delicious warming food, Mangalorean cuisine is sure to satiate cravings you never knew you had!
Given the indigenous growth of coconut and curry leaves in the region, they feature very often in almost all recipes. They are either ground and added to thicken gravies, or fried in coconut oil and added as a garnish at the end (similar to tadka). Alongside these, staple favourites in the kitchen include the likes of ginger, garlic, and chilli of course.
In a gassi, one of the most popular Mangalorean dishes, you’ll find all the aforementioned ingredients and more. With a texture slightly thicker than curry and tangy flavours that bring out the freshness of seafood (typically preferred ingredient in a gassi), the gravy pairs excellently with neer dosas, appams, and sannas (a type of fluffy idli).
Historically, the masalas are stone-ground by hand, giving it that authentic Mangalorean taste. Different sour ingredients such as tamarind and gamboge are also used quite regularly for the purpose of pickling and preservation.
What Chef Eram Amberin, Junior Sous Chef at The Oberoi, Bengaluru has managed to do here is take her culinary expertise and substitute the traditionally used fish and seafood with a jackfruit instead.
Hailing from Kolkata, her love affair with good food is hardly surprising. At her first posting at The Oberoi, she embraced the cause of celebrating Indian cuisine and quickly created a very positive impact amongst Bengaluru diners, both with her culinary skills and vivacious personality.
With her Mangalorean style Jackfruit Gassi, she’s made the flavours of the region accessible to a wider variety of gourmands. As an added bonus, those familiar with the traditional Prawn or Pomfret Gassi and looking to experiment will find delight in every bite of this dish as well.
That being said, there’s nothing left to do but stay in the safe confines of home, and explore delicious new flavours!
Mangalorean Jackfruit Gassi
- Jackfruit cut into 1-inch cubes and boiled (1/2 medium)
- 4 tbsp of refined oil
- 6 dried red chilies
- 1 cup of grated coconut
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp of tamarind pulp
- Salt, to taste
- Curry leaves
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a small non-stick bowl, add red chilies and sauté.
- Put them into a mixer jar, add coconut, half the mustard seeds and tamarind pulp. Add sufficient water and grind to a smooth paste.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in another non-stick pan, add jackfruit, green peas, ground paste and a half cup of water and mix well.
- Simmer the mixture for about three to four minutes. Add salt and mix well.
- For tempering, heat the remaining oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add them to the mixture in the other pan. Mix well and simmer for a minute.
- Transfer into a serving bowl and serve hot.