Chinese potato: The vegetable
Chinese potatoes are a favourite among Konkanis. Chinese potato is a seasonal vegetable called as 'kook' in Konkani, 'sambrani gadde or sambrani' in Kannada. Chinese potatoes are smaller in size and don't grow as big as the potatoes. They are only available from September, October up until February. Chinese potatoes have a very distinct earthy smell when cooked.
Chinese potato Konkani delicacies:
We Konkanis, prepare yummy curries and dishes from Chinese potatoes. A few delicious, mouth watering Konkani specialities are:
Peeling Chinese potatoes:
Chinese potatoes are traditionally peeled by rubbing its black skin against jute gunny bags. However, I use a peeler to peel these chinese potatoes. Peeling off the skin of Chinese potatoes is a tedious process and demands lot of time, effort and patience. Once peeled, you have to wash them till they are clean. Your hands do get dirty and stained from the soil on the skin but in the end its worth all the effort. The earthy taste of Chinese potatoes is to die for and the vegetable is a pleasure to eat. The stain, colour on your hands from peeling take a few washes to completely go away.
Chinese potato curry:
Delicious coconut curries are made using Chinese potatoes. They taste great with a bowl of steaming hot rice.
You can make a simple, delicious coconut curry with chinese potatoes, the masala being made of fresh grated coconut, tamarind, dried red chillies. Then season the curry with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Or you can make a delectable coconut curry by pairing Chinese potatoes with any pulse of your choice. Popularly horse gram, black eyed beans, sprouted green gram are paired with Chinese potatoes. We make this coconut curry even more scrumptuous with a flavourful garlic seasoning. You'll find the recipe for this curry below.
15-20 Chinese potatoes or 1 cup of peeled, diced Chinese potatoes
1/2 cup horse gram
3/4 cup grated coconut
1 tablespoon of tamarind
3 tablespoons of oil
4-5 dried red chillies
10-12 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Preparation Time: 55 minutes
1. Pressure cook peeled, diced Chinese potatoes with 1 cup of water and salt for just a whistle and keep them aside.
2. Wash and pressure cook horse gram with 1 cup water until done. Takes about 3-4 whistles.
Cook horse gram and Chinese potatoes separately as horse gram takes a lot more time than Chinese potatoes to cook.
Preparing the masala:
3. Fry the dried red chillies for few minutes using few drops of oil until you get a nice aroma of fried red chillies.
4. Once they cool a little, grind them into a smooth paste along with grated coconut and tamarind, using as much water as needed.
5. Transfer the cooked Chinese potatoes along with its stock, cooked horse gram and its stock into a cooking vessel.
6. Add the ground masala, mix well and bring the curry to boil.
7. Check and adjust salt. Add water if required to bring it to the desired consistency. The curry is usually semi thick. Not too watery, not too thick.
8. Once the curry comes to boil, simmer for few minutes until the rawness of the masala goes off.
9. Remove the curry off heat and season it with garlic.
10. For garlic seasoning: Heat oil in a tempering pan, add slightly smashed garlic and fry them until they start to brown. Smashing garlic helps draw out it's flavour into hot oil.
11. Remove off heat, add the seasoning to the curry and mix well.
12. Serve the curry hot with a bowl of steaming hot rice.
For more Konkani cuisine curry recipes look here.
Tags: Chinese potato, kook, curry, gravy, coconut curry, kooka randay, lunch, dinner, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food