I guess it is inevitable that I let my professional avatar spill over onto most other aspects of life too. One example is to ‘structure’ or ‘categorise’ almost everything around me – which also extends to food. So when I think of a meal I tend to categorise dishes into the standard categories like dry veggies, daal, aamti, salad, chutney, etc etc. But then, once in a while, comes along a dish that cocks a snook at me – gently suggesting that I should learn to sometimes just ‘let things be as they are’. Karmana is one such dish!!
Karmana is a unique dish which, although it looks at first glance like a green chutney, is actually to be eaten mixed with rice – like you would eat a daal or an aamti or a kadhi. It has its own unique taste – which is difficult to describe. So all I can say is – TRY IT! Simply yummmmy. Karmana-Rice with Kachrya or fried fish is a great combo, incidentally. And what’s more – its also a “make-in-a-jiffy’ dish.
- Coconut – fresh, grated – 1 vaati / katori (small cup)
- Green Chillies – 2 or 3
- Jeera (cumin seeds) – 1 tsp (heaped)
- Tamarind – size of half a lemon
- Salt – 1/2 tsp (adjust as per taste)
- Coriander – 1 tablespoon
- Heeng (Asafoetida) – 1/3rd tsp
- Mustard Seed – 1/3rd tsp
- Ghee – 1 tsp
Grind the coconut, green chillies, jeera, tamarind, coriander and salt with a little water to a fine thick paste. Then ‘liquify’ it a bit by adding a little water – till the consistency reaches a state where the mix is slightly more liquidy than your typical dosa chutney. It has to be ‘flowy’ enough to easily blend with rice, basically.
Season the above by heating 1 tsp of ghee in a separate bowl / seasoning ladle and adding on the mustard seeds and heeng. Add this to the mix above – and your karmana is ready!
Remember that the mix itself is never heated / cooked. So remember to pour the seasoning onto the mix and NOT pour the mix into the heated bowl that you may have used for the seasoning.
Mix with rice and add a dollop of ghee…the ghee lends it that amazing touch!
Karmana is yet another ‘silent gem’ from the kokani recipe storehouse that you rarely hear of/ find outside of homes. Check it out….