Basic Goanese Paste
by Tarla Dalal
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Added to 10 cookbooks
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Hardly any goan dish is complete without coconut as one of its main flavouring agents. The native goan chilli is large and pungent. It imparts a red colour to the dish without the fierce pungency of the normal indian chilli. Since these chillies may not be easy to obtain, the kashmiri chilli is used instead in the basic gravy. Thus, this gravy is more on the spicier side. It is pale brown in colour. Vinegar can be added in small amounts to add flavour to the gravy and to store it for a longer duration.
- Roast the onions on a open flame till they turn black in colour. Cool, peel, discard the blackened/ charred layer and slice the onions. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a kadhai, add the poppy seeds, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds and red chillies, mix well and sauté on a medium flame for 5 minutes.
- Add the coconut and sauté on a medium flame for another minute. Keep aside to cool.
- Combine the above mixture, sliced onions and the garlic and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste, using ½ cup of water.
- Use as required.
- Use this gravy on the same day to make recipes of your choice.
- If you wish to store it in the deep-freezer for a few weeks ensure you avoid adding coconut as the gravy may get spoilt on storing.
- Cool the gravy completely, add 1 tsp vinegar and mix well. Pour in food-grade zip lock bags or airtight containers and store under refrigerated conditions.
- While making the subzi using the stored gravy, thaw and use it as per the recipe. Towards the end, add 2 tbsp coconut milk instead of freshly grated coconut, mix well and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
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