Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Kanda Lasun masala/Kaandha Lasun masala/Lal tikhat ~~Maharashtrian recipes

An authentic spicy blend of sun-dried red chillies, garlic and onion with coconut and other spices, Kanda Lasun masala or Kaandha Lasun masala is a must for making a lot of Kolhapuri dishes.

The Culinary blog hoppers blog hop theme for this month is Maharashtrian dishes and I am honest when I say I was pretty intrigued with this cuisine. I browsed through the kolhapuri recipes and came across a variety of spice blends that are necessary to make the dishes. The cuisine is rich, authentic and very interesting with the large variety of spices, chillies and masalas. I had heard from my husband who visits Pune one a month for work reasons saying, the Maharashtrian cuisine is very tasty and actually tastier than most of the other cuisines he has tasted.

Now, I don't agree with everything hubby says (!!) but I had to agree with this one since he has been to quite a lot of countries and has visited most of the places in India. He particularly requested for Bharli Vangi and Jwarichi Bhakri when i spoke about our theme. I was still thinking of checking out other dishes but my darling hubby even bought a few large aubergines and a large pack of small Brinjals. So, I knew I did not have a choice.

Nagkesar and Javithri
Yet again, I was thinking what to do about this complicated Kanda Lasun masala that is necessary for my Brinjal curry. With a toddler walking unsteadily all over the place and bumping her head 10 times a day, I was absolutely clueless about the masala. Exactly 2 days before the day my mum fell ill, I was able to cook everything that I wanted to for the blog hop and was pleased with the results. I was showered with praises and even a compliment saying the curry tasted exactly how he wanted! I was glad I made justice to the dishes. I could leave to my mom's place peacefully.

I know that was a long silly story but I had to pen down all this to encourage myself to try more new cuisines. With this post, I want to thank my Blog hop friends "The Culinary Hoppers" for letting me be a part of this group. I have certainly learnt a lot from these talented cooks. Do check out their blogs, they are excellent and so very creative.

Thanks girls, I love you all!

I have taken the recipe from MAHARASHTRIAN RECIPES ONLINE and I was able to follow the steps pretty easily. I got my hands on all spices except Halkund and I have replaced it with turmeric powder. The taste of this powder is amazing and you can use it for a lot of dishes.

Red chillies a handful
Byadgi red chillies 100 grams
Dry coconut/copra chopped 100 grams
Onions 4 large
Garlic peeled 50 grams
Ginger chopped 4 to 5 cubes
Oil  200 ml divided
Coarse salt 250 grams
To dry roast
Cumin seeds 50 grams
Coriander seeds 50 grams
Sesame seeds 50 grams
Bay leaves  5
Roast in oil
Black peppercorns 1 tablespoon
Cloves  1 tablespoon
Cinnamon 1 tablespoon
Cardamom 1 tablespoon
Star Anise 1 tablespoon
Nag kesar 1 tablespoon
Ram phool 1 tablespoon
Raw asafoetida 2 rocks
Turmeric powder 1 tablespoon
Javitri 1 tablespoon
Black cumin 1 tablespoon

* Please excuse the clumsy pics. While cooking, I had to run around my toddler who finds every tiny bit on the floor interesting and tasty! 

Dry red chillies and salt in sunlight till they turn crisp and crunchy. With this heat in bangalore, I had them ready in a day!
Slice the onions into thin pieces. Heat 100 grams of oil and add onions. Simmer the flame and fry them till they are caramelized well.

Onions will turn golden brown once caramelized. Remove from flame and let it aside to cool.
Meanwhile, dry roast the spices under "To dry roast" in the order mentioned.
Also, fry the spices under "Roast in oil" with generous amount of oil and let it cool completely. Also roast the chopped copra with oil till they turn brown. Let all the ingredients cool completely.

Once cooled, grind the onion with it's oil into smooth paste. Make sure you do not add water while grinding.
Also make a paste of ginger and garlic. You can add salt while grinding but do not add water.
Grind chillies and salt together in a dry jar. then grind the copra to a smooth powder.Once all the ingredients are powdered, mix them all in a clean dry bowl. divide into small parts and blend in a blender to mix them well.
Store in an airtight container.

* The powder will be damp no matter how less oil you try to use. But make sure you do use the minimum quantity required else the powder will spoil soon.
* I have used both byadgi and red chilli since my DH loves spicy food. You can exclude either of them as per your spice reqirement.
* I was lucky to find all the spices needed since my mum also keeps a stock of spices. But I am sure you can find almost all these spices in supermarkets.
* I forgot to dry roast black cumin and roasted it with oil by mistake.
* I have decreased the quantity of salt since I am sure I will forget to add less salt to dishes while adding this masala. You can adjust the amount of salt as per your taste.

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