Konaki cuisine uses a lot of coconuts - its the base for most side dishes, like bendhi, sukke, bhutti and for almost all the curries had with rice, like ambat, ghashi, saar, sambaren...
If its not used in the masala, then its part of the garnish at least. You will see very few dishes in Konkani cooking that do not use coconut.
Everytime there is a hint of an arguement of coconuts not being healthy, most pachchis (means mother's sister, but used for all 'aunties') are up in arms defending the poor coconut. They will give you lectures on how coconut and coconut oil is actually good for you.
Traditional Mangalorean cooking uses coconut oil for the seasoning. Specific types of Happol (papads) are fried only in coconut oil, because they taste best only that way !
This is a very simple and super tasty saar (something like a rasam, but thicker) with tomatoes and coconut. It has the spice from the green chillies, tangy tart flavour from the tomatoes and sweetness from the jaggery...
Simple to make and goes very well with rice and simple side dish like an upkari
I am thrilled that Sia is hosting the RCI event this month featuring Mangalorean and Udupi cuisine, orginally started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine
To read my other posts on Mangalorean cuisine, see Dudhya Koddel, Pathrode, Tendle Bibbe Upkari, Tendle Bhutti, Khatkhaten and Solkadi
What you need -
3-4 green chillies
1 cup dessicated coconut
a few curry leaves
1 red chilli
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp grated jaggery
What you do with it -
Blanch the tomatoes in hot water. Peel the skin off and keep aside to cool
Keep this water to use later. This is where the nutrients are
Grind the chillies, coconut and tomatoes in a blender till smooth
Add the water reserved earlier and a little more water if required, to the tomato-coconut paste
Add salt and jaggery and bring to a boil
Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, broken red chilli, curry leaves and asafoetida
Pour the seasoning over the saar and serve with hot rice