Konkan is the South Western coast line of India, consisting of districts from the states of Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra, and Konkani is one of the community from this region and also the widely spoken languages. This community is known to own huge houses with courtyards and growing their own produce. Since, coconut trees are best grown in this particular region, coconut forms an integral part of their cuisine.
It’s amazing to see how beautifully they incorporate coconut into their cuisine. Their recipes are the simplest to cook bursting with flavours, ofcourse also carries the labour of love – read: extracting coconut milk or scrapping the whole coconut for a recipe! 🙂 I have been fortunate enough to have Konkani neighbours all through these years, which lead to the exploration of their cuisine over a period of time.
Today, I am going to include a very rustic and flavourful recipe called Kodel. Kodel is nothing but a very warm, delicious coconut based gravy with a generous amount of garlic seasoning. Since, rice is the staple in this particular region, such rich coconut based curry makes for a beautiful accompaniment to be had with it.
Kodel can be prepared using any kind of easily available veggies – mangalore cucumber, colocasia root, potatoes, or any dries beans – cow peas, red kidney beans, horsegram to name a few. What makes this dish delectable is the freshly ground coconut and spice mix made using the simplest ingredients from the pantry.
Make sure that you use the freshly scrapped coconut for this recipe. Trust me, it makes a lot of difference! I used the leftover water in which red kidney beans was cooked (which I boiled for my weekly salad quota) to turn into this beautiful dish to be had with rice.
Since, this recipe calls for a good amount of garlic, it is beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
I skipped using tamarind, instead substituted it with a tart ripened tomato. You can either use tamarind or kokam to bring out the slightest tartness into the dish. And also tried to make it a bit healthier by completely omitting the use of oil. However, you could complete the dish with a mild tempering of crushed garlic in oil to enhance the dish further. 🙂
Serve the Rajma Kodel along with steaming rice and vegetable stir fry to make it for a satisfying heavenly lunch.
Rajma Kodel (Konkani Style Red Kidney Beans in a Coconut Curry)
- First boil a cup of soaked (overnight) red kidney beans with four cups of water for about 3-4 whistles in a pressure cooker. Once cooked, let the pressure release on its own.
- In the mean prepare the spice paste by grinding grated coconut, tart tomato, garlic and red chillies to a fine paste using a mixer grinder.
- Once the red kidney beans are cooked, open the lid and add the freshly ground spice mix into it.
- Simmer for 3-4 minutes till the raw smell of the spice mix goes away.
- Season with salt and bring it to a rolling boil and switch off.
- The consistency should be semi-thick, so add water accordingly.
- You may also add a tempering of crushed garlic cooked in oil to finish it and being out the garlicky flavour.
- Serve the yummy Rajma Kodel with steaming hot rice and a veggie stir fry.