Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Menasina Gatti(Munchida Gatti) - A Dipping Sauce from Mangalorean Jains

Another Jain specialty, a spicy tangy sweet saucy preserve mostly found in all undivided Dakshina Kannada Bunt Jain homes on the dining table with a bottle of fresh ghee by the side. Our neighbour in Veera Bhavana Ballal Bagh, D. Kusumavathiamma used to make the best Menasina Gatti and we used to relish that with hot akki rotti and fresh melted ghee offered by the her, whom I esteemed as my second mother. Menasina gatti can also be relished with chapathis, pooris, idlis, dosas and bread. Fresh ghee is a must to get the right flavour and taste.

That lady had simply told me about the 5 ingredients that go into making this. Since most of the older generation people with sharp memory and cookery skills didn't have the habit of writing down the recipes, I couldn't get the exact measures of ingredients then. I also didn't have the chance to sneak into their kitchen, as Jains consider their kitchens as holy as the temple and normally men didn't enter the kitchen those days!

I felt lucky to find partly the right recipe by googling. RJ Lavanya of Radio Mirchi has given a recipe for Mensasina Gatti but her methods seem to be different from the original one. I adapted her recipe and improved it with my ideas and came out with the almost same as the one I used to relish. Hope you all will get the right results with this one. Please add red chillies carefully as chillies from different parts of the world taste different. I used Byadgi and Ramnadu chillies. Heating the ground paste with coconut oil is optional. I did that, so that the sauce attains right thickness and also doesn't get contaminated easily. Please use coconut oil, as the flavour of this sauce will be awesome, also that coconut oil and ghee blend well together when you relish this.
The following recipe yields around 300 Gms of Menasina Gatti.
Ingredients:
Byadgi/Kashmiri Chillies(Red Long Chillies) - 40 Gms
Ramnadu Chillies((Red Short Chillies) - 10 Gms
Garlic Flakes - 25Gms
Jaggery - 75Gms 
Tamrind Pulp - 20Gms 
Rock Salt - 1.5 Tsp(Or salt to taste)
Coconut Oil - 25Ml
Water - 1/2 cup
Method:
Peel garlic flakes.
Powder the jaggery and rock salt.
Boil half cup water. 
Add tamarind pulp and jaggery in a saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes and extract the sauce by filtering.
Remove the stalk and roast red chillies with little oil until crisp
Grind the chillies, garlic and jaggery tamarind sauce to a smooth paste. 
Don't add water.
Heat coconut oil in a pan. 
Add the ground paste and powdered salt to taste. 
Rock salt gives better taste. 
Keep mixing on low flame for 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. 
Take care not to burn or caramalise the contents.
Allow to cool and store in sterile dry bottle or ceramic clay jar with tight lid. 
You can use this for 2-3 months if kept in a refrigerator.
Caution: Keep the jar/bottle away from small kids.

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