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Kanji curry(seafood curry in rice gruel)

Kanji curry(seafood curry in rice gruel)
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This is a very interesting traditional recipe from the kitchen of a community popular by the name “East Indians”.The name may often be misleading because the community does not involve people who hail from the Eastern part of India.But the people of this small community belong to  some parts of Maharashtra and Northern Konkan region and some parts of Goa.
East Indians are a Roman Catholic community  based around the city of Bombay who were originally converted by the Portuguese who came to India in the 15th century .Their profession involves mainly fishing,farming etc.

So there were two types of Catholics ,one who belonged to Goa and who were ruled by the Portuguese Government and the other Catholics who belonged to North Konkan and  Bombay who were ruled by the British Government.On a special occasion   the Christians of North Konkan , who were known as Portuguese Christians  discarded the name and adopted the designation “East Indian” to impress the British Government of Bombay.
The food of the East Indian community has a high degree of Portuguese influence .Besides as they are mostly involved in fishing and farming in coastal region ,coconut is an important part of their food.The main ingredient of this dish is rice gruel or kanji which is extremely healthy rich in carbohydrate and vitamin B complex.Though spicy ,it is a natural coolant and prevents heat stroke.
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Ingredients

  1. Prawns or shrimps (deveined)(medium sized) 10 to 15
  2. Fish fillets( 4 to 5) cut into bite sized pieces
  3. Rice gruel (4 to 5) cups
  4. Green chilies(5 to 6)
  5. Coconut( 1/2 cup desiccated)
  6. Garlic(  8 to 9 cloves)
  7. Coriander powder(1 tbsp)
  8. turmeric (a pinch)
  9. Cumin powder ( 1 tbsp)
  10. Onions chopped(1/2 cup)
  11. Coconut milk(2 tbsp)
  12. Curry leaves (optonal 4 to 5)
  13. Zucchini(1 cup chopped)
  14. Bottle gourd (1/2 cup chopped to bite sized pieces)
  15. Pumpkin(1/2 cup cubed)
  16. brinjals or aubergines(chopped 1 cup into big pieces)
  17. Ladies finger or okra( 5 to 6 )
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Preparation
  1. This dish is mainly served with steamed rice.So boil 2 cups of rice  with 4 to 5 cups of water.
  2. When the rice is cooked  ,strain the gruel into a pot .
  3. Make a smooth paste of garlic,green chillies and coconut.
  4. In a pan add a tbsp of oil add chopped onions and curry leaves.
  5. Add the vegetables.
  6. Add the green paste.
  7. Add a tbsp of cumin and coriander powder and stir.
  8. Add the rice gruel and boil.
  9. Add salt as per taste and a pinch of turmeric.
  10. add the prawns and fish fillets.
  11. Boil on medim heat covered till the gravy is thick  and the vegetables are cooked
  12. Add coconut milk and stir.
  13. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.

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Indrani Sen