Looks like its a season for Koli recipes all of a sudden. This is my elder cuz V's favorite bhaaji. Shektachya Shinga in Koli are your Drumsticks of the veggie kind in English.
This recipe will be much appreciated by any one who likes sweetness of the gujju kind in their food. It is the only Koli curry that has jaggery in this amount. Infact the name itself gives away what you can expect from it Goranchya Shektachya Shinga ie. Drumsticks made with jaggery.The bhaaji is Rasedar or with gravy it has to be eaten with Chavlachi Roti like a true Koli.
Selecting the drumsticks for this curry is half the battle won. The drumstick have to be plump and fleshy. Cleaning them is a task to be done well before you start cooking. This is not a vegetable that you can keep a pan on the heat and chop up and add to the seasoning. It needs preparation.
Firstly about cleaning. The pods have to be deskinned just about peeling off the green layer and then cut into finger sized pieces. This would allow it to cook well and soak in the flavors. You will know what I mean only once you taste this curry.
Wiki surprised me with this one "The roots are shredded and used as a condiment in the same way as horseradish, however it contains the alkaloid spirochin, a potentially fatal nerve paralyzing agent, so such practices should be strongly discouraged"
We in Thal have never used the root though! If ever I become a spy for India I will remember this.
In Thal every home has their own Shekat tree. If someone does not have it they can collect the pods from neighbors tree and asking permission is not a rule. So when the owner spots anyone collecting them they ask, "Is it for Pivli Dal?" OR sometimes the borrower would say, "For the kids" and the response would be, " Go ahead take your hearts fill."
My indelible memory of Goranchya Shektachya Shinga are of when a whole lot of them were cracked on by back for going to collect discarded tickets at Colaba Market bus stop with my cuz K when just 5-6 yrs. All I wanted to do is play bus conductor. I needed real ones for it but someone tipped my Dad about this mischief. My mistake was I was tiny and that road was a heavy traffic one. Mom made Goranchya Shektachya Shinga that night and I went to bed empty stomach cuddled in G'ma lap. Cuz K was turned into a rooster/ Kombda for 2 hrs (I can't translate this). He grew up to become a shameless handsome achiever! ROFL. Dad could not forgive himself for many years.
So here is the recipe for the Goranchya Shektachya Shinga!
5-6 Drumsticks cleaned and cut
1 cup ground masala
2 cups water.
1/4 cup crushed Jaggery
1 tablespoon Kokum juice/ Tamarind Juice
2 teaspoon Oil
1/4 teaspoon asofeotida
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
salt to taste
salt to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup fresh coconut grated
1 teaspoon Koli Masala / Goda masala
3-4 green chilies
1 cup pink fried Onions
2 handfuls cilantro
1 handful peanuts (This is My addition to the traditional recipe)
Grind together all the masala and keep ready
Then heat a pressure cooker add oil go on and splutter the mustard followed by the asofeotida. Stir in the ground masala. Fry for 5 mins. Then add in the drumsticks and coat them with the masala. Add the kokum juice and water. Close the lid of the PC and allow 3 long whistles. Put off the heat. Add the salt. Open the PC but DO NOT MIX. The drumsticks are very delicate and you might end up with a fibrous curry if stirred after cooking. Be careful even while serving.
The curry with Kokum juice is the authentic one but tamarind too makes it yummy though not the same.
This recipe is one for all "I like a little sweetness in my bhaaji" types. For those who don't know how to eat these here is a how to:
Hold the drumstick piece between the incisors and pull at it with the hand while you suck the pulp. Aha! My South Indian brahmin friends put a taboo on this great vegetable just because it has to be eaten this way. They don't know what they are missing!