Friday, May 11, 2007

Pochacha Kaanji

A visit to Thal always surprise me with new learning. I had posted about my love for lobsters. I always thought lobsters are called Shevndi in Koli dialect but my grand aunt corrected me. In fact they are called pocha - singular and pochi - plural. So here I am with the recipe for Pochacha Kanji or lobster curry.

Selecting a lobster for curry is important. Remember I mentioned before the lobster tastes best only when boiled. The difference is the large lobsters are boiled for the joy of the white meat. Where as the smaller ones are used for curry.

The small lobsters are cleaned by separating the head and removing the dirt. The rest of the lobster is chopped along the segments. This is done so the meat gets some flavor from the curry and it would be right to say that the flavors of the curry dominate.


2 small lobsters cleaned and chunked
1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
1 handful cilantro
3-4 green chillies
4-5 kokum\Garcinia indica
1 tablespoon Koli masala
1 tablespoon garlic crushed
2 tablespoon oil
2 cups water

(You know the trick now when you don't have koli masala. Once again 1.5 teaspoon garam masala + 1.5 teaspoon red chili powder)

Grind the grated fresh coconut, cilantro, green chillies, Garcinia indica, Koli masala to a fine paste with little water. Marinate the chunks of lobster along with the heads in the masala with a little oil.

Heat a shallow pan. Add oil and fry the crushed garlic until it just starts browning but not chared. Add the marinated lobster chunks and stir to give it a good coat of fried garlic and oil. Now add the water. Cover and cook for just 10 mins. Remember seafood tastes best when cooked just right.

Serve the kanji with hot heap of rice. I'm sure you will lap it up.


  1. Hi there! I have a question I hope you can answer for me... I'd love to try a few of these types of recipes that call for kokum... but I'm not familiar with the ingredient. I found it at our local Indian grocery store, but it appeared to be large seed-like-things that were dried and in a bag. How do you cook with these? Are you supposed to grind them up, or boil them to make a syrup, or what, exactly? Thanks so much for the advice.

  2. Hi milwaukeemasala, Kokum is a souring agent. When you are using it in curries you can add directly and boil in the curry itself. I am not able to visualize what form of kokum you have bought. If you could share a picture I can tell you how exactly to use it. Coz if it is in whole form it will make the curry very sour. Here in India the fruit is quartered and then dried. So we use 2-3 pieces for a curry that serves 4 people. I have seen the black kokum to be very juicy while there is a paler color that are not so intense.

  3. made it today and was finger licking good. please share more sea food recipes:-)

  4. Glad to know it, Documenting recipes from my seafood eating family is on the cards since long. Hope to share soon.

  5. Can I use Scampi instead of lobster . Lobster is too expensive here and only have on special parties.

    1. Yes any crustacean would taste good in this style. Yeah Lobsters are very expensive even here!


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