The name tag of this dish itself indicates the ingredient used in the curry.Kuvale means ashgourd in Konkani and Sasam means mustard seeds.So,the curry is named "sasam". Konkani food from the south coast of Karnataka has different names for the side dishes like sukke, bhuthi, koddel, ambat, sarupkari, upkari and so on.Each one has its own combination of spices along with coconut, tamarind and roasted red chillies which form the quintessential ingredients of the Konkani masala paste.
This is one of my favourite curries of the typical variety,but nothing can beat the taste served in temples.
Ashgourd chunks(Without skin,pulp and seeds) about 500 gms
Fresh grated coconut 1 cup
Roasted red chillies 2
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Red chilli 1(optional)
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder a pinch
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
- Wash the ashgourd pieces and pressure cook adding little salt,pinch of red chilli powder and turmeric powder with 1 cup of water for just one whistle.(alternatively it can be cooked directly in a pot,in that case add salt only when the gourd chunks are partly cooked.
- Transfer the cooked ashgourd pieces into a soup pot.Take out some water and use it to blend the masala,and for later adjustments.
- Make a masala with the ingredients mentioned to a coarse paste adding water.
- Bring to boil the pot containing ashgourd pieces adding salt to taste.Add the blended masala and let it boil for another 5 -7minutes on medium flame stirring in between using a slotted spoon taking care of the boiled chunks don't mash.Cook till the rawness of the masala fades.
- In a seasoning pan heat oil,toss in the red chillies(broken into pieces),mustard and let it sizzle,add curry leaves and switch off the flame.
- Pour the seasoning over the sasam.
This curry can also be prepared with vegetables like Zucchini,Malabar cucumber.zucchini may be cooked directly on stovetop as it cooks faster.