An upkari is a stir-fry and this Konkan version, from the region of Goa. is almost always topped with shredded fried or roasted coconut. Byadgi chilies are also specific to the region, bright red chilies that have a pungent heat. The chilies add a wonderful spice to the dish with a very distinctive flavor. Finally, ivy gourds, also called as tendli locally, are small gherkin-like gourds that are delicate in flavor.
This version of the dish combines tender ivy gourds with nutty cashew nuts and Byadgi chilies. The flavors are delicate and wonderful, especially as the gourds are just cooked and still retain some of their crunchiness.
This is a very distinctive cookbook on Karwar cuisine that I adore. The food is intense and authentic, every recipe that I have cooked from here is absolutely delicious. I really have no memory of where and when I bought this cookbook, but I am so glad it sits on my shelf. I highly recommend this cookbook to those who want to master and enjoy this very unique cuisine.
For more recipes from the wonderful cookbook, click here.
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4-5 dried Byadgi chilies
10-12 curry leaves
1 lb ivy gourds (tendli), washed and cut vertically quarters
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts
Salt, to taste
1/3 cup grated fresh coconut
1/4 cup water, or as needed
Heat the ghee in a wide pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, and when they pop, about 20 seconds, add the chilies and curry leaves and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the ivy gourds, water and salt and simmer on a low flame closed for 5 minutes till the vegetable is partially cooked. Open and cook off the water. The gourds should still be crisp, please do not cook them to a mush.
Add the cashew nuts and salt and toss for 1 minute.
Remove from the flame and sprinkle with the grated coconut. Serve hot.