Chana Cho Ras - Goa

From India's capital, Delhi, I am taking you to the Western coast, a place which is popularly called the 'Tourist Paradise'.The scenic beauty of the beaches and the sea, the archaeological splendours of the temples and churches have made this place a favorite among  Indians and foreigners!

Yes, I am taking about Goa and you have have guessed ti by the title of this post!

Goa is considered one of the most picturesque places in India and a rich culture, unique history and the most scenic spots the country has to offer.

Such a beautiful place ought to have its share of mythological connection right? I dug up a little history and found that this place was crated by Parashuram, the 6th avatar of Lord Vishnu.

The first literary reference of this place is in the Mahabarata, which refers Goa as Gomanta or the Region of Cows.

Further, it is told that Lord Shiva took up a temporary residence in this place after a dispute with Parvati, his consort.

That's not all!Lord Krishna is said to have defeated Jarasandha, the King of Magadha in the Gomanchal mountain in Goa.

In Skanda Purana, Goa is referred to as Govapuri city in one of the hymns.

Over the centuries several dynasties have ruled Goa and the Portuguese rule has left a lasting impression on this state.It was liberated from the Portuguese rule in 1961 and was given the status - Union Territory. It got the status of a state in 1987 and it became the 25th state of India.

Goa, apart from the tourist places is also known to be the hub of Konkani movies / theater.

Goa is a hub of cultures and traditions and all co exist peacefully and happily together. Just like its people, the cuisine too is a potpourri of tastes and flavors.Yet there are some distinct dishes very unique and peculiar to Goa.

The abundance of rivers and its coastal location makes this place very famous for its fish and sea food dishes apart from using coconut milk and coconut in their dishes. Pork and beef is also said to be a hot favorite among the locals.

As far as I read, I learnt that there are two types of Goan cuisine - The Hindu cuisine and the Catholic cuisine.It was interesting to read that the Hindus here did not accept tomatoes and potatoes to be included into their dishes until the late 20th century!

Tonak Pav, Xacuti,Vindaloo,Goan prawn curry,Fish sukke, Bebik,are some of the very well known Goan dishes.

With a large variety of both vegetarian and non vegetarian, esp, seafood dishes and the different restaurants that cater all possible cuisines, Goa can rightly be called the Foodie's heaven.

Behind the scene:

Goa was one of the last state that I decided to make. Then when I looked up for recipes, I found a whole lot of non veg recipes and some veg recipes too. Most veg recipes , I was not sure how my folks would like it. Then I turned to our resident Goan - The Mad Scientist for advise.She promptly and whole heatedly helped me out.She answered even the silliest of my doubts and directed me to a couple of recipes that she felt would fit the bill. Thanks Archana!

I settled on the Chana Cho Ras, a peas and potato gravy that goes well with Chapathi / Roti.When I made this dish, I was really sure it would be a hit. Since it was a little different from the usual way I make peas gravy, I wanted to see which was the more preferred recipe.

I made the regular style peas gravy and this one on the same day!Yes, I can be so crazy sometimes. I served both to hubby for dinner, without telling him anything about the origin of this dish. He tasted the regular one and then the Goan dish. He asked for a second helping and I asked him which one he wanted..All was quiet for a while and I danced in my mind when he asked for the Goan curry. Well, he knew it was Goan only after I told him though. he liked it more because it tasted a lot different from the regular curry.

The kids, well, they blend so well into my experiments that I don't have to woo them to try. I give them the experiment dish of the day and they give their feedback.An awkward face or pushing off the bowl means a thumbs down, a cheer or an empty bowl is a thumbs up! This one got a thumbs up I think because they love peas and potato!

What ever be the case, this one will be featuring more often on our table!

Now to the recipe....

I used:
Source : Mad Scientist's Kitchen

Dried peas - 1 cup
Potato- 1, peeled and cubed
Onion- 1, sliced
Salt to taste

For the masala paste

Cloves- 2
Red chili-1
Saunf- 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon- a small piece
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Poppy seeds- 1 teaspoon
Coconut, grated- 2 teaspoons
Tamarind - a small bit
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Oil- 1 teaspoon

For gravy

Oil- 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
Water- 2 cups
Lemon juice- to taste

First let us cook the vegetables...

Soak peas over night and pressure cook it along with cubed potato, sliced onion salt adding water 1" above the peas.

Cook for 2 whistles or till done. Take care not to cook the peas too mushy.Keep aside.

Let us make the masala paste

In a pan roast the cloves and keep aside. Heat oil and roast the red chili, saunf, cinnamon till a nice aroma arises. Keep aside. Again add a little oil and saute onions till translucent. Remove and keep aside.

Next roast poppy seeds and coconut individually and keep aside.

Take all these roasted ingredients together let it cool a bit. Then add add coriander powder, turmeric powder to it and grind to a fine paste using a little water. Keep aside.

For the gravy, heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and when it splutters add the ground masala paste and cook it for a couple of minutes. Then add the cooked peas and potato mixture and mix well. Add more water if required. Let it boil.Simmer for a couple of minutes. Add a little lemon juice and remove from heat.

Serve with roti / Chapathi

Roti with Chana Cho Ras and Futi Chai[Black Tea]

Here are some other recipes from Goa that I cooked up in the earlier BM editions...

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39

An InLinkz Link-up

Bon Appetit...

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