Saturday, November 29, 2008

Keerla Neeli Sukke ~ Tender Bamboo Shoots and coconut side dishM

Bamboo Shoots  are widely used in Konkani cuisine. Usually during the season when they are available it is put in large clay pots (Called Bharni) with salt so as to preserve them and enjoy throughout the year. When in season a lot of dishes are made from this. The one we get in markets in Mangalore look black from outside. Usually the outer layers are removed and then cut into disk's and preserved. The tender part of the keerlu is mostly used for Keerla neeli sukke (Keerla neeli means tender bamboo shoots) or Keerla Sannapolo (Spicy dosa that is made for lunch) or Keerla Phodi (Deep fried shoots with spicy masala). The one's that are preserved are used by washing repeatedly until it loses the salty taste. They can be added with lentils in Coconut based gravies with garlic seasoning/Koddels (Coming soon). When keerlu is added it gives a distinct taste and aroma (Or smell depends on how you like it) to the dish. 
When I first came to Shanghai I was surprised to see these available easily and in large quantities but since I was not very sure of cooking using them I never ventured to buy them. But we had tasted them in few of the Chinese dishes.When my parents came here, we went ahead and bought them and made a lot of dishes using Keerlu. My mother says that the best Keerlu that she has ever eaten were in Shanghai! Keerlu is not available so easily back in Mangalore. We don't even find the need to preserve them as they are available all round the year and that too we get very tender ones!
Coming to this dish, it is usually made with tender bamboo shoots and dried Jackfruit seeds (Bikkand). Since I did not have any Bikkand (Jackfruit is not avaible here ) I substitued it with a very small potato. This dish is mildly sweet and serves as a good side dish with rice.
Here is what's needed:
1.5 cups tender Bamboo shoots chopped fine. (To clean the bamboo shoots, add water until it is slightly above the shoots and 1 tsp of salt. The next day throw the water and add fresh water. It can be used on 3rd day after discarding the water and giving it a rinse. This is supposed to remove the bitterness of bamboo shoots if any)
3/4 cup grated Coconut
a small marble sized Tamarind
2-3 tbsp grated Jaggery (Depends on how sweet you like your dish to be)
1 small Potato peeled and chopped
Salt to taste

To be roasted
1 tbsp Urad dal
1 tsp Coriander seeds
4-5 dried Red Chilli's 

For seasoning
1 tsp Mustard seeds
7-8 Curry leaves

1) Heat 1/2 tsp Oil and add Urad dal. When it turns golden add in the Coriander seeds. Fry for a min and add the dried red Chilli's. Fry for 30 secs. Remove from flame.
2)Heat 1 tsp Oil in a kadai and add Mustard seeds. When they splutter add curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Add chopped bamboo shoots and Potato along with suffecient water and let it cook covered. 
3) Meanwhile, grind grated coconut, Tamarind, roasted ingredients and salt to a smooth paste. 
4) When the Potato is 3/4 th boiled add grated jaggery and cook until done. Add in the ground masala and mix well. Check for salt and give it a rolling boil before switching it off. Serve hot as a side dish with rice or Dosa's.


Unknown said...

i have seen bamboo shoots in the supermarket here, but never bought them not having a proper recipe for it..this one sounds perfect..will buy them next time,..

Uj said...

Hey Sowmya,
You caught me while I was doing my editing! I will give you more keerlu recipes soon. Hope you love them

Sabitha said...

Dear ujwal,
Thanks for the mouthwatering keerla neeli sukke. we all love keerul in any form, like pickle, sukke, fry, polo, vada, koddel, ghashi& so on.

I still remember, mother used to hang keeru in well for 3 days and used to use them.Rest she used to put in salt and preserve. We too get fresh keeru at Phillipine stores here and they are not at all bitter. We can directly use them without soaking for 3 days. We still like the keerlu brought from India. They are tender & firm. Keerlu available in tins/Phillipine stores are tender but not like the one we get in Mangalore. So we always make it a point to bring keerlu and bimbul from Mangalore.


lubnakarim06 said...

Wow this something new to me. Looks tempting and yum.

Uj said...

We too love Keerlu. The one we get here too is not bitter but my Mom in law says that we should soak them before using them to remove bacteria etc.

yes it is. try it

Valarmathi Sanjeev said...

This recipe is very new to me. Sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

Gud.recipe. today i made the same...not much experienced with these kind of.. forgot to add tamarind and i haven't kept the bamboo shoots for 2 days in water.. may be bcoz of that it tasted ok but little bitter....