A few months ago, I received a gift of ½ Kg of Goda Masala from a neighbor. She had moved into the apartment opposite us and is from Pune. I was her contact for all things hyderabadi, from finding a maid and translating for her, to directing her to the closest market ….. we had a good time getting to know each other while she got familiar with a new place. I asked her about goda masala and she very sweetly confessed that she wasn’t much of a cook, infact she was just learning to rustle up something in the kitchen post marriage, never having entered the kitchen before. She promised to ask her mom for the recipe and on her next trip, she came back with this large bag of Goda Masala. While I was touched by the gesture, I really didn’t know how to use up so much of it. I promptly shared it with a few friends and relatives and kept the rest in the fridge, to prolong its use.
Goda Masala is a typically Maharashtrian masala made of many whole spices and coconut. this is used in vegetable stir fries and dals (aamti) and gives the dish a flavourful and aromatic edge. Like everything about cooking, this masala has many versions, and each family has their own way of making it. while a few ingredients will remain integral, there are additions and ommissions too depending on an individual taste and choice. here are some great resources for Goda Masala….it is a labour of love…..so go ahead….
While I am away at work, Amma busies herself in the kitchen to make dinner. On one of her “see what you have in the kitchen/ fridge / pantry” meddling, she found the stash of goda masala and asked me in what she could use it. I told her most vegetable fries will go well with the masala. This evening, as I unlocked the door, the aroma of Goda Masala greeted me. She used it in this simple Kakarakaya (Bittergourd) fry. If you like bittergourd, this is a must try. It is fabulous, the flavour of the coconut with the garam masalas blended with the crisply fried bittergourd. If you aren’t fond of this vegetable, try the Goda Masala with tendli, brinjal or even pumpkin.
For the Kakarakaya Vepudu with Goda Masala
2 c bittergourd, cut into 1 ½ inch cylinders and then sliced thin lengthwise (she has the patience of an angel, I’d just slice it round)
2 T oil
Salt to taste
A pinch of turmeric
1 t red chilly powder
¾ Goda Masala
In a nonstick pan, heat the oil and add the sliced bittergourd, sprinkle a little water and cover and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Uncover, add the salt and chilly powder and fry till golden brown (about 6-7 minutes) stirring a couple of times. Sprinkle the Goda Masala, stir to coat well. fry another couple of minutes and remove to a dish. Serve with rotis or as a side dish with dal and rice. we had this with Mentham Kura Pappu and rotis.