…the popular Mangalorean delicacy, the origins and what makes it so popular?
The very mention of the word ‘ghee roast‘ can alert your taste buds and for those who are already familiar with it will longingly remember the fiery red, spicy and tangy dish. Even the generous amount of ghee (clarified butter) that goes into making this Mangalorean delicacy is hard to sway you from your desire to relish them again! It is an extremely spicy and rich dish and yet you remain undismayed and the determination to have them only increases.
The origins of this delicacy dates back to mid 1980`s. It was first introduced at a restaurant in Kundapur, a small town which is a little more than an hour`s drive from Mangalore. So originally a dish invented in a small town on the outskirts of Mangalore is now very much a part of cuisine of Mangalore, particularly the Bunt community. Those who are fascinated with spicy and exotic food will embark on a life long relation with the ‘ghee roast’. The aroma of ghee and fresh spices is tantalizing and let me tell you, this is not for the faint hearted, mind you!
For those determined and undismayed ones, now if you are planning to go ahead and make this dish, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and the most important point is – do not be too scant or frugal with the amount of ghee. Ghee is what gives it the characteristic flavor and the name here! The addictive taste very much depends on the ghee. And now do not even think of adding oil. Well if you do want to, then my advice would be to forget about cooking this altogether! And then it cannot be called GHEE roast, can it? Next thing is regarding the chillies. Originally this dish was made fiery hot, with loads of red chillies. It is still made spicy but you can adjust the spice level as per your taste. Do let the minimum level be of atleast medium spice. The paste needs to be nicely roasted in ghee till it thickens and ghee begins to ooze out to bring out the maximum flavors.
Well, now that you are armed with the basics and the recipe, you may proceed in cooking it, provided you are still undeterred by the richness of this delicacy. Enjoy it with neer dosa (rice crepes, a Mangalore special) or as starter or with mild pulao or ghee rice, lemon rice, appams.
And once again, for your own good, I hope you have read and grasped the characteristics of this dish well before you proceed to make them!
PS : This dish is particularly more enjoyable during the cold weather and rains…