Have you tasted Amtekai / Ambade / Indian hog plum ? If you haven’t , you have really missed something .It is one of my much-loved fruits from my childhood. Its tangy ,crisp and looks little similar to tiny raw mango . That’s why may be its called wild mangoes too. Throughout Coastal Karnataka people love this fruit for it’s tangy taste. It is used as a souring agent , to make pickles, currys , chutneys, raitha and much more in our cooking. Finding an amtekai tree in backyard of each house is a common sight in this region . Today i have a classic dish made from this fruit ..” Amtekai Gojju / Ambade menaskai / Hog plum curry ” . This dish is a real treat to all those who love the combination of Sweet ,Sour & Spice..Slurp !!! A great accompaniment with Roti /plain rice /dosa /Idly.
Basically Gojju / Menaskai is a curry with ground spices and some boiled or stir fried vegetables in it.Addition of sesame seeds gives a nice distinguished aroma to this curry. Choice of veggies can vary and today its hog plum . There are usually 2 types of hog plums . Small tender ones with less flesh and big ripe ones with lot of flesh and huge inedible fibrous seed . I have used here big variety ones. Its pieces along with seed is a real treat to eat.Preparing amtekai gojju is very simple.End result would be a spicy tangy sweet curry , an absolute delight to your taste buds.If you do manage to find the hog plums where you live, I strongly recommend you give this dish a try . Here you go ….
Wash and lightly scrape the skin of the hog plums.Cut amtekai to pieces. Don't discard the seed.
Place hog plum along with seed in a pan with a cup of water and jaggery .Cook till soft. The pit will be hard & is not edible but after cooking , it takes in all the flavors and spices. It 's a wonderful treat to suck its juice . If you are using tender small variety , seeds are edible.
Meanwhile in a small pan add few drops of oil.Add all the ingredients mentioned under masala except coconut and sesame.Roast them in medium low flame till red chillies becomes crisp and dal turns golden color.Add coconut to that and just saute it , may be for 1 min.Transfer all the ingredients to a mixer jar.
Next,dry roast sesame seeds in the same pan till it turns golden. Add it to the mixer jar containing other roasted masala ingredients. Once its little cooled , add little water and make a very smooth paste.
Add this ground paste & salt to cooked hog plum and mix well.Cook this in a medium flame till the gravy starts boiling.
Reduce the flame to sim, add a tbsb of raw coconut oil and allow it to boil for another 8-10 mins. Stir in between.Let the gravy thicken. *REFER NOTES
Season with mustard,hing and curry leaves.Switch off .
Serve Hog plum gojju hot / warm with plain Rice / roti / dosa / Idli .
The tip of adding raw coconut oil while boiling , i got it from a cook who is a regular in my home for all functions. He was right ,It takes it to a new level.Actually ,he adds more than a tbsp but atleast to go near to that taste i add just a tbsp. If you want you can increase the qty or omit it completely.
Another tip , the cook gave me was to boil this gravy well in a low flame. The more you boil the more tasty it becomes .The consistency also thickens. Boiling it well also increases its shelf life. It does not spoil for a week if refrigerated and stays good without fridge for 2 days.this also enhances the taste.
You have to roast sesame seeds very well. if its raw this dish will turn flop.
Basically this dish (menaskai) will be tangy ,sweet n spicy. So to get the authentic taste add more jaggery ,tamarind n chilli. But you can vary it depending on your pref.
You can substitute hog plum with raw mango / pineapple /bitter gourd/ dry raisins/ ladies finger/ Capsicum / orange peels.