A walk down Mangalore’s Hampankatta market and some good eats.

 

 

For me, one of the most satisfying experiences of a trip are the memories you make. Thats why, whenever I plan a trip, I look to find out somewhere that is not regularly visited, may be mot mentioned on social media, or something that is like a hidden gem locked up somewhere is the deepest corner of a cupboard.

Today, is an era when shopping is done on a click or at your fingertips. Convenience is the name of the game.  In such a time, visiting a market may seem passe; but I believe if you wish to understand the ethos of a place, or its culture, you must visit a market.This post is about my visit to Mangalore’s Hampankatta market. This wasn’t my first visit there, I had been there on my earlier visits but this time I spent enough time there to document it on the blog.  To give you an idea, Hampankatta is to Mangalore, what Pettah is to Colombo or what Crawford is to Mumbai or what souks are to Dubai.

Now Hampankatta is about an hours drive depending on where in Mangalore you are. As  you reach, you can see the imposing Milagres Church (Milagres is Miracles in Konkani and the church in the British era was called ‘The Church of Our Lady of the Miracles’). At certain times, you can hear the rhythmic chiming of the bells to the Angelus prayer. Its almost like the Lord is watching over the happenings there.

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I reached the market and I grinned.  Almost like a kid in a toy store. I could almost feel the vibes and I knew this was going to be a memorable visit.

Milagres stores.

Right opposite Milagres church is the Milagres bypass road. A small shop here is known as the Milagres Stores. But entering the shop you would feel like Ali baba entering the den of the forty thieves. It literally has everything you need. Household items, Groceries, Masala’s, Ready to eat meals and the likes. They have a particularly wonderful range of masala that you can use like the Bafat masala, Chicken sukkha masala and list goes on. Ask the very friendly and cordial owner. He will recommend some to you and my word you wont be dissappointed. Here is my stock of Bafat masala for the next few months.

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The Taj Mahal Sweet Shop

Mangaloreans claim that you cant come to Mangalore and leave without purchasing from Taj Mahal sweets. This place is diagonally opposite to Milagres church.The shop it self is about 90 years old and the star product is the ‘Mysore Pak’ or as the locals call it ‘Mysore Pa’. I was recommended this place by my cousin on my last visit and I had absolutely loved the Mysore pa that time. Again, simple ingredients like ghee, besan and sugar combined to form a delicacy that simply melts in your mouth and may times even in the palm of your hand. That is the true test of a genuine Mysore pa. My request is dont miss out on this.

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Ideals ice cream parlour

I had mentioned Ideals in an earlier post on Mangalore. I have had ice creams, Gelatos and desserts,but  this chilled dessert simply warms the cockles of your heart. The flavours are simple and fresh.What they usually do is to create a particlaur ice cream using a combination of flavours. So simply you would have a vanilla combined with Gajar halva. a  I’d had a late lunch and so i didnt really want to overly stuff myself. But though the spirit was willing, the flesh was weak. we walked in and settled ourselves. After a discussion, we went in for the parfait. The combination was vanilla, orange and pista ice creams with choppped fruits and nuts. Salivating already? We did too. This is how the icream looked when it was served.

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This is me attempting to finish it off.

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We spent nearly 2-3 hours in the market and we had to rush back. But I guess, I did more in that time than in my earlier visits. However, each time I visit the place there is something new to experience, something new to see. Like they say, a joy of a journey isnt measured by the amount of money you’ve spent on it or in the miles per hour. The joy of a journey is in the experiences you gained in that trip.

 

 

Mutton Sukkha and the joys of simple cooking.

Many a time we tend to complicate the simple. Like I was in my attempts to write this post. This post is about a dish so simple, I doubt it would make it to the blog, leave alone a restaurant like they say on Masterchef. Let me tell you what happened.

I cooked a very simple mutton sukkha dish some time back. The idea was to cook ourselves a light meal and that is it. So, we got some meat and and i decided to cook it in sukkha style. Now, to be fair; this is not an original sukkha recipe. Of course, I have Mangalorean blood in my veins and a sukkha recipe is sacrosanct. The fact is that there are different variations of sukkha among the different communities in Mangalore and this one a honestly, a little bit of this and some bit of that. Coming back to the dish, I couldnt be more proud of what i cooked that evening. Many many years later, if you ask me to recount my top 5 dishes, I’d reckon this would be among the top two. Such simple, rustic and homely flavours. ‘Simple is beautiful‘ couldn’t be truer.

Once the dish was made, I tried writing a post for it. but couldn’t. Somehow, I couldn’t relate the post and the blog. And as I was thinking how to resolve this, I received a longish watsapp which went like this. “Have you ever noticed how despite having coffee at the most premium places, you enjoy your cup of cutting chai with your friends at the college canteen. You probably move around and rub shoulders with the who is who of your field; but you feel warm in the embrace of  your loved one”……. So you see that is what simplicity does to you. It makes you warm withing your soul, takes you back to where you belong. A place you call your own.

I really dont want to complicate things much by rhapsodizing about simplicity. I would rather leave you to enjoy the recipe.

Mutton Sukkha

Mutton Sukkha

Ingredients

  • 500 grams, mutton on the bone
  • 100 ml coconut oil (please don’t use any other oil)
  • 15-20 curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 10 pods garlic pods, crushed
  • 1/2 inch ginger, crushed
  • 2-3 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3-4 tablespoons  of crushed pepper
  • 150 grams of grated coconut
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves and juice of lime for garnish

Procedure:

  • Wash the mutton and keep aside.
  • In a deep bottomed pan, heat the oil and add the curry leaves.
  • Once the curry leaves start spluttering, add the cumin and onion and fry till the onion is light brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and green chillies and fry till garlic is reddish brown.
  • Now add the mutton and fry well in the oil. The oil must coat the mutton well. Cover and cook for a while till mutton is almost done. This should take about 20 odd minutes depending on the quality of the mutton.
  • Add the salt.
  • Lastly, add the coconut, pepper and mix well so that the mutton and pepper integrate well.
  • Garnish with lime juice and corriander and serve with rotis or neer dosas