Alsande Tonak from Goa

As I mentioned in my last post, I met some of my blogging friends when I was in India this past February. Archana’s gave us a packet of Tonak masala. She also prepared alsande tonak during our meet in Chennai and unfortunately I missed the cooking session as I had to get back to Hyderabad a day early to attend one of my niece’s wedding. Along with tonak masala she also gave us a printout of the recipe. Last month I followed her recipe and made alsande tonak. Since I already had the masala, preparation was a breeze.

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Ok, ok, I have been talking a lot about tonak and some of you might not even know what I am taking about. In fact, even I was unaware of tonak until recently. Tonak is a popular Goan curry common in many Goan homes. It is served with pao, a crusty bun similar to pav.

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It is prepared for breakfast, lunch and even for dinner. From what I have read online, it is a common preparation at weddings and celebrations. Tonak is prepared with alsande ~ black eyed peas or cowpeas and with mushrooms. I have also come across tonak recipes with other vegetables as well. I made with alsande. Since I usually have a pack of frozen black eyed peas in the freezer, I used those. If using dry black eyed peas, it needs to be soaked overnight and cooked until tender before making the curry.

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Source: Archana

Tonak Masala
Ingredients

  • 10 Cloves
  • 1” Cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. Coriander Seeds
  • 4-6 Black Pepper Corns
  • 12 – 13 Dry Chilies
  • ½ tsp. Fennel Seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 2 Anise Petals
  • Oil to fry the spices

Preparation:

  • Roast all the spices in little bit of oil. When cool, grind to fine paste.

Alsande Tonak
Ingredients

  • ½ lb. or 1 ½ – 1 ¾ cup Black Eyed Peas (I used frozen black eyed peas)
  • 1 small Onion chopped or ½ cup chopped Onion
  • 1 small – medium sized Tomato, chopped or ½ cup chopped Tomato
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 small Onion chopped
  • 2 – 3 Garlic Cloves
  • ¾ cup frozen Coconut (check note)
  • 1 tbsp. + ½ tsp. Tonak Masala
  • 1 – 1 ¼ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste)

Preparation:

  • Cook black eyed peas with chopped onion, tomatoes and 1/4 tsp. salt. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
  • While the black eyed peas are cooking, in a pan heat 1 ½ oil and roast together garlic & onion until onion is translucent.
  • Add coconut and continue roasting until coconut turns light brown.
  • Cool the mixture and grind to fine paste. Add some water if required.
  • Heat remaining oil in the pan and add the paste to pan. Roast the masala paste for few minutes, add turmeric and give it a good stir.
  • Add the paste, tonak masala, chili powder, salt to cooked black eyed peas and bring it to a boil.
  • If the gravy is too thick, add some water, cook until the spices blend in. Once the desired consistency is reached and the curry is cooked, turn off the heat.
  • Serve hot with pao. I served it with roti and I think it would go well even with rice.

Note:

  • I used ¾ cup frozen shredded coconut and I think when thawed this would be about ½ cup.

This day in 2008 – Frozen Berries with Warm White Chocolate
This day in 2011 – Chocolate Almond Biscotti
This day in 2014: Greece Spanakopita

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56

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