My third and special post is for our staple ingredients in Sindhudurg. Coconut is a Drupe Fruit and Cashew comes under Suka Meva aka Dry Fruit. Almost every family in Sindhudurg owns a coconut and cashew tree.
Coconut is well-known as “SreePhal” and “Kalpavriksha”. All sections of the tree are used to make innovative things. Roof fixing (house construction) or additional mandap for the roof in verandah for summers, the husk and shell to ward off mosquitoes or to burn the chulha (handmade earthen stove), tree leaves are for making brooms and baskets, husk to wash utensils, pure coconut oil used for food or puja, shell for bowls or prasadam, and other things. Every meal and dishes are incomplete without grated coconut.
Cashew is available from April to June. The yield stops during rains. The procedure to dry is super tedious. I’ve seen Mom-in-law spending days in collecting them and then drying it in the sun. She has to keep it safe and dry until the first rain of the year. Sindhudurg has untouched forests and animals like monkeys who love cashews, mangoes, jack fruits, vegetables or flowers :p They visit the nearby villages at least thrice a day before sunset. MIL never stays at our place and if ever she has to stay, she will leave the other day, fearing the monkeys would destroy her garden.
The best part in Sindhudurg is one ever hits these monkeys, they ward them off with a unique loud voice. Boiled raw cashews for thick gravy cashew vegetable or curry. Dried cashews are added to the burnt charcoal or coconut shell, burnt with a wooden stick and peeled hot with a stone. This is the most difficult procedure. I’ve seen Mom-in-law do this in person and the marks on hand are often there is a week or more.
Have you ever tried Cashew Curry? If no please comment below, I will post 2 easy cashew recipes on the blog 🙂