Kele Sukhe ~ Mangalorean Wedding Style Raw Banana with Roasted Coconut & Spices

The wedding season in Mangalore is just around the corner and I can almost hear the groans :-) Those of you living in Mangalore will groan about the dozen a day Roce and weddings you'll be obliged to attend and those of us living outside India are perhaps groaning that we haven't been to one in ages. True yeah? Ok, you can stop smiling and nodding in agreement now. During my growing up years weddings and Roce ceremonies were few and far between so it was always a delight when I was the chosen one to attend it. I hear from many of the earlier generation of people that in large families of eight or more children lots were cast to see who would attend the upcoming wedding. This was during my mum's generation ofcourse. Things got better during my time and we almost always attended weddings but I usually liked to go to those where I knew that my cousins would also attend. The Roce ceremony was always my favourite one as it was more homely and casual. One could run up and down the house and watch the bride to be put the final touches to her makeup or giggle as the bridegroom to be was drowned in the last bit of the coconut milk after the ceremony. Being the foodie that I always was my eyes then roamed to the catering counter to see what was being served for dinner. It was always the same menu - large buns served with Mutton Polov, a lightly spiced, coconut based mutton and ash gourd curry, Kelen Sukhe, raw banana sauted in 'korpo' (dry roasted coconut and spices), Kaleez Ankiti, pork offal simmered in fiery spices and unpolished rice. The dessert varied from Kheer to vanilla ice cream to the more fanciful Gajar ka Halwa (carrot halwa)

Over the years the menu for the Roce ceremony has changed. The old hands employed by renowned caterers have passed on and the new bunch of cooks have employed new ways to make traditional dishes thereby kissing authenticity goodbye. Having tried out various versions to make my favourite raw banana sukka, I ended up asking someone who worked for a famous caterer in Mangalore and got the rough proportions which I tried and tested a few times before being satisfied with the recipe. Now the recipe is good enough to be shared with everyone who has asked for it over the years (Yep! I have received tons of requests for this recipe). So I hope you give it a try and do let me know what you think of it. Does it taste just like how you remember eating it? What are your memories about the Mangalorean Roce ceremonies? Do write in to and let me know! 

Kele Sukhe ~ Mangalorean Wedding Style Raw Banana with Roasted Coconut & Spices
Prep time: 25 mins | Cooking time: 15-20 mins | Yield

For the Korpo (roasted coconut & spice mixture)
1. Wash and peel the raw bananas using a potato peeler. Slit them vertically and then depending on the size, cut them into two or three pieces each (breadthwise). 
2. Transfer them to a kadai/pan and add a little water - enough to help cook (a little below the surface of the bananas will do - too much water could make the bananas mushy). Add salt, veg masala powder and the tamarind extract and cook covered until the bananas are tender.
3. While the bananas are cooking, prepare the 'korpo'. Heat oil in a frying pan/kadai and toss in the mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add the urad dal and the curry leaves. Let them sizzle for a few seconds on a medium low heat.
5. Add the onions and fry until golden. Toss in the grated coconut and the sugar and fry till you get a nice aroma and the coconut has lost its rawness. Remove from heat and keep aside
6. When the bananas are cooked, add the prepared korpo and gently mix everything. Check and adjust seasoning (salt, spice and sugar)
7. Serve hot with mutton polov and buns (traditional Mangalorean Roce ceremony style) or simply with some piping hot rice and curry of your choice!

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