Saturday, March 21, 2015



A typical Konkani dish generally served during weddings and festivals is the Avanasa-Ambe Sasam which is a sweet and spicy side dish of pineapple ( Avanasa in Konkani) and mangoes (Ambe in Konkani) prepared in a base of coconut masala with mustard seeds ground in it (Sasam.)

This is the ideal combination but at times we make this with mangoes alone or pineapples alone.

You will find the recipe for the Ambe Sasam here. Since the mango season has not yet begun, I made Avanasa Sasam recently with just pineapples and seedless grapes. You can use either jaggery or sugar in making this dish. I have chosen to make this today with sugar.

Naturally, the amount of sugar you add will depend not only on your individual taste but also on the sweetness/sourness of the pineapple you use.

Today is a joyous occasion for us Konkanis as it is the festival of Samsar Padva or our New Year, also celebrated as Ugadi and Gudi Padva. My best wishes go out to all of you who celebrate this joyous occasion.  Also, I am pleased to share that today is the second anniversary of this blog, "Cooking With Shobana." Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. Over the last two years, this blog has had over 249,000 page views and it's Facebook Page now has nearly 3100 likes.

  • Pineapple, 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups
  • Seedless Grapes, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 4 tbsp, or to taste
  • Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Roasted Red Chillies, (Byadgi variety), 3 
  • Tamarind, small seed size
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee, 1 tsp
  • Salt, a pinch


Cut the pineapple into small pieces. Transfer to a vessel, add sugar and a pinch of salt and boil for about 4-5 minutes. Allow it to cool. Keep aside.
In a kadhai, heat a teaspoon of ghee. When it gets hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Keep aside.
In a mixer, grind together coconut gratings, roasted red chillies, tamarind, and the spluttered mustard to a coarse paste, adding required amount of water. Ensure that the paste is fairly thick and not runny.
Next, mix the coarse paste with the pineapple pieces
Add the grapes and mix well. There is no need to boil the sasam.
Some choose to season with mustard and curry leaves at this stage. I prefer it without the seasoning.
The sasam is ready to be served. This tastes delicious when served chilled also.

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