How to make this zero oil Manipuri stew

Seasonal vegetables and fish make for this wholesome stew that is best eaten with rice.

Written by Pushpita Aheibam | Tripura | Updated: April 7, 2016 12:57 pm
While the traditional Manipuri recipe uses fermented fish, it has been modified to include fresh river water fish by Manipuris in Tripura, which is where the writer grew up. (Photo: Pushpita Aheibam/ eigichakhum.wordpress.com) While the traditional Manipuri recipe uses fermented fish, it has been modified to include fresh river water fish by Manipuris in Tripura, which is where the writer grew up. (Photo: Pushpita Aheibam/ eigichakhum.wordpress.com)

Manipuris love low oil and no oil food. The addition of fresh herbs right from the backyard kitchen gardens make any recipe tastier than one can imagine.

You might have seen that many of my no oil Manipuri recipes shared till date have Ngari/fermented fish as one of the main ingredients.

Like most of our fellow North East Indians, we Manipuris love fermented fish (back in my hometown Tripura, we Manipuris call them utonga/fermented fish stored in utong/ a hollow bamboo tube filled with ngari, the mouth is then sealed with a small ball made out of old newspapers, as I have had seen during my childhood days in Meitei houses in my home state).

The Manipuris in Tripura add locally available vegetables and fresh water fish to the traditional Manipuri recipes.

Kangshoi, a healthy and no oil stew, a favourite among the Manipuris, is an ideal side dish that can be included in either lunch or dinner. You can also add vegetables that can be boiled and relished.

Kangshoi can be made of any seasonal vegetables along with chopped onions or onion greens, ginger or ginger leaves, ngari & fried or dried fish pieces, water, salt garnished with fresh herbs.

Originally a ngari recipe, vegans can skip adding ngari and fish to enjoy an equally tasty and healthy Kangshoi with rice or all by itself.

This recipe has hawai thrak or tender green peas and shajna or moringa oleifera or drumsticks seed pods as main ingredients. Hence, I named it Hawai Thrak Shajna Kangshoi.

The stew should include enough water, taking care that it is neither too thin or thick. (Photo: Pushpita Aheibam/ eigichakhum.wordpress.com) The stew should include enough water, taking care that it is neither too thin or thick. (Photo: Pushpita Aheibam/ eigichakhum.wordpress.com)

Moringa Oleifera or drumsticks tree, known as a miracle tree needs no introduction when it comes to its nutritional values. Right from the leaves, flowers to its roots – each and every part of the moringa tree has some medicinal benefits.

The seeds or seed pods are a rich source of Oleic acid, vitamin C and vitamins of vitamin B-complex.

So most of my Manipuri stew recipes has Moringa as a vital ingredient.

Hawai Thrak Shajna Kangshoi

Ingredients
100 g- Tender Hawai Thrak/Green Peas
3-4 – Shajna/Moringa/Drumstick Pods, peeled and cut into equal length sticks
2 Large or 3- Medium size roasted Ngari/fermented fish(optional for Vegans)
1- Fried or smoked Rohu/or any other fish fillet(preferably salmon, mackerel or tuna)
2- Medium-sized onions or spring onions/scallions, chopped
1 tsp- Fresh ginger juliennes or fresh ginger leaves chopped if available
1- Medium-sized ripe tomato, chopped
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups (350ml)- Water, for boiling the vegetables
Freshly chopped cilantro or coriander or cilantro for garnishing

Method
* Put a deep-bottomed pot or pan filled in with water on medium heat. Add hawai thrak, drumsticks, ngari, fried fish, ginger chopped or juliennes, chopped tomato and salt.

* Cover and cook on slow heat till the vegetables are cooked.

* Once done, remove and garnish with the chopped herbs.

* Relish with piping hot rice and some boras/gram flour fritters/besan ke pakoras.

Note: Do not add extra water while cooking the kangshoi. Add desired amount of water before covering and slow-cooking the ingredients. Once covered do not uncover for atleast 10-15 mins to check if the vegetables are cooked or require further cooking.

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