Executive chef Dane Fernandes shares the unknown benefits of black jaggery

There is only one umami in India. It’s called chatpata, a lip-curling mix of khatta, meetha and teekha,” smiles Dane Fernandes, Executive Chef, JW Sahar Mumbai. Sovereign of Goan flavors, Dane celebrates his childhood culinary memories pickled on the island of Chorao here. Her atlas of flavors brings a multi-sensory experience, embellished with foraging trips during her early years on the island, and her love for hyper-regional cuisines. He brings with him a treasured repertoire of culinary finesse, honed in the kitchens of St. Regis Mumbai, Grand Hyatt, The Oberoi and Hilton Towers, Mumbai.

Madachem godd is lazy as Dane’s prized secret culinary weapon. “The use of this natural sugar brings incomparable flavors. The mild sweetness, caramelized flavor and slight nutty taste of black jaggery makes it the perfect silent hero in my dishes. Originating in Goa, black jaggery is of several kinds. Since it is prepared in home kitchens and local farms, no two batches of black jaggery taste exactly the same.

The aromatic profile changes with each harvest. That’s the beauty and the challenge of playing with this ingredient,” he shares. Dane prefers to grind black jaggery using a mortar and pestle for a finer texture. “I use it as a filling for sanna (fermented toddy Goan bread); combine it with coconut as a delicious filling for the traditional alle belle (a tea-time pancake-like crepe) and even play up the delicate flavors of the ragi sheera that I make with my four-year-old son years at home.

The inclusion elevates the flavor profile of each dish. Whether pairing spicy sorpotel with brooding jaggery or slipping it into the Kerala dessert recipe of elaneer payasam, kala gur wins the sweet contest hands down. “Try adding ada pradhaman, mixed with ghee and nuts. The biggest challenge,” Dane confesses, “is to keep adding very small portions at a time because the dark jaggery doesn’t soak into your palate with a sudden burst of sweetness like regular gur or refined sugar. Handle it skillfully, deftly. Making miso from spicy recheado and stroking hay-smoked mackerel brings back my earliest culinary memories on my island home. from Goa.

TONNACHE BANGDE

Ingredients

For the fish:
✥ Hay – As needed
✥ Bangda – 150 grams
✥ Miso – 30 Gms
✥ Honey – 20 Gms
✥ Oil – 10ml

For the Rereado sauce:
✥ Mayonnaise -50 Gms
✥ Fresh Cream – 20 Gms
✥ Dried Kashmir Chilies – 20 Gms
✥ Garlic Bulb – 3 Gms
✥ Ginger Root – 3 Gms
✥ Corn Pepper – 2 Gms
✥ cloves – 3 grams
✥ Green Cardamom – 5 Gms
✥ Cinnamon Stick – 2 inch stick
✥ Tamarind – 8 Gms
✥ White Wine Vinegar – 30 Gms
✥ Black Jaggery – 20 Gms
✥ Oil – 10ml
✥ Water – As needed

Marinated radish:
✥ White Radish – 30 Gms
✥ White Wine Vinegar – 50 Gms
✥ Black Jaggery – 20 Gms
✥ Salt – 8 Gms

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