Banbukeylu Hithi | Lonumedhu

Banbukeylu Hithi

 

Some of you have been requesting for a ‘Banbukeylu Hithi’ recipe ever since this year’s breadfruit season began and we are so happy to be finally sharing it with you.

‘Hithi’ is a type of curry that’s made without the usual Maldivian curry spices such as chilli, cumin, coriander and fennel. However, a not so usual spice ‘Hithi dhamui’ is essential for this type of curries. ‘Hithi dhamui’ is the local name for carom seeds, which are also sometimes called ajwain seeds, and we got ours from the Dhivehi medicine shop on Orchid Magu. It's got quite a distinctive flavour, and lends a nice bitter note.

You can serve this mild breadfruit curry with either rice or roshi. Some chopped up fresh chillies might be essential for those who need a bit of heat in their food though. Also, although we’ve added some curry leaves and pandan leaves to our curry, they are optional as it’s quite usual for ‘Hithi’ to be made without them.

 

Serves: 3-4

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ small breadfruit (1 ¼ cups when chopped)
  • 2 ½ cups water (for boiling the breadfruit)
  • ¼ tsp. salt (for boiling the breadfruit)
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 7 tsp. water (for grinding the turmeric and coconut)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ inch ginger
  • 1/3 tsp. hithi dhamui (carom seeds)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/3 cup thick coconut milk
  • ½ cup sliced smoked tuna
  • 5 curry leaves (optional)
  • 3 inches pandan (optional)
  • ½ tsp. salt (for the curry)

Instructions:

  1. Peel and remove the breadfruit’s core. Then chop the breadfruit into 1 inch by ½ inch pieces.
  2. Add the breadfruit, water and salt to a pot and boil until the breadfruit pieces become tender; not to the point where they turn mushy though. For us this took 15 minutes. You can use a fork to test the doneness.
  3. While the breadfruit is boiling, add turmeric, grated coconut and 7 teaspoons of water to your grinder and grind until you get a smooth paste. Set it aside. Also, what you’ve just prepared is called ‘dhon huni’.
  4. Clean out your grinder and then to it add the garlic, ginger, carom seeds and onion. Do remember to roughly chop up the onion, garlic and ginger before you add them in. Grind the mixture. You don’t have to get it all the way smooth this time.
  5. Add the thick coconut milk to a small bowl. Then add the mixture from step 4 and give it a good mix. Cover and set it aside.
  6. When the breadfruit is tender, add the ‘dhon huni’, smoked tuna, curry leaves and pandan leaf to the pot. Mix well and cook for around 7 minutes on low heat with the lid on. By then, the grated coconut should be cooked and you should also be getting a nice aroma.
  7. Add the thick coconut milk mixture you prepared in step 5 to the pot. Mix well, have a taste and add salt to your liking. We added ½ a teaspoon.
  8. Let the mixture cook on low heat for another two minutes and that’s it.

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