Black Olives Menaskai (Curry)

Growing up in a quintessential south Indian family, rice was and will always be my comfort food! Getting married to someone who does not enjoy rice as much could not change my affinity towards authentic Udupi based dishes.

The thought of saar (rasam), thambuli, Urdinet, different chutneys, kukku bajji (mango curry), menaskai makes me want to head back home to my Mom who makes them all the best!

Here is a list of some mouthwatering udupi recipes – click here

Today’s recipe is inspired by yet another popular dish from the coastal Karnataka region called the Menaskai. You can prepare this dish with different fruits and veggies. Today, I prepared the this dish with some black olives and I was happy with the result 🙂

Do give it a try!

Black Olives Menaskai


Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 3 to 4 people


  • Black olives – 1 small cup
  • Green chillies – 2 to 3
  • Jaggery powder – 2 Tsp
  • Salt – 1 Tsp or as per taste

To Grind:

  • Sesame Seeds – 2 Tbsp
  • Urad Dal – 1 Tbsp
  • Channa Dal – 1 Tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds / Methi seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  • Dry red Chillies – 3 to 4 (or more if needed spicy)
  • Shredded fresh coconut – 1 small cup
  • Tamarind Paste – 2 Tsp

For Tempering:

  • Coconut Oil (preferred) – 1 to 2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 Tsp
  • Urad Dal – 1 Tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Curry leaves – few


  • In a deep bottomed pot, boil a cup of water with salt. Add the black olives and green chillies. Boil well till the olives are cooked.
Black Olives and Green Chillies
  • Meanwhile, in a wide bottomed pan, dry roast sesame seeds, urad dal, channa dal, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies separately on a medium flame. Roast them well and make sure the ingredients do not smell raw.
Dry roasted ingredients
  • Once done, allow it to cool down before grinding it all into a fine paste with shredded coconut and tamarind paste. Add a little water if needed while grinding.
Grind the above roasted ingredients with coconut and tamarind paste
Ground masala paste
  • Now, add the ground paste to the pot of cooked olives and mix well.
Ground paste to the cooked olives and green chillies
  • Next, add the jaggery powder. Mix well.
Jaggery gives the necessary sweetness to this tangy based curry
  • At this point, taste test for salt, tamarind flavor and the sweetness.
  • Boil well for 3-4 minutes before turning off the heat.
Boil well
  • The last step is for the tempering. Prepare the same, using the ingredients mentioned in the ‘for tempering’ section. *The coconut oil aroma enhances the flavor of the dish but you can use any other oil if you are not a fan of coconut oil*.
Tempering enhances the flavor of the dish
  • Enjoy the dish with some hot rice and papad!

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