Kobba Sukke
Hot, sweet and savory sugarcane chickpea stir-fry. A traditional Konkani gourmet recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8servings 45minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
8servings 45minutes
Cook Time
  • 100gm chickpeas(green or brown)
  • 500gm sugarcane(peeled and divested of hard joints) (see cutting method below)
  • 125gm grated coconut
  • 10gm coriander seeds(cilantro seeds)
  • 10gm dry Kashmiri chilies
  • 1gm fenugreek seeds
  • 2gm mustard seeds
  • 3gm tamarind
  • 1sprig curry leaves
  • 30ml coconut oil
  • 10gm salt
  • 250ml water
To soak the chickpeas:
  1. Soak the chickpeas in water overnight.
  2. Wash, drain and set aside.
To peel and cut the sugarcane:
  1. Sugarcane can be peeled and cut in several ways. I would like to share my easy cutting method with you. All you require is a pair of secateurs (pruning shears / hand pruners), a cutting board and a chef’s knife.
  2. The outer skin of a sugarcane is quite hard, somewhat like a bamboo. It is difficult to cut with a knife unless one delivers a blow. However, if you use a pair of pruning shears and put the sugarcane between its jaws, rolling it slowly while applying gentle pressure on the handles, it can cut through the skin easily.
  3. The joints or knots of the sugarcane are often too hard to be chewed and need to be discarded.
  4. So I first make my cuts on either side of the joints and collect the edible cylinders. These I put upright on the cutting board and use my chef’s knife to slice off thin strips of the woody skin.
  5. Next, I weigh 500 gm. of the peeled sugarcane for the kobba sukke. Each peeled cylinder is again put upright on the cutting board and divided into quarters.
  6. Finally, each quarter is chopped lengthwise to roughly 3 cm (1-inch) pieces and set aside.
To prepare:
  1. Wash and drain the soaked chickpeas. Transfer them to your pressure cooker. Pour in 250 ml. of water and set on high heat.
  2. As soon as you hear the first whistle, turn down the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and let cool naturally.
  3. Set a skillet or small pan on low heat. Pour in 20 ml. of the coconut oil and tip in the coriander seeds. Stir continuously.
  4. As it warms up, tip in the dry chilies and stir for a minute. Switch off the heat and set aside.
  5. Put the grated coconut into your food processor. Add the tamarind and the contents of the skillet. Grind to coarse paste without adding any water. Take care to stir once or twice in between (switching off the food processor) to grind uniformly. Set aside.
To cook:
  1. Open the lid of the pressure cooker (the steam should have subsided by now).
  2. Set a thick cast-iron wok (for best taste) on high heat. Pour in the rest (10 ml.) of the coconut oil and tip in the mustard seeds.
  3. As soon as the mustard seeds are about to finish spluttering, tip in the fenugreek seeds.
  4. Pull the curry leaves off their sprig and throw them in. Stir once and gently pour the contents of the cooker into the wok.
  5. Tip in the sugarcane and the salt. Add the ground paste and mix thoroughly.
  6. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Stir occasionally, letting the sugarcane cook and absorb the flavors for 10 minutes.
  7. Now remove the lid and turn up the heat.
  8. Stir continuously till the excess water evaporates fully.
  9. Your ultra-delicious Kobba Sukke is now ready to serve. Enjoy!