The point that you are studying this by now elevates you to the position of a food stuff lover curious adequate to go over and above the standard Konkani impression of miles of shorelines thronged by visitors who are sunbathing and drinking. You are all set to dig deeper and unravel the mystery powering the spicy and fragrant food stuff of the region.
Of study course, due to the fact we are speaking about the cuisine of a coastal spot, coconut and seafood are obvious components in the planning of any food on the other hand, region and seasons also engage in an significant part in the choice of the relaxation of the components. Let us get a search at some of the frequent, and some not so frequent, components utilised in Konkani food stuff.
A. Spices: Indian food stuff is incomplete devoid of an assortment of spices and the community cuisine employs them generously, supplying the dishes a exclusive flavor.
· Black pepper: Piper Nigrum, or black pepper, is utilised thoroughly in Indian cooking. In India, it is developed primarily in South India. The fruits of the plant, recognized as peppercorns, are dried and utilised as a spice both of those for their flavor and for their medicinal attributes.
· Fenugreek: This plant, which bears the scientific title of Trigonella foenum-graecum, has been cultivated due to the fact ancient moments: as much again as 4000BC in Egypt. It is developed in semi-arid climates, primarily in the northern and western states of India. This plant is utilised in a lot of strategies in Indian cuisine: as an herb, a spice (both of those dried leaves and seeds), and as a vegetable in its refreshing kind.
· Pink Chilies: Pink chilies or chili peppers are vegetation of the genus Capsicum. They are utilised to make hot ‘n’ spicy Indian curries. The plant was introduced into Asia by Portuguese traders and due to the fact Goa was, till the the latest previous, a Portuguese colony, community Goan or Konkani cuisine employs this hot tasting spice closely. The kinds of chilies that are usually utilised in Goan dishes incorporate Byadgi, Bird’s Eye and other people.
· Asafoetida: This is dried latex attained from the faucet root of a perennial herb referred to as Ferula, which is normally developed in Iran, Afghanistan, and India. The spice has a fetid, pungent odor, that’s why the title asafoetida. But despite this, when utilised in exceptionally compact quantities in dishes like lentils, it provides a easy and distinctive flavor.
· Turmeric: Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is attained from an natural plant belonging to the ginger family members. These vegetation are indigenous to the southeast components of India. Though turmeric is utilised mainly in rhizome powder kind to impart a yellow coloration to food stuff, in Konkani dishes, turmeric leaves are utilised to wrap and cook distinctive sweet dishes.
· Mustard seed: Mustard seeds come across point out in a lot of ancient texts, which includes the Bible and the stories of Gautama Buddha. Indian mustard, with the scientific title of Brassica juncea, is developed primarily in the northern states of India.
· Cumin: This spice is derived from the dried seed of Cuminum cyminum, an natural plant from the parsley family members. It is utilised both of those in total and floor kind and is thought to have a number of medicinal and digestive attributes.
· Teppal: Also recognized variously as Tirphal, Szechuan pepper or Zanthoxylum rhetsa, these are dried berries that grow in grape-like bunches on a tree which is developed primarily in Maharashtra and Karnataka in India. These berries, minus the seeds, are utilised mainly in the planning of fish dishes in the Konkan region, as properly as from some vegetarian dishes.
· Coriander seeds and leaves: Coriander is also recognized as Chinese parsley or Cilantro and is indigenous to a lot of components of the earth which includes southern Europe, north Africa, and southwestern Asia. The plant’s leaves, as properly as the dried seeds, are utilised in cooking, specifically for generating chutneys or as a spice.
· KhusKhus: This is the title for poppy seeds that have been utilised for hundreds of many years in food stuff planning. Attained from the opium poppy, the seeds are meant to have sedative powers.
· Cloves: These are flower buds of the evergreen clove tree which is developed primarily in south Asia. This fragrant spice is utilised in African, Asian and Center Jap cuisine to impart flavor to curries, meat preparations, and hot beverages.
· Cinnamon: What is actually distinctive about this spice is that it is attained from the internal bark of not one particular, but a number of trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. Its flavor is this sort of that it is utilised in both of those sweet and savory dishes. This spice has been considered fit to be eaten by gods and monarchs due to the fact ancient moments and as a result has been really valued across the earth, while it is indigenous to South Asian countries.
· Bay leaf or Tej Patta: This leaf is diverse from the Cassia leaf/bay leaf recognized in the west. The Indian bay leaf is utilised to impart flavor to dishes like lentils and diverse types of khichris.
· Black and Inexperienced Cardamom: Both of those the black and green cardamom belong to the ginger family members Zingiberaceae and is developed primarily in Asia. They are diverse not just in coloration, but also in dimensions. Inexperienced cardamom is one particular of the world’s most expensive spices, powering only saffron and vanilla, and, like these two, it is also utilised both of those in sweet and savory preparations.
B. Herbs: Indian cooking tends to make use of a number of natural vegetation to include flavor to dishes or for the goal of garnishing. Down below are some of the most significant types:
· Inexperienced coriander: Coriander leaf, moreover becoming floor to make spicy chutneys and dips, is a must for completing the search of Indian curries.
· Curry leaf: This is not to be bewildered with the European curry plant. This certain leaf belongs to the sub-tropical Murraya koenigii tree and is utilised pretty usually in South Indian and Konkani cuisine.
· Mango Ginger: Referred to as aamhaldi in community parlance, Curcuma amada, or mango ginger, belongs to ginger family members Zingiberaceae and has a uncooked mango-like flavor. It finds its use in Indian cooking in generating pickles, chutneys, sauces and salads.
· Ginger: The root of the flowering plant Zingiber officinale is one particular of the most greatly utilised components in Indian cooking. The roots have a exclusive and hot flavor and they are utilised in curries, and additional to hot beverages, etcetera.
· Garlic: Allium sativum, improved recognized as garlic, is a pungent smelling species of the onion genus. It has been utilised in cooking for the previous 7000 many years and is a staple in a lot of components of the earth, which includes Mediterranean, Asian, and African cuisine. From curries to stews and soups, and from chutneys and dips to pickles and flavored oil, garlic is utilised in all types of cooking.
C. Souring Agents utilised in Konkani Food stuff
· Bilimbi: This is the fruit of the Avarrhoa bilimbi or cucumber tree and is a near relative of carambola. It is a tropical tree and grows in gardens and backyards. It is utilised usually in Goan cuisine for generating pickles or as a souring agent in soups and stews, or even curries.
· Carambola: The fruit of the Avarroha carambola tree, also recognized as star fruit, is utilised in a equivalent way as Bilimbi fruit that is to make pickles and chutneys or for consuming uncooked with salt. Some Konkani recipes use jaggery to counter its exceptionally tangy flavor.
· Tamarind: Tamarindus indica or the tamarind tree is a leguminous tree indigenous to tropical Africa but developed thoroughly in India. The extract of this pod – which tastes like sour tasting fruit, is utilised as a souring agent in a lot of Konkani recipes that assortment from rice dishes, cooked greens, chutneys, lentils to seafood like crab.
· Inexperienced Mango: Though dried and floor, green or unripe mango or amchoor powder is utilised in Indian dishes to give them a tangy flavor the uncooked fruit by itself is blended with coriander, chili and other spices to make mouthwatering sweet and sour chutneys and side dishes that go properly with rice.
· Kokum: This is the fruit of Garcinia indica, a tropical plant belonging to the mangosteen family members. Its outer protect is solar-dried to make aamsul or kokum. In the Konkan region, it is recognized as bhirand and is the most usually utilised souring agent, imparting a slightly sour flavor to dishes along with a dim pink coloration.
D. Vegetables, Fruit and Bouquets utilised in Konkani Delicacies
· Coconut: The fruit of the coconut tree or Cocos nucifera, also referred to as kalpavriksh in Konkani, is utilised in a lot of diverse strategies in Konkani cuisine. The fruit is obtainable in abundance in the region and is utilised grated, dried and grated, fried or as a paste, or in the kind of coconut milk in various recipes, some actually well-liked types becoming Sol Kadhi, Ambe Hashale, Vali Ambat, etcetera.
· Gourds: Konkani cuisine has a lot of properly-recognized recipes that use a variety of types of gourd, be it bitter gourd, bottle gourd or ash gourd, which are cooked in coconut curry with an assortment of spices that give them a hot and sour flavor. Other types of gourds utilised are snake gourd and ridge gourd.
· Malabar Cucumber: Regarded as magge in Konkani, Malabar cucumber is a fleshy vegetable resembling a pumpkin. It is utilised as an ingredient in planning rasam and curries in Goa and Kerala.
· Chayote: Also recognized as christophine, this is a vegetable that’s effortlessly obtainable calendar year round and can be chopped and cooked employing spices like mustard seeds, fenugreek, asafoetida, and grated coconut.
· Yam and Chinese Potato: Suran or yam and soppoor kook or Chinese potato are cooked with spicy coconut chutney and asafoetida and go properly with rice.
· Sweet potato: Kananga, as sweet potato is recognized as in Konkani, is utilised to make phodis which can be both of those deep fried or pan fried.
· Banana: Banana is utilised in Konkani dishes in a variety of strategies ranging from the planning of Banana halwa, a sweet dish, to shallow fried banana phodis coated with spice mixture, to banana puris that are eaten with coconut chutney and sambar. Other recipes incorporate uncooked banana curry, banana modak (a sweet dish), etcetera.
· Drumstick: Regarded locally as mashing, drumstick dishes are really well-liked in Goa specified that the tree is uncovered in the backyards of most homes. Drumstick is comprehensive of iron and the tree’s bouquets and leaves are also utilised in Konkani cooking. Well-liked dishes incorporate drumstick ros cooked in coconut curry, cutlets, drumstick greens rice, etcetera.
· Colocasia: referred to as pathrado in Konkani, stuffed colocasia leaves are a favored community delicacy. Apart from that, it is utilised to make fritters, cutlets, and side dishes like venti which employs the plant’s stems. The leaves are also utilised to make curry, specifically as Naivedyam on Janmashtami Day.
· Breadfruit: This largish fruit belongs to the mulberry family members. It is recognized as jeev kadge in Konkani and is utilised to make fritters and a spicy dry dish to go with rice and lentils.
· Hog Plums: One particular of the most frequent greens utilised in Konkani cooking, hogplums or ambada are the fruits of a locally developed tree. They are also utilised in pickles or in other dishes as souring brokers.
· Tender Cashew Nuts: Cashew is a popular crop of the Konkan region, and, obviously, the region has some tasty cashew nut dishes as part of its cuisine. A several well-liked types are Tender Cashew Nut curry or Bibbe Sagle, Bibbe Upkari, etcetera.
· Jackfruit: Jackfruit trees are a frequent sight in the region and the fruits are utilised to make phodi or fritters, chutney, side dishes, and payasam (a sweet dish).
· Inexperienced Aubergine: Gulla or eggplant is a part of some of the very best Konkani dishes, like fritters, Stuffed Brinjal, Brinjal Sambhar, smoked Konkani brinjals, etcetera.
· Greens: Apart from coriander, Konkani food stuff also employs brahmi leaves which are locally recognized as ekpanna tamboli. They are utilised to make curries and chutneys.
· Amaranthus: An additional green leafy vegetable utilised in Konkani cuisine is amaranthus which is made into bhaji or upkari, the green leaves becoming referred to as dhavi bhaji and pink types tambdi bhaji.
· Malabar Spinach: Regarded as valli in Konkani, Malabar spinach is utilised to make spinach coconut curry or Vaali Ambat. This curry can be utilised with prawns, shell fish, etcetera.
· Tender Bamboo Shoots: These are a favored with the locals and are both of those cooked as a side dish and pickled and preserved.
E. Lentils/Peas: Konkan is basically a rice and fish consuming region and lentils are a must to go with rice. Apart from the frequent types like masoor (pink lentil), mung (green gram), toor (pigeon peas), chana dal (Bengal gram), urad dal (black gram), and rajma (kidney beans), some other lentils and peas utilised in Konkani cuisine incorporate:
· Cow Peas/Black Eyed Beans: Konkanis prepare bagde kodel or cow peas in coconut gravy with garlic seasoning. The dish, which is accompanied by rice, also employs Mangalore cucumber or potatoes.
· Horse Gram: The chilly period sees Konkanis planning kulith or horse gram pretty usually. Though the cooking h2o is utilised as a saru or skinny soup, the cooked gram is utilised as kosambaris (salad) or stir fry. Apart from this, dosas and idlis are also made employing floor rice, kulith, urad, and chana dal.
F. Fish and other Seafood: Seafood is an integral part of any coastal region and Konkan is no exception. Vison (Kingfish) is normally cooked. The other kinds of fish that come across a position in this cuisine incorporate pomphret, tunal, mackerel, and shark. Shellfish like lobster, prawns, squid, crab and mussels are also effortlessly obtainable.
· Ladyfish: Ladyfish, also recognized as kane or nagli, is uncovered a loads in the rivers of the region. This fish is considered clear and effortlessly digestible and is cooked in coconut gravy. It is also eaten deep fried.
· Shark: Ambot Tik is a Goan delicacy which is made with shark and served on distinctive situations. It is cooked in a hot and sour curry and tastes improved if eaten a day soon after cooking!
More than the centuries, Konkani cuisine has been influenced not just by nearness to the sea and availability of components, but also its Hindu origins and centuries of Portuguese rule. The colonial rulers introduced a number of greens, fruits and spices to this region some of them, like potato and tomato, were being in the beginning turned down by the Hindu natives, but, with the passage of time, they made their way into the community dishes.