Malvani cuisine consists of a lot of hidden gems that are popular only in some selected parts of the country. It is a unique cuisine that is a blend of flavours from the Konkan coast including areas like Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The Konkan coast of India offers wonderful gastronomic tours of different flavours and cooking practices. The culinary tapestry of this region is influenced by so many cooking practises and norms that have been followed by people for ages. This area is blessed with heavenly coconut plantations which is why coconut is such an important part of the Malvani Cuisine.
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The region is not only unpredictable in terms of its geography, but also quite unpredictable in the kind of flavours and delicacies that it will offer at every changing step. Anyone who visits the Konkan area is blown away by the use of such simple spices to make intricate dishes. It is a talent that only the people of that area are blessed with. The amalgamation of different dishes and the cooking practices of people in the Konkan region sums up Malvani cuisine.
Here are some of the top dishes from the Malvani Cuisine.
Toi is a lentil that is prepared in the Malvani cuisine and can be called a Konkan version of dal. It is a comfort dish that is prepared by using some basic ingredients and lentils. The consistency of this dish is quite watery and it is mixed with a lot of desi ghee to make it more nourishing and heavy. Toi is generally eaten with some white rice that is accompanied by dry fish, spicy chutney and some pickles. This is the perfect Malvani comfort meal.
Solkadhi is another quintessential dish from the Konkan coast. It has a similar taste to the buttermilk curry that is prepared in the northern part of India across different states. Coconut milk is responsible for giving creaminess to this delicious curry. This curry is seasoned with some kokum petals along with green chillies. The contrasting ingredients used in this dish give balance to each other and none of the flavours are too overpowering. This dish has a deep pink colour and is often credited for its digestive properties. It is often offered as the first thing to guests in Konkani culture.
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* Kombdi Vade
Kombdi vade is a puri that is made in
the Malvani Cuisine. These puris have a crunchy taste and are made by a mixture of two grains, wheat and ragi. This is the perfect accompaniment for a Konkani chicken curry that is flavourful and spicy. It perfectly balances the flavours of a chicken curry and the two of these delicacies make a perfect combination. It is also a great snack for vegetarians who want to enjoy Konkani food as people believe that there are not many options for vegetarians in the Malvani cuisine.
* Bombil Fry
This dish is certainly one of the most authentic delicacies from the Konkan coast and deserves a place in the top restaurants in the country. It is also known as Bombay duck in Maharashtra and is loved by people. Although the method of preparation of this recipe may deviate as one travels from one region to another, the basic method remains almost the same. The very soft machine flash from the inside is made crispy from the outside by deep frying it. It is abundantly available in many popular restaurants in Maharashtra and is a must-try for all tourists.
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This is a desert from the Malvani cuisine that is extremely soft and melts into the mouth right away. The sweet cakes are made by using some cucumbers and semolina. It is not very often that one comes across a dessert that is made from cucumber which is often used as a salad. Some semolina is used with grated cucumbers to give it a grainy texture. The sweetness in the cakes is added with the help of jaggery. There was also a popular version of this dish that was made with jackfruit instead of cucumber. This recipe has almost gone extinct. But if lucky, one might find it being prepared in some part of the Konkan coast.
* Crab Curry
Seafood is a very important part of the Malvani Cusine, as there is an abundance of sea food available in that area. The crab that is prepared in the Konkan region is very different from other types of crab-based dishes that one may find in India. It is a mixture of sweet, salty and spicy flavours. A lot of local spices are used along with coconut milk which is a staple ingredient in the Konkani Cuisine. It is generally enjoyed with some white steamed rice or can be eaten all by itself.
These are some appetising recipes from the Malvani Cuisine and the beautiful Konkan coast.