Goan Tonak And Pao: This Meaty Breakfast Combo Is A Must-Try
Image Credit: Goan Tonak and pao

Think of a coastal destination, and the first thought to pop in our head is sure to be that of sandy beaches, crashing waves and, of course, the sumptuous seafood fare. Most people heading to Goa for a vacation are all set to explore the different varieties of fish, prawn, crab, and oyster delicacies. It’s commonly believed that these lip-smacking curries are usually eaten for lunch.  

However, Goans like to keep their breakfast hearty and happening too. Take the Goan Tonak and Pao, for instance. It is a classic regional breakfast combination that consists of rich, spicy gravy that is paired with soft Goan Paos or Pois. The word ‘Tonak’ comes from Konkani language, which means spicy curry. Tonak can be cooked in a variety of ways. It could be filled with red cowpeas (or Alsande Tonak), mushrooms or (Alami Tonak), and Chanya Tonak, a Goan peas curry.  

Made with coconut milk and cooked with potatoes and various other veggies, the Tonak can be given a non-vegetarian spin with the addition of kalvaa (oyster). The delicious oysters are cleaned and cooked in coconut curry, along with potatoes, sliced onions, and desiccated coconut. Garam masala, red chilli powder, turmeric, and a host of spices are dunked into it to make it wholesome and spicy.  

To make Kalvaa Curry, one has to begin by cleaning the oysters. Sauté sliced onions and garlic cloves in oil till they turn brown. Next, add in the coconut, along with spices like garam masala, turmeric powder, and red chilli powder. Let it all fry and cool it down to blend it into a coarse paste. Meanwhile, dice the potatoes and add the masala in a pan, along with the potatoes. Mix it well. Dunk in the cleaned oysters and mix it all together. Pour some water and let it cook for some time. The Kalvaa Tonak can be paired along with pao, a soft bun-like bread or sansaas, a special regional rice bread as well as rice, at times.