Konkani food is the food prepared by the people of Konkani community, who live along the West coast of India. The region includes Goa, Maharashtra, parts of Karnataka, and a small part of Kerala. The Konkani cuisine is also called as the Malvani cuisine in Maharashtra. This cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian, although pure vegetarianism is followed by many Brahmin communities.
Geographical and Cultural Influence
As the Konkani community is spread across four States, the Konkani cuisine also has undergone variations, embracing the cuisine of the State. Since it is a coastal region, seafood is an indispensable part of this cuisine. The Konkani people belong to various religions such as Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. Therefore, the food habits are also in accordance with their faith. For example, the Konkani Brahmin communities eat only vegetarian food, while others consume non-vegetarian dishes.
Commonly Used Ingredients
Rice, wheat, gram flour, lentils, seafood, chicken, mutton, beef, and vegetables are all used in the Konkani cuisine. Coconut is generously used in various forms, and coconut oil is used as a cooking medium. Tamarind, a berry called kokum, raw mango, and jack fruit are some of the other common ingredients. The cuisine also uses spices like coriander, cumin seeds, red chilli, garlic, ginger, and cardamom.
The Konkani cuisine marinates the meat in tamarind water or lemon before cooking.
Everyday Konkani Food
Rice varieties, bhakri, puri, udida pole, surnali, alayle pita roti, tausalli are some of the Konkani foods for breakfast in Canara region of Karnataka. Udida pole is a dosa made from urad dal. Alayle pita roti is a special roti made with peet flour. For lunch, rice is the primary food in this region with upkaris, talasanis, and randayis. Upkari and talasani are vegetable dishes cooked differently. Randayi looks like a gravy made with coconut, pulses, and vegetables. Ambat and tambli are curries served as a side dish. These foods are made in the North and South Canara regions of Karnataka.
Sol kadhi or kokum kadi, a drink made from kokum fruit and coconut, is drunk after every meal to off set the spiciness of the meal. This drink is consumed by people living in both Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Malvani mutton curry, bombin fry, fish koliwada, murgh malvani are some of the traditional non-vegetarian dishes popular in Maharashtra. Murgh malvani is made with chicken, vade, onion, and sol kadhi. Fish fries such as the Bangda fry are a popular Konkani food in Mumbai. Sweet dosa called Surnali is popular in the Canara region and is accompanied by the hinga chutney. The dhoddak is a traditional dish where food is cooked on leaves and cooked on low heat with charcoal. Phanasachi bhaji is a vegetarian fare, made with jack fruit and spices.
Malpua is a famous sweet in Maharashtra that is made during festivals, especially Ramzan. Ukdiche modak is a sweet delicacy made from fresh coconut, jaggery, and rice flour. A cucumber cake called dhondas and a sweet pancake called Khaproli are other sweet delicacies of this community. Paays, which is a Konkani version of kheer, is also made during festivals.
Konkani Food Etiquette
The cooked food is well garnished before serving. During festivals, the taat vadhany method of decorating the food before serving is practiced. This etiquette forms an important part in the Konkani cuisine.
Pure vegetarians in the Konkani community do not consume any form of meat or fish and even refrain from using onion and garlic in their cooking.