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Maharashtra Day

A celebration of seafood – Maharashtrian thali

If you are a seafood lover, then Malvani cuisine is where you will find home. The Maharashtrian community from the serene palm fringed fishing villages along the Konkan coast, quite predictably have some of the best seafood recipes of the country. This Maharashtra Day we put together a delicious seafood thali complete with all the essentials, right from crispy fried fish to spicy crab curry, to satisfy all your seafood cravings in the most celebrated way! Talk about how every nook of Mumbai has a Malvani restaurant, talk more about Maharashtra.

 

Sol kadhi - to get things started

Every Malvani meal has to start with this drink. The creaminess of coconut milk is balanced with the tang from kokum petals and has a slightly spicy edge from green chillies. The beautiful pink colour of this chilled digestive drink, is inviting enough to make you have the first sip, after which you won’t be counting the glasses.

 

Tangy and spicy - Amsulachi Chutney

Kokam is an indigenous ingredient in the Konkan coast and is used as a souring agent in most recipes. In this chutney it is mixed along with 3 simple ingredients – salt sugar and green chillies and ground to a fine paste giving you the perfect balance of flavours that goes well with just about anything!

 

Koshimbir, crunchy fresh tossed salad

Koshimbir is really super delicious for the basic effort that goes into it. This recipe has grated carrots and sprouted moong tossed in a simple tempering, fresh coriander, coconut, sesame seeds and crushed peanuts. Full of flavour and texture it is a perfect accompaniment to the main dishes in the thali.

 

Bombil fry – is forever!

This slimy soft fish is flattened, coated in a batter and fried to crisp perfection. The crunchy exterior is a complete contrast to the fish inside that just melts as you put it into your mouth. Bombil fry is one of those dishes that every self-respecting non vegetarian Maharashtrian loves. Another super hit from the region is mackerel – coated in masala, dipped in rice flour and shallow fried.

 

Prawn Stuffed Pomfret – Green masala and seafood in all its glory.

If you are a seafood lover, this recipe is heaven for you. Whole pomfret slathered in green masala and stuffed with tiny shrimps, coated in rice flour and fried to perfection. Serve with some wedges of lemon and raw onion for the real konkan coast experience. Save this one for that special Sunday siesta.

 

Amboli/ Ghavan– simple rice flour flatbread breads

Both of these are flatbreads made with rice flour, the difference being amboli is fermented and uses some oil in the recipe, while ghavan is just a simple mixture of rice flour and salt. Both are brilliant with the spicy tangy fish curries that Maharashtrian coastal cuisine boasts off. You can also try other breads like polis (thin wheat flour chappatis) and bhakris (whole or mixed flour flatbreads).

 

Malwani Kolambi Sukke – shrimps in a thick red chilli masala

Kolambi is the regional term for shrimps in the konkan region and boy are they a favourite! Fry them, make a delicious kolambi pulao, and mix it with veggies like drumstick and brinjal to make a bhaji– they are always a treat. We urge you to try this one thought, because the scrumptious spicy coconut masala takes these prawns to another level.

 

Chawli cha Ussal– black eyed peas with coconut

The vegetarian part of Malvani cuisine may be less popular as compared to the gorgeous seafood, but are equally interesting and full of flavour. This chawli cha ussal is made with soft mushy black eyes beans tossed in a simple tempering of mustard seeds, onion, asafoetida and chilli, a hint of jaggery and plenty of fresh coriander and coconut finish the dish.

 

Malwani Crab / Clam Curry – one of the best curries you will ever try

This one is a treat for the heart and soul – not just your taste buds and tummy. Whole crabs in the shell cooked in a red chilli and coconut based Malwani masala. This thick spicy curry is perfect to mop up ambolis and bhakris or to eat with boiled rice, but the real fun lies in fishing out the juicy sweet crabmeat from the shell. It tastes equally good with shellfish or tisriya, so we urge you to try both these recipes.

 

Dhondhas– steamed cucumber cake

Not a lot of people must’ve thought of making a cake with cucumber, but in the western Konkan region of India, dhondas is a popular dessert recipe. This steamed sweet cake gets its lovely grainy texture with semolina and grated cucumber and sweetness from jaggery. Plus it is really light on the tummy, perfect dessert after a glorious meal!

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