The truth that you’re studying this already elevates you to the place of a meals lover; curious sufficient to transcend the everyday Konkani picture of miles of seashores thronged by vacationers who’re sunbathing and ingesting. You are able to dig deeper and unravel the thriller behind the spicy and fragrant meals of the area.
Of course, since we’re speaking in regards to the delicacies of a coastal space, coconut and seafood are apparent substances in the preparation of any meal; nonetheless, area and seasons additionally play an vital half in the choice of the remaining of the substances. Let’s check out some of the widespread, and a few not so widespread, substances used in Konkani meals.
A. Spices: Indian meals is incomplete with out an assortment of spices and the native delicacies makes use of them generously, giving the dishes a particular taste.
· Black pepper: Piper Nigrum, or black pepper, is used extensively in Indian cooking. In India, it’s grown primarily in South India. The fruits of the plant, generally known as peppercorns, are dried and used as a spice each for his or her taste and for his or her medicinal properties.
· Fenugreek: This plant, which bears the scientific identify of Trigonella foenum-graecum, has been cultivated since historical instances: way back to 4000BC in Egypt. It is grown in semi-arid climates, primarily in the northern and western states of India. This plant is used in some ways in Indian delicacies: as an herb, a spice (each dried leaves and seeds), and as a vegetable in its contemporary type.
· Red Chilies: Red chilies or chili peppers are vegetation of the genus Capsicum. They are used to make sizzling ‘n’ spicy Indian curries. The plant was launched into Asia by Portuguese merchants and since Goa was, till the current previous, a Portuguese colony, native Goan or Konkani delicacies makes use of this sizzling tasting spice closely. The varieties of chilies which might be steadily used in Goan dishes embrace Byadgi, Bird’s Eye and others.
· Asafoetida: This is dried latex obtained from the faucet root of a perennial herb known as Ferula, which is usually grown in Iran, Afghanistan, and India. The spice has a fetid, pungent scent, therefore the identify asafoetida. But regardless of this, when used in extraordinarily small portions in dishes like lentils, it provides a easy and distinctive taste.
· Turmeric: Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is obtained from an natural plant belonging to the ginger household. These vegetation are native to the southeast components of India. While turmeric is used largely in rhizome powder type to impart a yellow colour to meals, in Konkani dishes, turmeric leaves are used to wrap and prepare dinner particular candy dishes.
· Mustard seed: Mustard seeds discover point out in many historical texts, together with the Bible and the tales of Gautama Buddha. Indian mustard, with the scientific identify of Brassica juncea, is grown 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 household. It is used each in complete and floor type and is believed to have a quantity of medicinal and digestive properties.
· Teppal: Also identified variously as Tirphal, Szechuan pepper or Zanthoxylum rhetsa, these are dried berries that develop in grape-like bunches on a tree which is grown primarily in Maharashtra and Karnataka in India. These berries, minus the seeds, are used largely in the preparation of fish dishes in the Konkan area, in addition to from some vegetarian dishes.
· Coriander seeds and leaves: Coriander is often known as Chinese parsley or Cilantro and is native to many components of the world together with southern Europe, north Africa, and southwestern Asia. The plant’s leaves, in addition to the dried seeds, are used in cooking, particularly for making chutneys or as a spice.
· KhusKhus: This is the identify for poppy seeds which have been used for 1000’s of years in meals preparation. Obtained from the opium poppy, the seeds are presupposed to have sedative powers.
· Cloves: These are flower buds of the evergreen clove tree which is grown primarily in south Asia. This fragrant spice is used in African, Asian and Middle Eastern delicacies to impart taste to curries, meat preparations, and sizzling drinks.
· Cinnamon: What’s distinctive about this spice is that it’s obtained from the interior bark of not one, however a quantity of timber belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. Its taste is such that it’s used in each candy and savory dishes. This spice has been deemed match to be consumed by gods and monarchs since historical instances and thus has been extremely valued the world over, although it’s native to South Asian nations.
· Bay leaf or Tej Patta: This leaf is totally different from the Cassia leaf/bay leaf identified in the west. The Indian bay leaf is used to impart taste to dishes like lentils and differing types of khichris.
· Black and Green Cardamom: Both the black and inexperienced cardamom belong to the ginger household Zingiberaceae and is grown primarily in Asia. They are totally different not simply in colour, but in addition in dimension. Green cardamom is one of the world’s most costly spices, behind solely saffron and vanilla, and, like these two, it is usually used each in candy and savory preparations.
B. Herbs: Indian cooking makes use of a quantity of natural vegetation so as to add taste to dishes or for the aim of garnishing. Below are some of crucial ones:
· Green coriander: Coriander leaf, apart from being floor to make spicy chutneys and dips, is a should for finishing the look of Indian curries.
· Curry leaf: This is to not be confused with the European curry plant. This specific leaf belongs to the sub-tropical Murraya koenigii tree and is used fairly steadily in South Indian and Konkani delicacies.
· Mango Ginger: Called aamhaldi in native parlance, Curcuma amada, or mango ginger, belongs to ginger household Zingiberaceae and has a uncooked mango-like style. It finds its use in Indian cooking in making pickles, chutneys, sauces and salads.
· Ginger: The root of the flowering plant Zingiber officinale is one of probably the most extensively used substances in Indian cooking. The roots have a particular and sizzling taste and they’re used in curries, and added to sizzling drinks, and so forth.
· Garlic: Allium sativum, higher generally known as garlic, is a pungent smelling species of the onion genus. It has been used in cooking for the previous 7000 years and is a staple in many components of the world, together with Mediterranean, Asian, and African delicacies. From curries to stews and soups, and from chutneys and dips to pickles and flavored oil, garlic is used in every kind of cooking.
C. Souring Agents used in Konkani Food
· Bilimbi: This is the fruit of the Avarrhoa bilimbi or cucumber tree and is an in depth relative of carambola. It is a tropical tree and grows in gardens and backyards. It is used steadily in Goan delicacies for making pickles or as a souring agent in soups and stews, and even curries.
· Carambola: The fruit of the Avarroha carambola tree, often known as star fruit, is used in the same approach as Bilimbi fruit; that’s to make pickles and chutneys or for consuming uncooked with salt. Some Konkani recipes use jaggery to counter its extraordinarily tangy style.
· Tamarind: Tamarindus indica or the tamarind tree is a leguminous tree native to tropical Africa however grown extensively in India. The extract of this pod – which tastes like bitter tasting fruit, is used as a souring agent in many Konkani recipes that vary from rice dishes, cooked greens, chutneys, lentils to seafood like crab.
· Green Mango: Though dried and floor, inexperienced or unripe mango or amchoor powder is used in Indian dishes to provide them a tangy taste; the uncooked fruit itself is blended with coriander, chili and different spices to make mouthwatering candy and bitter chutneys and aspect dishes that go effectively with rice.
· Kokum: This is the fruit of Garcinia indica, a tropical plant belonging to the mangosteen household. Its outer cowl is sun-dried to make aamsul or kokum. In the Konkan area, it is named bhirand and is probably the most steadily used souring agent, imparting a barely bitter style to dishes together with a darkish pink colour.
D. Vegetables, Fruit and Flowers used in Konkani Cuisine
· Coconut: The fruit of the coconut tree or Cocos nucifera, additionally known as kalpavriksh in Konkani, is used in many various methods in Konkani delicacies. The fruit is obtainable in abundance in the area and is used grated, dried and grated, fried or as a paste, or in the shape of coconut milk in quite a few recipes, some actually common ones being Sol Kadhi, Ambe Hashale, Vali Ambat, and so forth.
· Gourds: Konkani delicacies has many well-known recipes that use numerous sorts of gourd, be it bitter gourd, bottle gourd or ash gourd, that are cooked in coconut curry with an assortment of spices that give them a sizzling and bitter taste. Other sorts of gourds used are snake gourd and ridge gourd.
· Malabar Cucumber: Known as magge in Konkani, Malabar cucumber is a fleshy vegetable resembling a pumpkin. It is used as an ingredient in making ready rasam and curries in Goa and Kerala.
· Chayote: Also generally known as christophine, it is a vegetable that is simply obtainable 12 months spherical and will be chopped and cooked utilizing 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 effectively with rice.
· Sweet potato: Kananga, as candy potato is named in Konkani, is used to make phodis which will be each deep fried or pan fried.
· Banana: Banana is used in Konkani dishes in a range of methods starting from the preparation of Banana halwa, a candy dish, to shallow fried banana phodis coated with spice combination, to banana puris which might be eaten with coconut chutney and sambar. Other recipes embrace uncooked banana curry, banana modak (a candy dish), and so forth.
· Drumstick: Known domestically as mashing, drumstick dishes are extremely popular in Goa provided that the tree is discovered in the backyards of most homes. Drumstick is full of iron and the tree’s flowers and leaves are additionally used in Konkani cooking. Popular dishes embrace drumstick ros cooked in coconut curry, cutlets, drumstick greens rice, and so forth.
· Colocasia: known as pathrado in Konkani, stuffed colocasia leaves are a favourite native delicacy. Apart from that, it’s used to make fritters, cutlets, and aspect dishes like venti which makes use of the plant’s stems. The leaves are additionally used to make curry, particularly as Naivedyam on Janmashtami Day.
· Breadfruit: This largish fruit belongs to the mulberry household. It is named jeev kadge in Konkani and is used to make fritters and a spicy dry dish to go along with rice and lentils.
· Hog Plums: One of the most typical greens used in Konkani cooking, hogplums or ambada are the fruits of a domestically grown tree. They are additionally used in pickles or in different dishes as souring brokers.
· Tender Cashew Nuts: Cashew is a well-known crop of the Konkan area, and, naturally, the area has some scrumptious cashew nut dishes as half of its delicacies. A couple of common ones are Tender Cashew Nut curry or Bibbe Sagle, Bibbe Upkari, and so forth.
· Jackfruit: Jackfruit timber are a standard sight in the area and the fruits are used to make phodi or fritters, chutney, aspect dishes, and payasam (a candy dish).
· Green Aubergine: Gulla or eggplant is a component of some of the most effective Konkani dishes, like fritters, Stuffed Brinjal, Brinjal Sambhar, smoked Konkani brinjals, and so forth.
· Greens: Apart from coriander, Konkani meals additionally makes use of brahmi leaves that are domestically generally known as ekpanna tamboli. They are used to make curries and chutneys.
· Amaranthus: Another inexperienced leafy vegetable used in Konkani delicacies is amaranthus which is made into bhaji or upkari, the inexperienced leaves being known as dhavi bhaji and pink ones tambdi bhaji.
· Malabar Spinach: Known as valli in Konkani, Malabar spinach is used to make spinach coconut curry or Vaali Ambat. This curry can be utilized with prawns, shell fish, and so forth.
· Tender Bamboo Shoots: These are a favourite with the locals and are each cooked as a aspect dish and pickled and preserved.
E. Lentils/Peas: Konkan is principally a rice and fish consuming area and lentils are a should to go along with rice. Apart from the widespread ones like masoor (pink lentil), mung (inexperienced gram), toor (pigeon peas), chana dal (Bengal gram), urad dal (black gram), and rajma (kidney beans), another lentils and peas used in Konkani delicacies embrace:
· Cow Peas/Black Eyed Beans: Konkanis put together bagde kodel or cow peas in coconut gravy with garlic seasoning. The dish, which is accompanied by rice, additionally makes use of Mangalore cucumber or potatoes.
· Horse Gram: The chilly season sees Konkanis making ready kulith or horse gram fairly steadily. While the cooking water is used as a saru or skinny soup, the cooked gram is used as kosambaris (salad) or stir fry. Apart from this, dosas and idlis are additionally made utilizing floor rice, kulith, urad, and chana dal.
F. Fish and different Seafood: Seafood is an integral half of any coastal area and Konkan isn’t any exception. Vison (Kingfish) is usually cooked. The different varieties of fish that discover a place in this delicacies embrace pomphret, tunal, mackerel, and shark. Shellfish like lobster, prawns, squid, crab and mussels are additionally simply obtainable.
· Ladyfish: Ladyfish, often known as kane or nagli, is discovered a loads in the rivers of the area. This fish is taken into account clear and simply digestible and is cooked in coconut gravy. It can be eaten deep fried.
· Shark: Ambot Tik is a Goan delicacy which is made with shark and served on particular events. It is cooked in a sizzling and bitter curry and tastes higher if eaten a day after cooking!
Over the centuries, Konkani delicacies has been influenced not simply by nearness to the ocean and availability of substances, but in addition its Hindu origins and centuries of Portuguese rule. The colonial rulers launched a quantity of greens, fruits and spices to this area; some of them, like potato and tomato, had been initially rejected by the Hindu natives, however, with the passage of time, they made their approach into the native dishes.
Source by Manisha Kumar
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