I am a foodie by nature and enjoy a number of Indian cuisines. India has an interesting way of luring tastebuds that accord the geographical conditions of the region. The very first time I heard of Malvani cuisine, I really wanted to try my hand at it. The Malvani cuisine is specific to the region of Maharashtra. However, the cuisine is also cherished in some parts of Karnataka. The gastronomy can be described as a marriage of three cultures that include Konkani, Goan, and Karnataka too. The evolution of this cuisine happened in the Sindhudurg district along the west coast of Maharashtra. This hot and spicy cuisine is gradually taking the over the country by a storm.
Since the dish has originated from the coastal region of Maharashtra; one can enjoy the liberal use of coconut and fish in the cuisine. However, there is more than enough for the vegetarians too. The Malvani cuisine has a certain history that incorporates special preparations for the Brahmins’. Brahmins’ are known to consume pure vegetarian foods and refrain from consuming any form of meat, including fish.
I decided to venture out and pretty much procured the highway on my plate. I was fascinated by the way the dishes were prepared. What I found interesting about the cuisine was; that it involved a terrific use of freshly grown organic spices. These spices are literally plucked minutes before the preparation. They are then pounded together on a stone mortar and ground to a fine paste. The other spices include the use of dried mango powder, all spices (also known as Garam Masala) and ‘kokum’. Kokum literally forms the mainstay of many dishes in the Malvani cuisine.
Food enthusiasts enjoy the gastronomy; owing to the freshness each dish imbues. For instance, the ginger is freshly pounded. The cuisine also incorporates a heavy use of coconut (in any form), fresh green chilies, and coriander. I simply like the fact that the cuisine comprises of an array of choices for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
I tried out the delicious Sol-curry (Also known as Kokum curry). One should never miss out on this especially when trying their hand at the Malwani fare. The curry helps cool the inner linings of one’s stomach. It is famously served as a welcome drink. The pink color appetizer uses a liberal dash of kokum fruit along with coconut, ginger, rock salt, asafoetida, green chilies, and coriander, which is often used as a garnish.
The authentic Malvani fish curry is to die for! The dish comprises Kingfish fillets (Surmai) fish, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chilly powder, turmeric, onions, and freshly grated coconut. The dish is a spicy one and is served with rice to tone down the spice and give the curry more character.
I coupled my meal with the Malvani Usal. This is also known as the black peas curry. As the name suggests the dish uses the delicious black peas, coupled with kokum, coconut, allspice masala, finely chopped onions, dried mango powder, ginger, and chilies.
The above-mentioned dishes are popularly served during festivities like ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ and ‘Gudi Padwa’.
I simply enjoyed the delicacies of the Malvani cuisine, and encourage our readers to try it too. If you are worried about being attacked by acidic pangs; do not fret! Just down a whole lot of Sol-curry before you start, and upon ending the meal too, and you’ll be just fine. Some of the most famous places in Mumbai where one can enjoy traditional Malvani cuisine are Swad Gharcha (Thane West), Konkan Lajjatdar (Andheri, East), and many more.