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Thali Menu #147 – Konkani Thali

5 Nov, 2019

About Konkan

Konkan, also known as the Konkan Coast, is a rugged section of the western coastline of India, is also called Aparanta, coastal plain , and it extends to part of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka states in western coastal India.
The ports of the Konkan were known to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians and to Arab traders. The spice trade brought prosperity to the ancient Hindu kingdoms of the area. The cave temples of Elephanta Island and Kanheri bear testimony to the prosperous culture of this era. With the advent of the Portuguese and British, the port cities were further developed and fortified but now have lost their former importance. In present day, parts of Greater Mumbai extends upto the Konkan region.

Konkani Cuisine

As mentioned, the Konkan region comprises of the coastal areas of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. The cuisines of these three states share quite a few similarities since they are neighbors and share their borders with each other. Konkani food is mostly influenced by the traditions and culture of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa. Seafood like prawns, crabs and fish, coconut and local spices are some of the main ingredients used in their delicacies. You will also find a lot of fiery and spicy dishes with a hint of coconut. Although Konkani foods are pre-dominantly non-vegetarian, the vegetarian fare is equally delicious. 

We present to you this weekend a traditional Konkani fare that you will love for its unique earthy robust flavours and textures.

Recipe of the week

Laal Maas

Laal maas - a fiery Rajasthani meat curry with freshly roasted spices and a burst of red chillies

  • 2 Small onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 green chillies (finely chopped)
  • 18-20 red chillies
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds (whole)
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 1 cup mustard oil
  • 10 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 piece small ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 kg lamb (cut into pieces with bones)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup kachri powder (Kachri is a dried vegetable, a variety of cucumbers found in Rajasthan and ground into a powder, small. You will find this in an Indian grocery store.)
  • 3-4 pods cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of mace
  • 1 pod black cardamom
  • water
  • Handful coriander leaves (chopped)
  1. 1.Dry roast the red chillies to give it a nice distinctive aroma which adds great flavor to the dish.

  2. 2.Add to that the coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
  3. 3.Once done, grind it into a nice fine powder.
  4. 4.Heat some mustard oil in a pan. Add to this the garlic and ginger.
  5. 5.Once the garlic turns slightly brown add the lamb pieces.
  6. 6.Give it a good mix. This is also a good time to add salt.
  7. 7.Now add the kachri powder. Not only does this powder tenderize the meat, its also adds a nice tangy flavor to it.
  8. 8.Now add the chopped onions and mix all well.
  9. 9.Once the onions have roasted well add the whole spices, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, mace, black cardamom. Stir well.
  10. 10.Now add the red chilly powder and let it roast for about a minute.
  11. 11.Add enough water to cook the lamb. Cover it and let it simmer for a couple of minutes till the meat is cooked.
  12. 12.Once the meat is cooked, take out all the pieces on a platter and strain the gravy.
  13. 13.Straining the gravy gets rid of all the whole spices and keeps the essence and flavors intact.
  14. 14.Now add the lamb pieces you had taken out to the refined gravy and put it back on fire but on low heat.
  15. 15.Add about 1/2 cup water and some coriander leaves.
  16. 16.Let it simmer for a while and when you reach a good consistency of gravy, turn off the heat.
  17. 17.Serve hot with a good garnishing of chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Rice or Roti