Thali Menu #147 – Konkani Thali
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.
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
Maa Ki Dal
Slow cooked creamy, earthy black gram lentils
- 1 cup whole black lentils
- ½ cup Channa Dal/ Split Bengal gram
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 inch ginger, crushed
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 4 cups water
- salt to taste
- coriander leaves for garnishing
- Rinse the whole black lentils and channa dal in water 2-3 times and soak it in water overnight or at least for 4 to 5 hours
Preparing Maa ki dal
- In a pressure cooker or deep stock pot heat 1 tbsp ghee, add cumin seeds. when they sizzle, add chopped onions, fry the onions till golden brown.
- Add the pureed tomatoes and mix well.
- Add the crushed ginger-garlic or ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies, and all the dry spice powders mixed with a little water.
- Sauté the masala till the oil starts to leave.
- Add the soaked Whole black gram and channa dal
- Add water and salt to taste
- Cover the pressure cook for about 15 to 18 whistles or 30 to 45 minutes if cooking in stock pot, till the lentils have become soft and buttery. if still they are not cooked well, then continue to pressure cook/ slow cook as necessary.
- If the dal looks thin and runny, then simmer without the lid, till it reaches a creamy consistency.
- Garnish Maa Ki dal with coriander leaves and dollop of ghee.
Serve hot with steamed rice, roti or naan