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
Maharashtrian style tempered dal
For pressure cooking:
- ½ cup Toor dal or split pigeon peas
- 1 ½ cups Water
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Jaggery
- 2 teaspoon Ghee
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- a pinch Asafoetida
Pressure cooking the Dal
- Wash Toor dal under running cold water till water runs clear.
- Soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, discard soaking water.
- Add dal to the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water and turmeric powder.
- Close the lid, put the weight on and cook it on medium heat for 3-4 whistles, open the lid once the pressure is released.
- Mash or hand blend the dal till smooth.
- Add salt and jaggery to the dal. The dal needs to be thin consistency but not too watery, add water to get the desired consistency.
- Turn the heat to medium and bring the dal to a simmer.
- Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Making the tempering
- Heat the ghee or oil in a small frying pan.
- Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
As seeds sizzle, turn off the stove, wait for a few seconds.
Then add red chilli powder and asafoetida.
Immediately add the tempering to the dal. Stir well.
Serve hot with steamed rice.