CONCLUSION……. EAST INDIAN COMMUNITY CUISINE

Being the melting pot of diverse identities, East Indian Community cuisine is an interesting amalgamation of various cuisines of it’s sub groups, Portuguese and to some extent British…… Portuguese & British added meats like beef and pork…… They also added techniques like poaching and sautéing……..The Arab traders in Bassien (modern day Vasai) brought saffron…… They also taught new techniques of cooking pulaos, biriyanis and meats like mutton……Even though there is huge Portuguese influence on both the East Indians and Goans, the East Indians are very different from the Goans.

The East Indian Bottle Masala is the mainstay of this cuisine……. This masala has around 30 ingredients including a variety of spices along with Bengal gram and whole wheat……. The spices have to be dried out in strong sun…… Thus the bottle masala is generally made before the advent of Monsoon…… Each spice is then pounded in wooden mortar & pestle and then mixed by hand…… Earlier, the masalas would be kept in dark beer bottles to protect them from sunlight……. This helped in long preservation….. Each family has it’s own type of this heavily guarded secret masala.

The East Indian Community especially like to drink wine….. Wines from rice, currants, ginger, beetroot, etc. are their favourites…… In olden days, the wine glasses were made from clay and used to be the size of the tequila shot glasses of present day.

A mild sweet liquid called Toddy was obtained by tapping the palmyra and coco-palm trees…… Toddy was a daily morning beverage for farmers…… It helped in fortifying them against fatigue from working in the fields…… Also called Maria Branca, toddy was stored in wooden casks in affluent homes…… It is single distilled and is drunk warm or sweetened & spiced during festivals…… Toddy was also used as medicine…… It was given to women after childbirth.

The biggest and most extravagant festival of the East Indian Community is Christmas…….. Generally preparations for the festival begin months ahead.

Thus concluding the East Indian Community cuisine of the Konkan Region….. Looking forward to start another interesting cuisine of this region.

EAST INDIAN STYLE STUFFED POMFRET

East Indian community name for Pomfret is Sarga……. This dish is generally had on special occasions….. Can be served as starter as well as side dish.

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INGREDIENTS : 3-4 small pomfrets, 1 lemon, 2 tomatoes , 1-2 onions, 6-8 cloves garlic, 1″ginger, 2-3 green chillies, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp pepper powder, 1 tsp East Indian bottle masala, a bunch of coriander leaves, salt to taste, little flour, oil for frying.

DIRECTIONS : Make sideways slit of the pomfret in such a way that a cavity is formed so that the stuffing can be entered….. Wash the fish…. Apply salt & lemon juice and keep aside.

For the stuffing, chop tomatoes……. Make a paste of onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves….. 20180227_135809.jpgHeat a tbsp of oil….. Sauté the tomatoes…… Add turmeric powder, pepper powder & East Indian bottle masala ….. Sauté…… Add the paste and salt……20180227_135703.jpg Cook till done and almost dry….. 20180227_135522.jpg Keep the stuffing aside to cool.

Stuff the Pomfrets with the stuffing….. With the leftover stuffing rub the outside of the fish. 20180227_135346.jpg

Heat oil….. Apply flour and fry till golden on both sides….. 20180227_135245.jpgServe hot.

NOTE : Instead of small Pomfrets one can use big ones….. Semolina/rice flour can be used instead of flour……To get a different dish, one can wrap stuffed pomfret in banana leaf and steam/fry.