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.

APRICOT CHICKEN

This unique East Indian community chicken dish is really worth trying….. Portuguese influence can be seen in apricots being soaked in brown palm vinegar…… Arab influence in the use of saffron….. Apricot chicken is an all out winner.

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INGREDIENTS : 1 kg Chicken, 3/4 onions, 3 tomatoes, 15-20 dried apricots, brown palm vinegar as required, water as needed, 1-2 tbsp oil.
Masala paste : 1″ginger, 10-12 garlic cloves, 1 tsp cumin, 2tbsp coriander, 1/2 tsp poppy seeds, 5-6 whole black pepper, 6-8 dried Kashmiri chillies, 5-6 cloves, 1″cinnamon, 4-5 green cardamoms, salt to taste, a pinch of saffron.

DIRECTIONS : Soak the dried apricots in the brown palm vinegar…… Keep aside……20180221_122409.jpg Wash the chicken pieces….. Make a paste of onions…… Chop the tomatoes…..20180221_122447.jpg Grind the masala ingredients with enough water to form a paste…..20180227_142406.jpg Heat oil…… Fry onion paste till it browns…..20180227_142533.jpg Add the masala paste and tomatoes…… Sauté till oil separates……20180227_142305.jpg Add the chicken pieces and stir fry well…….20180227_142217.jpg Add water….. Stir….20180227_142133.jpg Cover and simmer till chicken is almost done…… Mix in the apricot and vinegar….. Cook for few more minutes…….20180227_141915.jpg Serve hot…… Goes very well with Chittaps.

NOTE : Brown Palm Vinegar can be increased/decreased according to taste…… Instead of water, one can use chicken stock…… If saffron is not available, one can add a pinch of turmeric powder.