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 COMMUNITY STYLE FISH MOILE

Konkan region, particularly Mumbai, is surrounded by beautiful coastline…… So the East Indian Community have a special liking for seafood….. Whether it is fresh catch or dry ones (During monsoon, fish is not available easily)), they prepare wonderful seafood dishes.

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INGREDIENTS : 4 small pomfrets, 3-4 onions, 1/2″ ginger, 6-8 cloves garlic, 2-3 green chillies, 1 lemon, 1 tbsp East Indian bottle masala, salt & vinegar to taste, water, oil.

DIRECTIONS : Clean and wash pomfrets…… Apply salt and lemon juice…… Keep aside……. Slice the onions in rounds….. 20180227_143418.jpgCut ginger, garlic, green chillies lengthwise….. Heat oil….. Fry the fish…..20180227_143148.jpg Keep aside….. Sauté sliced onion rounds…… 20180227_143058.jpgAfter sometime add green chillies, ginger, garlic…… Sauté till onions are brown…… Add in the bottle masala powder and water (about half cup)….. Simmer….. Now add salt & vinegar…..Simmer…. Add the fried fish and cover…..20180227_142952.jpg Cook till done…..20180227_142806.jpg Serve hot with rice.

NOTE : Instead of small pomfrets, one can use one medium sized pomfret (sliced)….. Vinegar can be increased/decreased according to taste….. Water can be increased/decreased depending on amount of gravy required.

CUISINE OF THE KONKAN REGION

Konkan region is a coastal strip lying between the Western Ghats in the East and the Arabian Sea in the West……In Maharashtra, the districts of Thane, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Raigad are included in the Konkan region….. Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is part of this region.

The coastal region of Konkan and particularly Mumbai has from, times immemorial, always attracted Migrants from far & wide…….Parsis, Bene Israelis, Pathare Prabhus, Gaud Saraswat Brahmins (GSB), Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhus (CKP), Somvanshi Kshatriya Pathare (SKP),etc. made this region there home…… Some of the indigenous communities of North Konkan and Mumbai are Koli, Aagri and East Indian Catholics.

Thus, in this region, one can find various cuisines which is a combination of various Migrant influences and local Maharashtrian flavours.

MAHARASHTRA

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The State of Maharashtra is situated in the western region of India….. “Maha” means Great….. “Rashtra” means Nation….. It is also also believed that the name of Rashtra is derived from a clan called Rashtrika that once ruled this area….. Another theory is that the word Rashtra in this case is derived from Ratha/Rathi…… Rathi means “Chariot driver”….. Huan Tsang, the famous Chinese Traveler, mentioned the name of Maharashtra in an account he wrote in the 7th Century.

Maharashtra can be divided into five geographical regions……
Between the Arabian Sea & the Western Ghats is the Coastal region of KONKAN….. Mumbai, Ratnagiri ,etc. are the major cities of this region.
In the North West is the region of KHANDESH which lies in the valley of the Tapti River…… Major cities of this region are Jalgaon, Bhusawal, etc.
The Easternmost region of the State is VIDARBHA……. Main city of this region is Nagpur.
The South Eastern part of Maharashtra is the region of MARATHWADA……. Aurangabad is the main city of this region.
At the centre of the state is the region of DESH……. Main cities of this region are Pune, Nasik, Kolhapur,etc.

Maharashtra is an ecologically diverse state consisting of Coastal region, Ghats(hill section), rivers, plains with rich black alluvial soil and arid areas.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Maharashtra has varied culinary heritage.