Monday, May 4, 2020

Karwar Special Fish Thali using authentic Konkani ingredients- This post is featured in Karwar Tourism Page

Having being born and bought up in Karwar, seafood delicacies have always been part of my childhood. Sunday has been special with fish thalis (fish in the thali though have varied based on the region).  Once I started roaming around the world, the hunger for these delicacies never stopped. Astonishing fact that I discovered is that around the world it is not difficult to find many ingredients used in our local dish as far you can get the equivalent name of item in local language (for e.g in US, the Chinese market in china town used to provide wide variety of fish and spices which were resembling to our food). But you can't find the taste of local water OR the mother’s hands taste (even if you replicate the same spice quantity). When I visit home, I nearly take rest and ask my mom to cook all the fish delicacies.

Here is my attempt to relish my childhood memories by cooking my favorite fish thali. Details on the recipe of different items in the thali cooked using ingredients mainly used in Konkani cuisine like THEPPAL (schewan peppers), ATHAMBYA SOLA (finding hard to find name in English, but you see this ingredient in the image below). Kindly refer mackerel fish curry column), BHINDA SOLA (kokum pieces), and NALLELE TEL (coconut oil).

Also have used pot made of mud (as used by my grandma) to give much more rich taste to the fish gravy and prawns sukka.


Since Karwar Style Fish Thali is a big platter with multiple dishes, I have divided the thali recipe details in two parts.  

First part of thali will consist of Rice, Tandlachi Bakri, Bangda Fry (Mackerel fish fry) and Cabbage-Onion Salad.

Second part of thali will consist of Bangda Curry (Mackerel fish curry), Sungta Sukka (Prawns Dry Masala/Prawns Sukka), Sukke Tisryache kismuri (Dry Clams Kismuri) and Bhinda udhak (Sol kadi).


Mackerel Fish Fry

  • Mackerel fish - 4 nos, big size
  • Red chilly powder - 2 tsp (adjust as per your taste)
  • Tumeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1&1/2 tsp
  • Ginger -garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  • Fine Rava or Semolina - 3/4 cup ( recommended to use thin variety for best result)
  • Lemon juice - 1&1/2 tbsp
  • Salt - 1&1/2 tsp (adjust as per your taste)

  • Clean and gut mackerel fish . Wash it thoroughly in the water for multiple times till you do not see any red water in cleaned water
  • Then give slight cut on their skin.
  • Then add salt, turmeric powder, lemon juice,red chilly powder, coriander powder and  ginger garlic paste to the fish . Mix well and marinate the fish for half an hour or at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat tawa on medium flame and spread oil evenly on the tawa.
  • Spread rava or semolina in the wide plate and roll each fish into the rava.

  • Shallow fry it on medium flame until the fish get nice golden colour on it  or till it is crispy on both the sides.
  • Repeat the process for other remaining marinated fish.
  • Here we go Mackerel fish fry is ready to serve

Rice Bhakri

This given quantity will yield 2 numbers of Rice Bhakri. Likewise quantity can be increase to make more numbers of Rice Bhakri
  • Rice flour - 1/2 cup + extra flour for dusting
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Coconut oil - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/8 tsp
  • Boil 1/2 cup of water .To add add in oil and salt. Mix well.

  • Then add rice flour and stir continuously till you get sticky dough leaving the sides of the vessel.
  • Turn off the flame and let the sticky dough cool down a bit.
  • When the sticky dough is warm enough to touch, knead the dough to and fro to make it a smooth dough.
  • Now divide the dough into two equal size of balls. 
  • Take one ball and flatten it in between your palm.
  • Dust flour on the counter surface. Place the flatten dough and try to pat it using your tip of the fingers.
  • You will see flatten dough getting it thinner and increasing in its diameter. If required, use more flour for dusting while patting the bhakri.
  • Simultaneously keep on sealing the crack formed at the edges of the bhakri while patting it.
  • Heat a iron tawa on medium flame.
  • Slowly place the bhakri on the tawa with the same position as it was on counter surface.  
  • Splutter few drops of water and spread evenly on bakri.
  • Once water dries completely from the surface of the bhakri, slowly flip the bhakri on other side using flipping spatula.
  • Let it cook till you see light brown spots on the bakri.
  • Again flip the bakri on other side. Cook it for 2 minutes and try to press it at the sides using soft cotton cloth to puff up the bakri.

  • Once done, take out the bakri from the tawa and place it inside a casserole  to keep them soft.
  • Repeat the same process with remaining bakri dough ball.
  • Here we go rice bhakri is ready to serve.

Cabbage Onion Salad

  • Cabbage  - 2 leaves 
  • Onion, medium size - 1 no
  • Coriander leaves - 1tbsp
  • Salt -1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1tbsp 
  • Boil water and blanch cabbage leaves till they are slighty soft.
  • Drain hot water and pour cold water on the cabbage leaves to avoid overcooking. Remove it from water and pat them dry.

  • Then finely chop the cabbage leaves and onion.Also chop coriander leaves.
  • In a plate, add chopped cabbage, chopped onion and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Mix in salt and lemon juice.

  •  Here we go Cabbage Onion Salad is ready to serve.


Mackerel Curry(Bangda Curry)

  • Bangda fish (Mackerel Curry) - 2 big nos or 4 medium nos (cut into 3 inches of pieces)
  • Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Coriander seeds - 1&1/2 tbsp
  • Whole pepper- 1/2 tsp
  • Whole Red chillies - 5 to 6 nos (chillies can be adjust as per the taste)
  • Garlic pods - 4 nos
  • Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Atambya Solla - 4 pieces (If not available, you can use 3 pieces of dry mango or 1 tbsp of thick tamarind paste)
  • Teppal (Schewan pepper) - 8 to 10 nos (soak into warm water for atleast 10 minutes)
  • Green chilly, slitted - 1 no ( Please do not skip,adding green chilly to the curry enhances the taste
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp +1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

    • Clean and wash the mackerel in the water atleast  2 to 3 times till you do not see any red dirty water in it.
    • After cleaning mackerel, cut them into 3 inch of pieces. This is how I like pieces to be in curry.There is no hard and fast rule to cut the pieces of mackerel in exact 3 inch of pieces. You can cut them into your desired pieces. 
    • Then add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tsp of salt into the cut pieces. Mix everything well and marinate the mackerel pieces for atleast 15 minutes to 20 minutes.
    •  Soak teppal(Schewan peepers) in the water for later use.
    •  In the meanwhile,  lets prepare the curry paste. 
    • Add shredded coconut, coriander seeds, whole pepper, whole red chillies, garlic pods, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, atambya solla(for sourness) and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder into the mixer.
    • Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste. 
    • Now transfer the smooth curry paste into the clay pot. 
    •  In the same mixer, add in soaked teppal (schewan pepper) along with water and pulse it for 10 seconds.  
    • To strictly remember, do not over grind teppal as its taste may turn bitter and ruin the curry. Pulsing it will break them into small pieces and add all its real flavours in the curry.
    • Now transfer grounded teppal in the clay pot which has curry paste into it.
    • Add enough water to the curry paste to make it semi thick consistency. For me 3/4 cup of water was enough to bring it to the right consistency. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt. 
    • Place the clay pot on the medium flame and wait till the curry comes to the rolling boil.
    • Lower the flame and add marinate mackerel fish pieces into the boiling curry.
    • Also add one slitted green chillies into the curry.
    • After you add the fish pieces into the curry, do not stir it  using ladle. You need to hold clay pot with both of your hands using cotton towel and shake or give a circular movement to the clay pot to mix fish pieces into the curry as shown in the image.
    • If you feel pieces might stick to the bottom, you can shake or give circular movement to the clay pot in between the short intervals.
    • If more salt is required in the curry, you can add it as per your taste.
    • Place the lid on the pot and cook the fish pieces in the curry on the low flame.
    • Open the lid and check the curry after 8 to 10 minutes. You will get nice aroma of the curry and also fish pieces will be cooked. 
    • You can check the fish pieces by slowly picking one fish piece from the curry .If you see the skin of the fish pieces just starts peeling or the flesh of the fish turns completely white, then the mackerel curry is ready.
    • If not, cook for another 5 minutes on the low flame until done.
    • Turn off the flame and keep the lid open to avoid any overcooking of the fish.
    • Once the heat lower, you can cover the pot with the lid.
    • Here we go Karwar Style Authentic Mackerel Curry is ready to be served.

    Sungta Sukka (Prawns Sukka)

    • Prawns (medium size)- 250 gm (cleaned and deveined)
    • Onion(medium size)- 2 nos(finely chopped)
    • Ginger garlic paste - 1&1/2 tsp
    • Red chilly powder - 1 tsp (you can add more if you like spicy.Adjust as per your taste)
    • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp +1/2 tsp)
    • Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
    • Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
    • Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
    • Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
    • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
    • Bhinda Sola (Kokum pieces) - 4 to 5 small pieces
    • Salt to taste
    • Coconut oil (virgin) - 1 tbsp
    • Clean and devein the prawns .Wash it thoroughly in the water until you do not see any sand residue in it.
    • Marinate the prawns with 1/4 tsp of turmeric, 1tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of salt.Mix well and keep it aside for later use.
    • Heat coconut oil in the clay pot and add chopped onion into it.
    • Add salt and fry chopped onion till they turns pink and transparent.
    • Then add ginger garlic paste. Mix well and cook till you do not get any raw aroma of the paste.
    • Now add all the dry masala powder (red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala ). Mix everything well and cook for 2 minutes.
    • Add marinated prawns in the masala mixture. Mix everything until prawns are nicely coated in the masala mixture.
    • Also add bhinda sola (kokum pieces) in the prawns masala mixture.
    • Stir well and cook the prawns for 12 to 15  minutes with the lid cover. 
    • After 15 minutes, check the prawns.If you see the prawns are starting curling , then its the sign that prawns are cooked.
    • Now add shredded coconut and chopped coriander leaves into the cooked prawns. Mix everything well and cook for another last 5 minutes with the lid cover.
    • Prawns leaves a lot of water while cooking, so we do not add any water while cooking this recipe.
    • After  5 minutes of cooking, if you see any water in the prawns masala. Cook the prawns on medium flame for another 3 to 5 minutes.
    • Since this recipe is the dry version of prawns masala, we not want any water in the masala.
    • It should be completely dry and tastes much better in this way.
    • Here we go Sungta Sukka or Prawns Sukka (Dry version of Prawns Masala) is ready to be served.

    Dry Clams KIsmuri (No cook dry version of Clams Masala)

    • Dry clams - 1/2 cup
    • Onion (medium size)- 1 no (chopped)
    • Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
    • Red chilly powder - 1/4 tsp 
    • Coconut oil - 1/2 tsp
    • Salt to taste (if required you can add the salt, as dry clams have already salt in it).
    • Heat iron tawa on medium flame. Add in dry clams.
    • Roast the dry clams till you get nice aroma or until its colour changes to light brown in colour. 
    • Turn off the flame and allow the roasted dry clams to cool down completely.
    • To prepare the recipe. In a wide bowl, add in  chopped onion, chopped coriander leaves, shredded coconut, red chilly powder and salt.
    • Mix all the ingredients well. 
    • Then mix in roasted clams into the prepared mixture. Give a nice mix, so that all the ingredients are well incorporated with each other.
    • Lastly add coconut oil to the mixture .Mix well and dry clam kismuri is ready to be served.
    • This particular recipe- No cook dry version of clam masala is always prepared at the time of serving.
    • If done ahead of time, roasted dry clam may turn soggy and will definitely not taste good.
    • Simply you can do is keep masala mixture ready ahead of time and at the time of serving, you can just add in the roasted dry clams and serve immediately.
    Sol Kadhi (Bhinda Udhak / Kokum Drink)

    • Bhinda sola (Kokum pieces) - 10 to 12 nos
    • Garlic pods (crushed)- 2 nos
    • Asafoetida - a pinch
    • Sugar - 1&1/2 tsp
    • Salt - 1tsp
    • Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
    • Water - 2 cups
    • Soak bhinda sola (kokum pieces) into 1 cup of water for about 1 hour for nice extraction of juice from it and for beautiful colour.
    • After 1 hour, you will see the water turns pink in colour.

    • Squeeze bhinda sola ( kokum pieces)from the water and discard it because it is no more in use.
    • Then add remaining 1 cup of water into the kokum water(bhinda udhak).
    • Also add in crushed garlic, asafoetida, sugar and salt into the kokum water(bhinda udhak). Mix well and let it sit aside for another 15 minutes.
    • This step is important because the flavour of crushed garlic should be nicely infused into the kokum water.
    • After 15 minutes, drain kokum water(bhinda udhak) and discard crushed garlic from it.
    • Finally add chopped coriander and give a nice mix . You can adjust salt and sugar if needed.Serve it along with the meals or after the meals. 
    • Kokum water or sol kadhi is good for digestion.

       Bhinda udhak or sol kadi is ready to be served.

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