India is home to scores of culinary styles stemming from its enormous cultural diversity. While some of these gastronomies have garnered immense popularity over the years, several still remain to be discovered on a larger scale. One such cuisine that implores exploration is that of Konkani Muslims inhabiting the west coast of India, predominantly Raigad and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra. The delicacies of this ethnic group have an understated intricacy and are largely shaped through use of staples like rice, seafood and coconut.
In this and next article, I will acquaint you with some of the classic sweet delights of this community. These sugary treats involve use of humble ingredients like rice, coconut milk, grated coconut, jaggery, bottle gourd, eggs and as intriguing as it may sound, even a kind of pasta and onions.
SARAVLE – Saravle is name of the sweet dish as well the Konkani Muslim version of handmade, sun-dried, miniature, ring-shaped pastas of refined flour of the same name. In a braiser pan, the saravle are roasted along with a restrained amount of ghee (clarified butter) till they develop a golden-brown hue. After this stage, adequate water is added and the pan is covered with a lid to allow the mixture to simmer on medium heat. This cooking procedure continues till the saravle are tender but the liquid has not completely dried up. Now, sugar, green cardamom powder and pinch of salt are added to the saravle and the mixture is cooked till the water completely vaporizes. Subsequently, egg is added to the saravle and this is further cooked on a low flame for a few minutes. The ready saravle are then served piping hot garnished with dry fruits and khuskhus (poppy seeds).
GHAARI – These are crispy pancakes of grated, overripe cucumber, rice flour, jaggery and green cardamom powder. A thick batter is prepared by mixing all aforesaid ingredients. Heat a pan and add ghee(clarified butter) to it for shallow frying. Once the butter has melted, spoon enough batter to create palm-sized discs and cook on medium heat. The final outcome should be a crispy pancake with a nice, dark caramelization.
KHAJOORI – A dough of wheat flour, semolina, butter, eggs, saffron dissolved in milk, green cardamom powder and sugar is made and rolled into half inch thickness. Palm-sized triangles are cut from the dough and are shallow fried in ghee (clarified butter) until they develop nice crust of golden brown color. On cooling these treats can be packed in airtight containers and consumed for about a week.
Stay tuned for Part II of the article on sweet delicacies of Konkani Muslim gastronomy where I will explain some more delicious preparations.
Till then, HAPPY EATING...
- Food & travel enthusiast