In a typical Indian household PAPADS & BADIS are sun dried all through summer for use in subsequent monsoon to make up for lack of availability of a lot of produce during the rainy season. Primarily these two preparations are lentil based but some regional variations may also use rice or sago and follow an intricate process of preparation.
The women of the household engaged in making of the above preparations every summer. These preparations were made as part of a future food strategy planning at a time when there were no refrigeration techniques & local produce was available in specific seasons only. Today these practices are on a decline cause of year round availability of ingredients and sophisticated refrigeration techniques.
But, it is up to us to preserve our food traditions for our future generations. I am glad Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal through initiatives like #PapadBadiDay (being celebrated today) is urging us to think about our traditional foods that are so artisanal in terms of preparation but underrated and somewhere facing the danger of extinction.
Since its #PapadBadiDay today, it’s an apt day to talk about SAANDAGE from the Konkani Muslim gastronomy. Saandage is the common term for dal badis in the state of Maharashtra India & different regions of the state arrive at their own renditions using a variety of lentils and sometimes available vegetables. The Konkani Muslim community that is native to coastal region of Maharashtra makes their saandage from a mix of urad dal (split black lentils), pumpkin & spices. The dough is shaped out in small nuggets & sun dried for days together during summers till all the moisture dries out and hard pellets of saandage are obtained. Once ready these are then packed away and used during the monsoon months as additions to gravies or even soaked in water for softening for use in stir fries.
Apart from saandage, papads too are used extensively in Konkani Muslim cuisine. These papads are made from urad dal rawa or coarsely ground split black lentil flour. The flour is mixed with onion paste, spices and papad khaar (sodium benzoate) to make the dough, which is then rolled out into thin discs that are laid out to dry in the sun.
The two aforementioned preparations are not a very common sight in Konkani Muslim homes today. Very few households make saandage and most households simply buy papads available commercially instead of making their regional specialty. We are losing our traditional delicacies to commercially viable products so while we adopt new age food products let us also give enough room to our traditional delights to proliferate as well.
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast