I started writing this article during Navratri and it was hell difficult for me since I was vegetarian during these days
Fish ! I am kind of a person who can survive without chicken or mutton for months but when it comes to fish its very very very difficult for me. I have this craze for fish which I cant just let go and I am sure most of the Goans reading would agree with me. Not that I don’t like veg food.. my mom cooks some of the best vegetarian delicacies but I can have them for max 3 days not more then that . Today I am gonna write about fish Fish and FISH (although this one page is not enough to write down some of the Goan Fish dishes but I’ll try to)! I know there are enumerable fish dishes that can be made like crispy prawns etc but I want to write about fish that is cooked in Goan homes and not in restaurants
I’ll start with that fish which every individual in Goa loves anytime .. that is BANGDO (i.e.mackerel … don’t mind but I like to call it in local language .. in fact I like to call out all fish names in local language .. somehow I don’t get the feeling right in English :D). The Goan Fish curry made out of Bangdo is to die for. If you are veg for many days you will have cravings for this curry n there is no other curry that will satisfy you ! This curry is made out of coconut milk with spices like pepper and red chillies and not to miss the Kokum Solla and Triphal(said as Tephal in Konkani) without which this curry is incomplete. Kokum Solla are made out of Kokum bhindaa which are sundried and have a lovely pink color and provide a sour taste while tephla are green color pea sized round that give a pungent punch to curry. Such type of curry can be made also with fish like pedve (sardines) , talle , vellyo etc. Also I want to add one more interesting fact that when this curry gravy is grinded on stone mortar (VAAN) , it goes to just another level . And of course this dish which I will be talking about is exclusively made out of Bangdo i.e. Bangdyachi UdadMethi . It’s a curry which has this secret masala added , made from urad daal and fenugreek seeds. You can make this previous night and keep , since it tastes better as it ages .
Other dishes that can be made out of Bangdo are endless such as Reshaad Bangdo (Bangdo with Reshaad masala which is a red masala paste with vinegar) , Stuffed Bangdo (Bangdo cut sideways and sometimes deboned and stuffed with coconut spiced mixing) , Bangdyache Lonche (pickle made out of Bangdo which doesnot last for many days since you cant stop having it :D its made by steaming the fish and then adding spices and sourness of tamarind ) , Bangdyache Sukem (a type of semi-dry dish which has a spicy dry coarse coconut chutney texture with trefala and ginger in which fish is cooked )and last but not the least course fried Bangdo . (I cant believe I am writing for so long only about Bangdo and now I am nervous whether I will bring justice to other fish that are in line )
Ok this is the last thing but I have to write this. KISMOOR .. how can I forget J Dried fish is very popular in coastal areas. Nowadays we get fish in all seasons but in past when fish used to not be available , provision was made of dry fish during this season by drying salted fish in sun during summers which could be then used later. This is called purumet. There is a purumetache fest (A fest that has exclusive market for dried fish wherein people stalk their kitchen with different dried fish) So coming back to Kismorr , this dish is made by roasting the dried fish on fire till it gets charred look and then mixed with other dried ingredients like onion , grated coconut and spices like haldi , red chilly powder and tamarind water. [ Dunno if you’ll too like it this way but I love to have kismoor with a typical Daalcho Ros (a simple daal with onion.. do try if you’ll haven't tried J )] So here ends the Bangdo Adhyaaay :D
Next fish in line is everybodies favourite because of different reasons like no bones n hence easy to eat and its yum .. slurpyeah I am talking about SUNGTAA (Prawns) J Prawns curry made in Goa is not like the curry I mentioned above for Bangdo. Trefal and sola are not a part of this instead local available sour fruit is added like aaambli (raw mango pieces) , ambaado , bimbla , saango (drumsticks) etc. Also the coconut curry gravy is cooked with onions. Other Goan Prawn delicacies are prawn balchao (kind of a pickle where prawns are cooked in thick red tomato onion gravy ) , prawn sukem (this is made by cooking prawns with onion and potato and then adding grated coconut and any sour fruit available ) , another starter dish ..yum yum and must try is sungtache daaangar (kind of prawns cutlets made by mixing prawns in onion , spice powders , small chunks of coconut which are then flattened into small cutlets and rawa fried , this cutlets can be made out of tisryo also) and all time favourite prawns masala rawa fry.
Next one is Viswan (King fish) J I am sure no one says no to masala rawa fried kingfish. Kingfish Balchaao is something I can die for :D Its made by making layers of onion and tomato and kingfish and then adding spicies like cloves , pepper etc.. there can be different versions of how a balchaao can be made. One more dish i.e. a fish curry I want to mention which my granny used to cook J It takes curry to en entire different level. The curry gravy preparation is almost same but with a aaddition of ginger. And kingfish fillets are masala fried (not fully cooked though and without the rawa) and this is then added to curry . Youll must try this J
I know I can keep on writing when it comes to fish but I need to limit myself :D Other important fish types famous among Goans are Chonak, Modso , Rawas , Tamboso. Also fish like kaalwa , tisryo , shinaayo, kullyo(crabs) are either masala fried or tonaak is made out of them (spicy coconut gravy with potato , kind of xacuti). Stuffed Mankyo (squids) or stuffed crabs are delicious too
Haaaa ! Yaaay I am feeling so good after writing so much only about FISH :D