Chicken Ghee Roast
Chicken Ghee Roast

"Without fried fish and a good fish curry, there is no meaning to a Karwari meal," laughs Smita Deo, home chef and author of the cookbook, Karwar to Kolhapur Via Mumbai. Deo is busy adding final touches to an upcoming pop-up. Expectedly, it features a Rawsa Ambat (salmon cooked in a mild coconut curry), and Talel Sungta (fried prawns).

Batato, Kele ani Vaingana Phodi
Batato, Kele ani Vaingana Phodi

"Since we are serving a thali, we want it to be sumptuous. So, we will include a chicken and mutton dish too," she says, adding that these recipes were passed down by her grandmother. The Chicken Ghee Roast comprises a semi-dry, red curry, while the Mutton Gashi is cooked in spicy coconut gravy.

"The food of Karwar is simple, mild and freshly prepared. We have a lot of upkari or dry vegetable dishes usually made from gourds. When planning the menu, we choose the gourds and vegetables according to the spice levels of meat preparations. Since the meat dishes are medium spicy, we mix them with cooling vegetables like ridge gourd and pumpkin," she adds. The meal includes Bhendi and Ghosalya Upkari, and other vegetable dishes like Valval (mixed vegetables in coconut milk), Batatya Talasan (crispy potatoes), Batato, Kele ani Vaingana Phodi (pan fried potatoes, raw bananas and brinjal), and Dalitoi (dal with coconut oil and ginger).

To end the meal, Deo will serve up a Madgane, which is a traditional payasam made with channa dal and flavoured with coconut milk and cashew nuts.