Goa is known as a tourist spot for most of the people. But for Konkanis, it is more than just that because of the temples. Most of the Kuldevata (family deity) temples are in Goa. So most of us go to Goa at least once a year to visit these temples. Any special occasions are preceded by a trip to Kuldevata temple. From my parent’s side, we are devotees of Shree Lakshmi Narayana Mahamaya, Ankola (a place in Karnataka), we hardly went to Goa while I was growing up. The few times we had been there, it was to attend some special occasions or for touring. But from my husband’s side, the deities are Ananth Vithal – Shantadurga-Vijaydurga, Ponda & Mardol, Goa, so I think I will be feeling more attached to Goa hereafter.
All that information leads to the following experience. We go to Kuldevata temple soon after getting married (may be 2nd or 3rd day after wedding). It is called “Varbhetni” – its a ritual where the groom takes his new bride to temple. So on the 2nd day of our wedding we went to Goa. The second attraction for us after the temples is the canteen food. People give anything to eat this food. My hubby took me to this temple’s canteen, he kept on telling me about the delicious food available there. He explained me how he used to love eating there when he was a kid etc etc. We ordered something and I found that most of the things available there had garam masala in it. I was more and more surprised as I ate in few other canteens of different temples and restaurants. It was almost same everywhere. I even found a pav bhaji with garam masala. All those dishes were very delicious, but I still wonder why they have such a great influence of garam masala in everything. I might be completely wrong in generalizing things here, but hubby said that is what he had also observed, there is a possibility that most of the dishes that we chose happen to have garam masala. May be some of you can shed some light on this.
Most of my regular readers know about my friend Aruna. I have posted many of her recipes here. She has always helped me when I find myself at the dead end while searching some. Few days ago, when the list of reader requests was out of my control, I requested her to help me out. She sent me many recipes. I have already posted most of them. This is one such recipe that Aruna had sent me. Even though I tried it immediately, it took me a long time to post it here. It was very delicious. Hubby said he had tasted this on one of his trips. Thanks a lot Aruna.
Aruna said, “I spoke to my MIL abt it. She says the gravy is standard for all pulses. It is basically eaten with Pao (bread) . Since it is liquid kind it is called Patal bhaji or Tonak“. I didn’t have Pao, so I served this with chapathi.
See Mahek’s masoor tonak.
1 cup pulses (I used dried yellow peas/vatana)
1/2 cup onion
3/4 cup coconut (preferably dry coconut)
1 tea spn garam masala
1/2 tea spn chili powder
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract or 1-2 pieces tamarind
Soak pulses in water (if you are using yellow/green peas, soak it overnight). Pressure cook till they are soft.
Heat little oil and fry 1/4 cup onion. When they turn brownish, add coconut and fry till coconut turn brownish. Grind it with tamarind.
Heat a little oil and fry onions. Add chili powder, garam masala, paste, cooked pulses and salt. Cook for 7-8mins. Make sure the bhaji should be watery(pattal).
Serve with Pao or chapathi.
Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins