Peas bhaji (Goa pattal bhaji or Tonak)

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

39 thoughts on “Peas bhaji (Goa pattal bhaji or Tonak)”

  1. Pattal bhaji is always great! Your post reminds of my Goa trip during graduate school-it was so much fun! All the vistis to different Temples and Chruches and the lovely beaches!

  2. Hi Shilpa,
    Since I am from Goa would be happy to shed light on this recipe. This recipe is actually called “Khatkhate” with the addition of the root called “Suran”. Nowadays, people make it simpler by just adding potatoes with the yellow peas. Its true that this is the most ideal breakfast with “Pao” early in the morning…not forgetting with a nice hot cup of tea.


    Shilpa: Khatkhate has garam masala in it?? I thought it has different masala altogether. Something like Mahek’s version here, which is similar to how we make Khatkhate.

    1. Yes , khatkhatem has lots of other veggies in it like arvi, sweet potatoes, corn coblets , pumpkin etc along with white peas … And also tirphala or teppal is the main ingredient used to flavour the curry …. Usually served as an accompaniment in main course … Tastes heavenly especially the ones that is served in temple samradhane

  3. he he..Do you go to Goa for Pilgrimage!! – This has been the reaction of my friends all the time. Some of them envy too that our pilgrimage comes with a good vacation on the beach :).
    I love dried peas too. They are so different from the fresh ones. Got to try these Goan recipes soon.

  4. Hello Shilpa..

    Ths bhaji is mouth-watering..!!
    Hey,i hav d white dried peas(vatane)..wud try ths soon..
    But yeah,i do nt hav a presure cooker..So pls tell me how to proceed..i think the peas wil take too long time to ccok n becom soft if i cook them on gas..?approximately hw mch time….do u hav any idea..Pls help….n lemme kno any other options if possible..

  5. Hello Shilpa,

    This bhaji is mouth-watering..!
    I hav d white dried peas(vatane) wish to try soon.
    But yeah, i do nt hav a presure cooker..
    So pls lemme kno hw to proceed..I think the peas will take a longer time to cook on gas rgt..approximately hw mch time..?
    Also,pls help me with any other option reg this if u kno..

    Thnks n Regards,

  6. Hello Shipa,

    This bhaji is mouth-watering..!
    Hey, i hav d white dried peas (vatane).
    But do nt hav a presure lemme kno hw to proceed. The peas will take a longer time to cook on gas rgt..approx. hw mch time.?..Also pls help me with any othr options if they exist..

    Shilpa: Meenal, I think you can cook these in microwave too (if you have one). Otherwise you need to cook for a very long time on stovetop (close the lid of vessek in which you are cooking it).

  7. Thanks Shilpa for posting this. I made it a couple of times after i got the recipe from MIL. I ate a lot in Mumbai but after coming to US never tried it. Just that your readers request reminded me of the same.

    Shilpa…..I mean the reader who posted a comment. Khatkhate is called by the same name in Karwar region. It is gajbaje in Mangalore. It is usually made in the monsoon season/ festive season due to availability of veggies in abundance. But in Metros like Mumbai the veggies are avble all time. The gravy (masol) is different.

    My MIL is from Savarda and gave me the above recipe with Garam masala and coconut. She said it is made with pulses preferably peas or massor. I have eaten with masoor a couple of times.

    Please enlighten on the above so that we are aware of the differences in cooking of different regions of the GSB Community.

  8. Hey shilpa,

    Me again, even my parents side the kuldevata is Mangeshi and the palvi is Ankolyachi Aaryadurga… reading about your recipe i recollected that we had gone there where outside a temple (mhalsa or mahalaxmi i dont recollect) you cud eat the best bhaji pao.. and all i cud do was see my family eating coz i was pregnant and forbidden to eat outside food.. Now you get amazing bhaji pao at a small hotel outside mangueshi too.. Hope to get there someday… thanx to your recipe i can make this at home too…

  9. Hi,
    Oh my God!!! you just reminded me of Goa and our annual trips to the Mahalsa temple in Mardol. We always ate this for breakfast there and loved it…

  10. Hi Shilpa,
    I too enjoy karwar cuisine whenever I am there. We go to the temple at aversa. Really enjoy the food in the canteen there! Its’ really awesome 🙂

    The garam masala will usually be the samaar which is prepared for the tonnak.


  11. Hey Shilpa
    The following comment is mine..There is some bug/defect that pops up my comment form with wrong values..

    “he he..Do you go to Goa for Pilgrimage!! – This has been the reaction of my friends all the time. Some of them envy too that our pilgrimage comes with a good vacation on the beach :).
    I love dried peas too. They are so different from the fresh ones. Got to try these Goan recipes soon.”

  12. Shipa ( the owner ) and Shilpa ( the reader),

    This is called tonak in Goa ( chane tonak, alsande tonak, masur tonak etc).

    Khatkhate is a totally different dish, ( with multiple vegetables) which Mahek has rightly taught us all.

    The most important difference is that Khatkhate does not have onion in it, which means u make prepare it for religious functions.

  13. Hi! Shilpa, I am reminded of those golden days when we used to stay in those temple rooms and for breakfast used to have hot usal with onndas [ freshly baked round small breads ] Godd you reminded about this recipes I will make them soon. Thanks once again.

  14. “Khatkhate” recipe is similar to the one posted by you. The only thing that needs to be added is probably a spoon of garam masala(while grinding coconut and onion) and adding some vergetables like “suran, potatoes, raw bananas”. I definately do not agree with “Mahek’s site” that its only a special dish of a particular caste in Goa. Its a dish which is fondly liked and prepared by all the Goans irrespective of the weather.

  15. Thanx dear Shilpa to come up with a wonderful Goan recipe.
    The garam masala is a shortcut resorted to by the commercial people. My aayi used to always put lavang, dalchini, red chillies and pepper. Never the shortcut. Goans also add a little of badyaan or star anise in all tonaks. It is served in hotels as a mix bhaji along with onion batata bhaji. In our childhood we had it with a dry and crusty traditional pao called une or with hot hot chapatis for breakfast. I can write tomes on Goa and its beauty. My maushi made a wonderful tonak with suran and this vatana. The trick lies in cooking both just right and not mish-mash as in the cooker. She added the masala ground in a traditional ragda with along with just a little ground fresh coconut. It was heavenly and fragrant. Excess coconut mars the taste.

  16. I am a regular at your site. I am a hard core goan, Born n brought up
    there so i knw d whats and whys of many goan food.
    We add garam masala in all the tonak is because it shoudl b strong,
    spicy and masala stand out in every bite.
    Just like you all we use cocnut in abundance, in any n everything
    I dont mean to offend you or something but for tonak there is no need
    to add tamarind. Incase you plan 2 add prawns, clams etc then add sola
    ( kokum).

  17. Thanks for the recipe.
    I have been looking for this for a long time.
    I love this bhaji. I stayed in goa for 12 years, Now I am in Bangalore.

  18. I soaked the peas today can you please tell which garam masala to use. Which spices do you use to make this garam masala.
    Thank you.

  19. This recipe was so good. It reminded me of a neighbor that made this, growing up, and I’ve been craving it for a few years now. It was great and very nostalgic! Hopefully my husband will also love it.

  20. I tried this recipe today and it came out extremely well. Also shared it with my neighbor who confessed that she was hoping to get a bite from the dish because of the aroma while I was cooking.
    Thanks ton for such wonderful recipes 🙂

  21. Hi shilpa thanks to share your recipe on the net i like it,i am from Goa presently settled in Karnataka, working in Dubai .whenever i visit Goa first i like to eat the patal bhaji & the pav, goan pav u will never get anywhere, the second snack i like the most is the goan buns.(if u have the recipe how to make buns i will love it.)thanks once again,god bless u.

  22. Read a couple of comments by one Shilpa from Goa that this recipe is “Khatkhate”… Absolutely untrue.. This dish is typical Goan tondak. Never ever heard of this dish being referred as, “Khatkhatein”! It is a tondak preparation right from the tiniest household in Goa, to any small Hindu restaurant or khanawal or bhojanalay!

  23. I am Mangalorean & my wife is Goan & she was very happy to see this recipe which is commonly known as channay tondak. This is combined with rice vade to get a excellent taste.
    Recipe for vade:
    2 cups of rice atta, salt as per taste, water for binding along with a little milk. Mix it together & make a dough. Keep it aside for some time (10 mins.) Note: This is not to be rolled like chapati but pressed with your palm on a butter paper or on a plastic surface. The butter paper or plastic has to be greased with a little oil before pressing the dough.
    After pressing then deep fry it. After frying, the appearence is like a white puri. This goes really well with tondak.

    There are more forms of tondak. One is alsanday tondak which is very famous in Goa (in Mangalore this grain is known as bagdo & look alike of rajma). In Goa it is commonly available in Mapusa in summer. Since we stay in Mumbai we get it in Mangalorean stores.

    In rainy season (shravan) on Sunday & Wednesday mushrooms (alami) are available. Tondak can also be made with this with some
    sliced onion. Tondak can also be made with masoor & is known as masooray tondak. My wife was saying that the recipe mentioned by Shubhada is the really traditional one as her mom used to make it without shortcuts & the taste really comes out perfect.

    Thanks for all your efforts in sharing our konkani recipes. Keep up the good work.

  24. Hi Shilpa,
    Thanks for this finger licking receipe which we enjoy even now when we visit Homeland which is every three to five years. we enjoyed the patal baji with the local bread (water rolls) from Publix . That was one great breakfast the family really enjoyed. Dev borem Korum.

  25. Hi Shilpa,
    We always enjoy this finger licking breakfast dish when we visit our Homeland that is every three to five years.I am going to try this this weekend since the whole family gets together for breakfast and cant wait to see their reaction. For the bread i am going to use the water rolls from the Publix grocery store. Good luck.

  26. Hi shilpa, do u have the famous goan recipe book by Mrs. Kumudini usgaonkar called traditional taste of goa. It has some of the best saraswat food recipes.

  27. when u say ‘garam masala’. garam masala is such a broad term and what goes into it may vary from person to person. so can u break down the 1 tsp garam masala into individual whole spices

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