Saturday, January 8, 2011


kanchan athalye | Saturday, January 08, 2011 | Best Blogger Tips
The Konkan is a coastal strip of land bounded by the Sahyadri hills on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Maharashtra's Konkan coast includes the districts of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Thane.

The entire coastline of the western state of Maharashtra, starting from the well known towns of Kihim and Alibag in the north to the town of Vengurla in the south where it merges with that of Goa is dotted with golden beaches, picturesque creeks, solitary lighthouses, ancient forts, stunning cliffs and charming fishing hamlets, many of them still remain the way nature sculpted them. This region is best known for its fresh produce, especially Pomfret (a fish), Avocados, and delicious Alphonso mangoes.

This area is relatively undeveloped, a few travellers are already finding their way to the excellent beaches, which fringe the coast. The Konkan railway will definitely increase the amount of travellers who arrive here. They offer what the real traveller is looking for - vast open spaces, undisturbed solitude and the prospect to do something really different.

Culture And People
This region is a relatively prosperous area of the state. The people are literate and well off, living in neat and clean villages. They depend upon fishing for their livelihood and very little agriculture occurs here. However, the southern portion, in and around the town of Ratnagiri, is famous for its Alphonso mangoes.

Culinary Delights
Konkan cuisine is a homogeneous combination of Malvani, Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisines. Konkan cuisine has two styles of cooking, Konkan cast Brahmin cuisine, which uses few spices and is more coconut based, and the spicy non-Brahmin version. A little further inland, the Konkan cuisine has peanuts, sesame and coriander as the main spicing agents.

The food has a lot of coconut in it and masalas that have mainly red chillies and coriander. Konkan food uses 'Kokum' (a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste) and raw mango as souring agents along with tamarind and lime. The Konkan food also has a version of 'Garam' masala called bottle masala, which has about 20-25 ingredients powdered together. Konkan food also plays on textures. Many dishes use coarsely ground masala that you can feel with your tongue to give the food a different feeling.

Most of the chutneys and masalas are being hand ground, as it is believed that machines cannot give the same quality as using the grinding stone. Konkan cuisine also uses a lot of charcoal grilled onions. These onions are either used chopped or ground along with masalas after being grilled. This gives the food a very interesting smoky flavor. Of course, coconut is also liberally used in various forms: raw grated, fried grated, coconut paste and coconut milk.

Fresh tender coconut water is another way to quench your thirst. The white flesh of the coconut, which they scoop out after one has drunk the water, is simply delicious.

Why go to God's own country when you can go to one closer right here in Maharashtra?
Konkan – the land of self existing Gods !


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