The Taste of Home

Hello friends! This month is special to me as it officially heralds the end of winter and beginning of Spring in India after the vibrant festival of Holi. This is also the month when several states’ across India celebrate their New Year around the middle of April and therefore it truly warms my heart to be sharing this month’s theme with you.

This month of April, is dedicated to food that is the taste of home to me. The taste of comfort food. Western India, where my roots lie, from the coastal regions of the neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. This is all along the Konkan coast that is geographically bound by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Deccan plateau to the east. It extends all the way from Daman in Gujarat at its northern most point, going southwards all along the western seaside of Maharashtra & Goa, finally culminating in the coast of Karwar district, North Karnataka at its southern most point.

This month we will journey together through the traditional pure vegetarian cuisine of coastal Maharashtra, my paternal family roots, wherein onion or garlic was /is very rarely used in their simple, non-spicy daily cooking. Locally grown foods, vegetables and fruits such as rice, dal, pulses, coconut, cashew, mango, banana and kokum were staple foods. Did you know that my great grandfather lived in the same street as the highly respected freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak and was named after him?

We will also sample some delectable coconut-based curries both vegetarian as well as sea food ones from the Karwar region where my maternal roots lie. Here too, rice, fish, coconut are the mainstay of these simple God fearing and sea-revering people.

Festivals call for homemade sweets, made entirely out of pure home-made ghee, cashew nuts, sugar/jaggery and milk or milk products. A few simple desserts, popular at most Maharashtrian festivals and religious Poojas’ are thus in the offing.

How can I talk of comfort food and the taste of home without showcasing a wee bit of Mumbai street food or snacky fast food? Yes a few of those must-have dishes too, which are synonymous with Mumbai, to round up and complete the culinary ride of this month. I have put in a few personal photographs of my family in traditional attire, for you to get a feel of the old days.

What you waiting for? Fasten your seat belts and put on your sun glasses to get onto this sunny, dazzling, merry and super-tasty ride! After all, the ride home is always the most fun, they say!

Do hope you enjoy it as much as I do, sharing all of it with you.

with my family in traditional attire

with my family in traditional attire

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