Coastal Indian Recipes Every Food Lover Must Try At Least Once In Their Lifetime

Coastal Indian Recipes Every Food Lover Must Try At Least Once In Their Lifetime

As Indian cuisine varies from place to region, West Indian cuisine maintains the traditions and cooking methods of India while also presenting a wide variety of dishes and spices. And speaking of the western ghats, some of India’s best food can be found in the Konkan region there. The customs and cultures of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa have the greatest influence on Konkani cuisine. Chef Roopa Nabar is here with us today to present a variety of traditional Konkani dishes that are spicy delectable.

1. Bangda With Tirphal (Fried Spicy Mackerel)
Each place has a few indigenous ingredients that give a sense of pride to the people and a unique flavor to their culinary preparations. In the Konkan region, it’s Triphal, a spice that’s pretty close to Sichuan peppercorns for lack of a better example – almost like a more earthy coastal version of it. The fresh green Triphal is dried black and used to flavor many dishes, especially fatty Omega 3 rich fish preparations such as sardines and mackerel. The flavor profile of Triphal is very unique and in this recipe, turmeric leaves add a nice aroma and flavor that complements rather than overpowers the Tirphal.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 4


4 whole mackerels (bangda), cleaned

20 tirphal, soaked in 1/4 cup water

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

3/4 cup shredded fresh coconut

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

6 dried red peppers

2 fresh turmeric leaves, halved

10-12 kokum petals

2 tablespoons coconut oil


Make incisions in the surface of the mackerel. Add the salt, turmeric and red chili powder and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Grind coconut, coriander seeds and dried peppers together with a few tablespoons of water into a fine and thick paste.

Apply the paste to the mackerel, add the tirphal and kokum petals and wrap them separately in turmeric leaves along with the mixture.

Drizzle with coconut oil and place in a baking dish.

Bake the mackerel for ten to fifteen minutes.


Pro Tip: This preparation is locally called ‘Bangda Dhodak’ where this fish is roasted in the clay oven.

kaju vatana gole

2. Kaju Vatana Gole (green peas and tender cashew nut stir-fry)

Green peas aren’t common on the West Coast and Kaju Vatana Gole is one of the few recipes that uses it. Usually made during weddings and other occasions to give guests from other parts of the country something familiar to eat in between all the traditional local dishes. What brings this dish close to home is the addition of soft cashew nuts, which come from the Goan belt. The cashew nut beneath the bright orange fruit is enclosed in a gray shell that is cracked and peeled to reach the soft cashew kernel. You can then literally enjoy the fruits of your labor. Kaju Vatana Gole has a short cooking time and subtle flavor making it ideal for a quick meal.

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 4-5


1 cup shelled soft cashew nuts (kaju)

2 cups fresh shelled green peas (vatana)

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

A few curry leaves

3 green chillies, roughly chopped

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder

1/2 cup shredded fresh coconut

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves


Heat the oil in a pan and let it heat up. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.

Add the asafoetida, turmeric powder, curry leaves and green chillies and mix well.

Add the peas along with the soft cashew nuts and mix well.

Add a quarter cup of water, cover and cook for eight to 10 minutes.

Add the salt, sugar and pepper powder, mix and cook for two minutes or until the peas are tender.

Serve hot garnished with coconut and coriander leaves.

Also Read: 4 Monsoon Recipes To Try At Home This Rainy Season To Get Your Taste Buds Dancing