India is known to be a vegetarian country but is surrounded on three sides by water and has a lot of seafood lovers. Fascinatingly, in India, more than 70% population eats meat in some form. Chicken and fish are widely consumed, and being a regionally diverse country, India has an insane amount of non-vegetarian dishes, with some being more popular than others.
Seafood is a speciality since India equally enjoys saltwater and freshwater fish. Apart from seafood, freshwater fish is also a delicacy, mainly in the eastern part of India. South, eastern, and western India have perfect access to seafood, and their preparations are especially coconut-based. They have a variety of masalas. A few popular ones are Malabari, Mangalorean, Chettinad, Konkani, Kerala Masala, and the Andhra Masala. There is also a unique fish masala podi that is made and is slightly different from one home to the other.
I am from Maharashtra, one of the best-known places for non-vegetarian food, especially seafood. I grew up eating fish, which is one of my favourite meals. A simple dal rice with prawns rava fry makes my day. My mother uses the malvani masala since it is her native place, and it is one of the best I have eaten because it is not as spicy but so flavourful and wholesome.
I feel the best part about India is our regional food diversity. Neighbouring cities have different ways of cooking the same recipes. The ingredients available locally are preferred, giving each dish its unique taste. For example, prawn curry cooked in Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Kerala will taste distinct from each other, and what provides the dish with its flavourful, individual taste are the masalas or the spice mixes that are used. In this article, we will look at the famous seafood masalas that are available to buy online.
Agri is a Maharashtrian community native to Mumbai. The term ‘Agri’ is derived from the word ‘Aagar’, which means compound. It is said that this community has been into salt making for years, rice farming (they own huge properties) and fishing. They hold stocks of these commodities in warehouses. This community is well-known for its fiery spice mix. This mix is majorly used in preparing seafood, either curry or fried. Every family has its recipe for the masala, but every recipe guarantees a zesty touch to whichever food dish is made using it. The spices used are slow-roasted to release aromatic flavour, giving the masala its spicy taste. The prepared curry and fish fry go well with plain steamed rice to complement the spiciness.
Goa is famous for many things, and one of its specialities is terrific seafood. The local cuisine has varied dishes, including chonak fish, kingfish, lobster, crabs, calamari, bangda (mackerel), and prawns, to name a few. The Goan spice mix is mainly made of garam masala but blended uniquely, and dishes are made using fresh tomatoes and coconut.
Koli is one of the oldest communities in Mumbai and might be one of the original Mumbai residents. Records show they have been here since the 12th century. They are the traditional fishing community of Maharashtra. Fishing is how they have been earning their living for generations, and usually, they live near their work area, that is, near the sea. A huge annual Koli festival also takes place in Versova during winter. This is where you experience an array of exclusive Koli food preparations, and it is a festival for your taste buds. Every household has its secret masala recipe, which gives these food items their specific taste. It is an experience one needs to have in one’s lifetime. The Koli masala is an exceptional blend of whole dry roasted spices, which are ground to perfection. The red chillies used are traditionally sun-dried.
This spice mix is an essential blend of a handful of ingredients with fenugreek, mustard, and onions making an appearance. The main components are the ones that are used fresh while making recipes.
4 specific kinds of red chillies are mainly used in this mix and are essential in lending a distinctive taste. Dishes are primarily cooked with fresh coconut, and that beautiful combination imparts an excellent and warm flavour to your mouth.
Malvani masala is one of the most famous seafood masalas. It combines healthy spices that are slowly roasted to release their aroma and then ground together. The mix is rust orange-red colour. A few key ingredients are khus-khus, dagad Phool, Triphala, etc. Almost every Maharashtrian household will have the Malvani masala, which can also be used to prepare vegetarian dishes.
Some of these Maharashtrian speciality masalas can be made at home or purchased from stores. You can check out www.aazol.in for their homemade Maharashtrian masalas with all the goodness and freshness.