Sawantwadi fare: a thali at Chaitanya, Photo Credit: Jason Mendez

Rejoice in Konkan delicacies, delicately spiced and lightly cooked with a twist giving the Malvani effect

Manidipa Mandal
April 02 , 2014
01 Min Read

One of the iconic craft objects from Sawantwadi, in the Sindhudurg region of Maharashtra, is carved wooden fruit. However, the cuisine of this area is anything but wooden. Local khanavals (eateries) serve up Konkani delicacies laced with kokum and heavy with coconut. 

Malvani food, a subset of Konkan cuisine, is what homestays in the region will dish up for your delectation. The table is almost always set with sol kadi, pinky-purple and tart from kokum-infused coconut milk, the digestive you need in generous doses as you feast on this coastal thali. Delicately spiced and lightly cooked vegetables dominate the menu on Mondays and Thursdays, leaving the rest of the week to eat out of the sea. Bangda (mackerel), crabs and prawns are firm favourites, fried or cooked with thick coconut-masala pastes. 

On the land side, the regional speciality is kombdi vade, chicken curry mopped up with a puff of fried bread (vade). Fried fish and seafood ‘Koliwada style’ is the contribution of Punjabi migrants from Pakistan who settled in the Sion Koliwada area. Cashews are treated as a vegetable and made into bhaji or curry or amti, while jackfruit is beloved as both fruit and vegetable. Breads here are quite different from mainstream India. Besides vade, there is amboli (like a dosa) and bhakri (a particularly robust roti) made of rice flour, sweet khaproli (a pancake dipped in syrup), mesh-like fried ghavan and sweet cucumber cakes called dhondas.

  • Getting there  - 70km from Dabolim airport / 64km from Belgaum. From Mumbai (nearly 500km), take the train (Mandovi Express or Konkan Kanya)


  • Where to stay - Culture Aangan ( arranges homestays in and around Sawantwadi, for Rs 1,800–5,000.

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