Malwani cuisine is a coastal cuisine from the Southern Coastal areas of Maharashtra, and needless to say; it has a great variety in lip-smacking sea-food delicacies and also some wonderful vegetarian dishes. The food is spicy, yet wonderfully balanced by the use of coconuts, kokum fruits (Garcia indica) and fresh herbs.
At the heart of this cuisine is the spicy, yet wonderfully complex and flavourful Malwani Masala. The Malwani Masala (spice powder) is made up of slightly roasted and hand-pounded spices like black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, bay leaves, nutmeg, cumin seeds, mace and red chillies among others.
My parents recently returned from a trip to this part of the state and brought me some home-made masala from a woman entrepreneur in Tarkarli. The masala was so aromatic that just opening the lid of the jar where I stored it, is filling up my kitchen with a nice spicy aroma. I am not sure if she ships the spices to other towns, but one might want to pick up her spices en-route to Goa from Mumbai or Pune. Her name is Rohini Deulkar and her contact number is 02365-251236. The Masalas are sold under the brand name Deulkar Masale.
I made a super quick Rawa Fried Pomfret using her Malwani Masala and it turned out yum!
1 full Silver Pomfret, fins and gut removed, cleaned and four slits made on each side;
1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste;
2 tsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice;
½ tsp Turmeric powder;
½ tsp Red chilly powder (optional);
1 tbsp Deulkar Malwani Masala;
Salt to taste,
Semolina (Rawa) for coating (Can be substituted with rice flour);
1 Tbsp oil, for shallow frying.