India On A Platter: The Best And Most Popular Dishes From West India

Readers, food experts, historians and chefs curate and select the best dishes from the western regions of India

Priya Pathiyan Updated: Feb 8, 2020 12:54:14 IST
India On A Platter: The Best And Most Popular Dishes From West India Goan fish curry


Goan Fish Curry:

Because of Goa’s popularity, Goan fish curry is firmly planted on the food map, with everyone from Rick Stein to Jamie Oliver interpreting it! But the original version—a rich, coconut curry, redolent with the fragrance of spices and fresh, ocean fish—eaten by hand with a mound of aromatic steamed rice, is bound to send you into a susegad stupor! Its authentic flavour comes from dried teppal (triphal) and the deep red colour from Byadgi chillies from neighbouring Karnataka. You’ll taste the sweetness of coconut and sautéed onions, the smoky-sourness of Malabar tamarind and the zing of chillies—all in one mouthful.

Popular Choice: Goan Fish Curry



Undhiyu: Come winter and every Gujarati household has pots simmering with this glistening green delicacy. Vegetables such as eggplant, green beans, pigeon peas, potato, green banana, yam and sweet potato are combined with fried muthia (made of gram flour and chopped fenugreek), ghee, green garlic and other spices. There are minor variations from region to region, but in the original process, the ingredients are placed in an earthen pot called a matlu, buried upside down underground and fired from above to slow cook the contents to perfection over several hours. When the undhu (the upside-down pot) is retrieved and opened, the aroma is unbelievable and the explosion of taste and texture is unmatched.

Popular Choice: Khaman Dhokla



Puran Poli: It hardly seems possible that humble ingredients such as  gram flour, wheat and jaggery or sugar can produce something so sublime! But they do, especially when you add a dash of powdered cardamom and nutmeg to the mix. This delicate wholewheat pancake is filled with puran (stuffing) before being roasted on a griddle. Hot ghee slathered over it gives it the knockout punch, be they hardy farmers or city sophisticates! What’s amazing is that a written recipe for puran poli appeared as far back as the 14th century in the Telugu encyclopedia called Manu Charitra!

Popular Choice: Vada Pav

img_20200120115041_1334738702_huge_020420063130.jpgPuran Poli


OUR EMINENT JURY PANEL: Food historians: Colleen Taylor Sen, Pushpesh Pant, Salma Husain and Pritha Sen. Restaurateurs and chefs: Manish Mehrotra, Manu Chandra, Zorawar Kalra, Mariyam Kachwala, Regi Mathew, Saby Gorai, Shaun Kenworthy, Thomas Zacharias and Anahita Dhondy. Food writers and critics: Rahul Verma, Prima Kurien, Hoihnu Hauzel and Pawan Soni.
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