Konkan cuisine is an interesting amalgamation of all food traditional: be it from Malvan, Goa or Mangalore. In keeping with the distinctive type of cuisine in each of these areas there is a plethora of flavors that can be played around with. Each household has its own variation of the same recipe hence the repertoire increases.
Malvan food is known for its fish preparations. What distinguishes Malvani fish curries is not just the variety of gravies but also the variety of recipes for the same kind of fish made by a dazzling permutation and combination of spices and ingredients and dry-to-wet cooking styles. For a good recipe read Malwani Fish Curry.
Goans traditionally use a lot of vinegar or toddy in their spicy dishes. Toddy is locally brewed palm vinegar. Garlic is another favourite. Goans believe in preparing everything freshly from raw ingredients, they believe it tastes much better that way. While that may be debated in some circles, one cannot dispute the outcome is usually mouth watering! Goans make the best crab preparations. Being a former Portuguese colony, Goan cuisine encompasses Portuguese dishes but is also characterized by strong flavors and tropical notes such as lots of coconut. It also makes exuberant use of many new ingredients such as cashewnuts that first entered India through the port of Goa. The long period of Portuguese rule, besides that of the Muslim and Hindu kingdoms, has left an indelible influence on the original style of Goan cooking and this has led to an exotic mix of truly tasty and spicy cuisine.
Mangalorean cooking is unique in the way the spices are used to enhance the taste and the flavor. When fresh coconut, chillies and various combinations of spices are ground the result can be described with only one word – culinary magic! The people of this region are fond of variety and therefore have perfected the art of improvising and coming out with a veritable repertoire of perfectly cooked food.
Another community that has now adopted Karnataka is the Saraswat Brahmins. Having coursed through various lands the Saraswats have a unique cuisine. They make use of practically every vegetable so much so that even the skins and seeds of many vegetables that most others discard, are used effectively in different chutneys. Even fresh fruits like mangoes and jackfruit are used in a variety of dishes both sweet and savoury. Among their vast repertoire Batata Humman and Mango Sasam have to be mentioned.