Friday, March 14, 2014

A fiery treat

So we now know that our cuisine (STRICTLY BASED ON THE INFLUENCES AND HISTORICAL OCCUPATION) in our state depends on the ingredients and methodology of cooking in the homes.

So lets talk about the chilies. Chapter 4 of the book The Culinary heritage of Goa.The chilies were grafted and given to families to grow in their own backyard. And it was these chilies that affected the taste and color of these preparations. 

Chili Pepper was introduced to India only about 500 years back by Portuguese and Spanish traders. The Portuguese got the peppers into Goa. Goan culinary art got a new ingredient to spice up its cuisine and today no preparation is complete without a good addition of different Chili Pepper. In the past each home had chili trees growing in the backyard. Aldona in Bardez Taluka and Canacona in the South were known for their chilies. Today as the Kashmiri chili dominates most of the masalas, as the Co founder of the Goan culinary Club, I sat together with the chefs to identify the varieties many of them not easily available in markets today. 

In Goan cuisine specific recipes calls for a certain variety of the chili, and any deviation will not impart the right characteristics to it. So the knowledge of knowing the right chili is one of the secret of making a good curry.              

 Important to note in making the Goan curries- while powdered chili is available off the shelf it does not mention the variety used and can at time be a combination and blend of two or three different varieties. Brands can therefore give a different color, spice and flavor to the food. Therefore for the authentic curry it is better to use the whole chili and make a powder or paste as required

Will be posting some details in our next blog..

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