Chef’s Log 19: All You Need Is Rawa


Rawa masala fried Red Snapper

It never ceases to amaze me how Earthlings consider food an extension of their identity –even the tiniest area on this planet has its own distinctive culinary style and flavour which define it. Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about that. I come from a place where the predominant philosophy dictates that food is a means of uniting cultures, rather than segregating them. On the other hand, the sheer variety of cuisine found on this planet flabbergasts both my mind and my tastebuds, and makes eating out just plain fun. A local cuisine which I have developed a certain fondness for is that of the Goan variety.  And recently, I came across a lovely little place called ‘Bhatti Village’ which embodies the very spirit of the Goan cuisine experience. The location is rather obscure, but I am sure that the supposedly all-knowing electronic deity worshipped by the humans (‘Google’ I think it’s called) would be able to help in that respect.  What I found fascinating about this place is that there is no menu; well no physical menu at least. Since it changes every day, you are given a verbal list of the day’s items by the waiter. This could, of course, be a problem for those humans afflicted with short attention spans. I would suggest carrying some sort of device with which it would be possible to take notes. Anyway, I decided to try the red snapper. Typically, the fish is first slathered in masala, then fried after being coated in a grainy substance known as ‘rawa’. I have to say, the result was more than satisfactory. The fish was absolutely fresh, soft and juicy. The masala was piquant, without being too spicy- it was a beautifully balanced combination of delicate flavours; sweet, tangy and pungent all at once. The rawa batter was perfectly browned, lending the fish a hint of smoky bitterness, and the perfect crunch.  I have to say I was more than a little impressed. And their other dishes maintained the same standard. Particularly delicious were the roast pork, the fish roe, and a dish consisting of tiny fried fish, whose local name is too strange for me to recall. This place is a dream come true for anyone who enjoys Goan cuisine, or indeed, for anyone who enjoys good food in general.


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