Ever lived in a fishing village? Its the gate to the seas -much like the keepers of the land, from an invasion far from told, waiting in abeyence to happen. The smell of fresh salt in the air with the waves thrashing against jagged rock a defense fortitude used to protect them from the vehement sea trying to grab what is hers.
I used to read about fisherman and mermaids when I was little. Those glorious fairy like creatures who would lure men to their demise far out in the blue. Around village camp fires, men would regale tales of delight and horrors of the deep as they braved winds and tide to make it home to their loved ones. This would be lauded over some local moonshine (country liquor) and some good old spicy food.
One preparation that stands out is the prawn koliwada a spicy fiery dish relished as a starter. In contrary to popular belief of its origination on the Konkan coast, it actually birthed itself from the Sion fishing village (koliwada) by a North Indian immigrant from Punjab.
These deep-fried crunchy prawns can be identified by their signature red color due to the use of Kashmiri red ground chillies. Mouth watering as is, I chanced upon an invite to a friends house for the same without a moments hesitation.
Koliwada refers to a colony of Kolis (fishermen). A fish market is usually located near the entrance of the Koliwada locality. This is predominantly found in Mumbai till date and fisherfolk have lived across the seven islands off the Arabian Sea that subsequently merged over time to form the city of Mumbai.
Believe you me, savoring fish at a village table is something one must try at least once. Sans the fancy and the razz, it’s home made fresh food at its best- no frills attached. In its most crude and humble form it’s literally straight from the frying pan onto your plate. The aromas drive you to a tizzy and your fight within to curb your enthusiasm is paramount to avoid searing your mouth.
A day well spent (we ate, we laughed, we sang karaoke, played monopoly, and some gully cricket) with an invite for dinner in tow here’s to some added belches and a whole load of smiles over the meeting fireplace.
Gone fishing. Back in …… 😉