Peek into the Pantry

The Konkani kitchen is quite similar to kitchens throughout India in its use of spices, souring agents and dried foods. But there are some ingredients that are very specific to the region. 'Peek into the Pantry' highlights some of the more unique spices from the region.

Teppal - a variety of peppercorn that grows in the region. Teppal is crushed and added to vegetarian and seafood curries for a distinct, heady aroma. Since it is quite a strong spice, seasoning is generally minimal or avoided in such dishes.

Bedgi Chillies - looking at India's use of chillies today it is hard to believe this is actually a comparatively 'new' spice brought to us by the Portugese. Almost every state in India now has a chilli of its own, and the coastal areas are no exception. Bedgi chillies from Karnataka are commonly used in Konkani cuisine. They are highly prized because they are not spicy but impart a wonderful color to any dish.



Blogger Dr. Pradnya said...

ashwini, is teppal the same as tirphal??

4:00 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Pradnya, welcome to FFT. Yes teppal (in Konkani) and tirphal (in Marathi) are the same.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


the active flavouring ingredient in teppal is the same one found in Szechuan pepper which is now available in many oriental groceries in the US. The difference is that teppal is larger than the Chinese pepper, but the flavor is identical.

My favorite teppal recipe is bendi - an Aamchi favorite.

Fry 1 tsp of teppal in oil followed by as many red chilis as you can stand. Grind both to a smooth paste and add tamarind concentrate and salt, sufficient to balance the heat from the red chilis. Generally half to 1 tsp will do.

Add a can of white beans - navy beans or larger beans - heat through and serve.

Sorry; no pictures.

8:30 PM  

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