I am a Vaishya Vani from my dad's side; a miniscule, scattered Konkani diaspora and our food is anything but lavish, but it is complex, constantly evolving which is very difficult to bracket. Often while discussing 'Indian' food, there is pressure to tick boxes - thick creamy gravies, sorry, curries, then we have those elaborate thalis served over banana leaves. But a majority of us don't really eat that way, and marginalized, minority communities such as mine have had to scavenge, reuse, recycle and adapt to whatever came our way while we tried our best to survive - thriving came much later, and is a privilege limited to a urban, literate few. When discovering 'Indian cuisine', look beyond the royal food, the pretty Pinterest posts and you'll find famine, gruel, discards, offal, skins, mono-diets that change with seasons with a limited amount of local produce to choose from. The agrarian, nomadic and small trading communities have often been suppressed and lower class. In this picture is a thalipeeth (mixed dough unleavened bread) that looks anything like a 'regular' thalipeeth that is often brownish beige - this one is made from watermelon rind, rice flour, cumin and a dash of salt all churned into a dough, flattened out and pan roasted. A bit of beetroot has pigmented it. Our recipes and history aren't documented because we were always at the periphery, writing about our customs wasn't important; eventually we get grouped under a major language, and caste upliftment follows. This 'watermelon rind' breakfast thalipeeth is a great example of what we've been doing since centuries -- carrying forward the leftovers into the next day, pairing it with sprouts, eggs, shrimp or anything else that's available. Quite often, there is only a thalipeeth, and that is breakfast for days together.
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