Javala Bhakri 1

Indian Cuisine is difficult. Period.

If you are not cooking for more than 6 years at a stretch, you’d go miserably wrong I guess. Or maybe its me.

Fun part is, when you approach mom or moms for that matter of fact, for a good dope on “how to”, they have a standard answer: “Put a lot of onions and turmeric and chili powder and jeera powder.” Press a little more and they’d add, “ginger-garlic paste, dhaniya {coriander powder}, garam masala”. Press a bit more like you mean it and you’d get, “Khada garam masala paste {Whole garam masala roasted and powdered} and sesame paste.” Now, this is when you know truths coming because you have tasted that beautiful smokey mind blowing sesame flavor in the mutton.

My mom, mom-in-law, my own darn sister- they all need to be taken to a corner and pressed for truth. MIL and Mom not so much, sister- definitely. Thanks to her I cooked a blob of a Thai seasoned stir fry the other day till her maid revealed, “Madam to chicken baad me daalti hain” {Madam adds the chicken later}. So much for food 😉

javala 3

Anyway! Having been married for about more than a year now and having traveled the entire Konkan belt I have realized that in India, if I must vote for my favorite cuisine it would be a tie between Konkani/Malvani and Bengali. Bengali- because I am born one: the taste is in my heart more than my tongue and Maharashtrian because the taste is in my head. It’s a burst of taste. It’s everything all at the same time.

Strangely though, when i first came to Mumbai, I struggled with food. I practically hated everything I tasted owing to generous helping of coconut in everything. But that’s before I tasted the Maharashtrian home food at Rohan’s. I was sold at the very first ‘vade-mutton’ she prepared for lunch. There in began my love for Konkani food. Today, I vouch for authentic Konkani food and have some recipes up my sleeves as well. This is one of them.

I’d mention three people who would do practically anything to eat this: First, my dear husband who dotes on this and to him its “The s**t”. Next is our dear Georgie aka Orge aka George Kurien aka the anarchist and then our favorite, the calm, poised, never angry good boy whom we lovingly call…ah well, let’s just keep it to Ankur Chugh. He’d switch the cooler and cycle down in a hot summer afternoon just to catch a bite of this.

CollageBut like everything, Jawala has its own negatives. Because of its strong smell some of you might not like it. But if you can get yourself used to the smell, this maharastrian delicacy promises you a whole lot of flavor.

Dried prawns/shrimps is cooked in a bed of caramelized onions and garlic with only 2 spice: Chicken Masala and Red chili powder, and is had with Bhakri, which is a ‘roti’ or flatbread made out of rice flour. Tastes nothing like rice but melts in your mouth.

Note: You can substitute dried prawns for fresh prawns too in the same recipe and it would taste just as good. That can be had with a loaf of bread too! Whatever you have it with, this dish brings people close. Precisely why I dedicate this recipe to a wonderful girl and a food blogger I met from Pune- Aditi from Aditicooks who not only went beyond her means to help me with an event but is also a wonderful soul. Aditi, this is for you to judge 🙂



Sukha Jawala Recipe

Dries Prawns: 2 cups, soaked in water. Change water twice and leave it for 30 minutes.

Onions/Shallots (kanda): 3 large, chopped fine

Garlic: 8-10 cloves, chopped

Chicken Masala: 2 tbsp

Red Chili Powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander leaves

Oil: 1 tbsp

Salt and sugar to taste

How to make Sukha jawala

In a pan heat oil. Add in onions and garlic and fry till the onions are translucent.

Add in soaked dry prawns (squeeze dry before adding) and mix well. On low heat, let it sit covered for about 5-7 minutes. You can toss once in between.

Once the prawns catch a bit of color, add chicken masala, red chili, salt and sugar. Mix well, and cover cook for about 7-8 minutes.

The last 2 minutes, cook in high heat and dry it up completely.

Add chopped coriander and cover for 5 before you serve.


7 thoughts on “Sukha Jawala: A Traditional Maharastrian Dry Fish Delicacy”

  1. Hi the dish looks yummy, but this is not jawla dear, this is karandi, jawala is very very small prawns.Almost minute size.

  2. Rukmini your blog looks sooooo gooood! I have been contemplating buying Jawala for the longest time but I have been so scared of the strong smell….I will buy some the next time I cross the sweet old dry fish seller lady in the fish market!
    And thank you for your lovely comment …I would love to post my GJ recipe on Slurrpy…lemme know what I need to do…muaaah

    1. Hey you! Morning! Thanks 🙂 I’ve been trying my hands on photoshop lately..came up with something. Oh and I’m also blogging succulent and cactus arrangement today if you are into plants 🙂 For slurrpy, just give us a write up, procedure on your GJ…I’ll feature you as featured blogger with my two bits on you and ofcourse the link to your blog 🙂 You can tweak the copy of your blog, add or subtract- totally upto you. And one / two photos. That’s it. I’ll also see that you get the little goodie for being such an amazing GJ maker from slurrpy 😉

  3. This is one of the simplest recipes i have ever seen. I agree with you 1005 when you say Indian cuisine is difficult- it needs a lot of attention! I will definitely give this a try. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  4. This is one of the simplest recipes i have ever seen. I agree with you 100% when you say Indian cuisine is difficult- it needs a lot of attention! I will definitely give this a try. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

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