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Delving Into Alibag's Culinary Heritage: Exploring Popti and More

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Alibag, a coastal gem in Maharashtra, isn't just famed for its scenic beauty; it's also a haven for food enthusiasts. Among the array of delectable dishes, Popti stands out as a culinary delight deeply rooted in the local culture. Let's uncover the essence of Popti and other traditional delicacies that tantalize taste buds in Alibag.

1. Popti: The Culinary Jewel of Alibag

Popti, a traditional slow-cooked dish, is a unique amalgamation of flavors and aromas enjoyed during the new harvest season. It typically consists of layers of different veggies like corn, sweet potato, potato, broad beans (Vaal), marinated meat (often chicken and /or eggs)(for non vegetarians) - slow-cooked in an earthen pot lined with locally available herb - Bhamburdi leaves sealed with banana leaves over a wood fire. The Bhamburdi leaves are indegenious to this region and only available during the months of December - March. It is not to be eaten directly since they get charred in the process, but has medicinal properties which get infused in the veggies during the slow cook method.The slow cooking process allows the ingredients to infuse, resulting in a rich, aromatic, flavourful dish that encapsulates the essence of Alibag's culinary heritage.

beans rinsed with water before marination for popti
Beans rinsed well before marination

vegetables ready with marination to be filled in popti pot
Marinated veggies with spices

The marinade typically comprises a blend of indigenous spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, along with locally sourced herbs. The slow cooking method ensures the meat becomes tender and succulent, while the vegetables absorb the flavorful juices, creating a harmonious one pot meal that delights the palate.

popti pot ready for slow cooking in fire
Earthen pot layered with veggies and bhamburdi leaves - “Popti”

2. Other Local Delicacies

Beyond Popti, Alibag boasts a diverse range of culinary treasures:

  • Seafood Extravaganza: Being a coastal town, Alibag offers an abundance of fresh seafood. Indulge in delectable fish curry, prawn masala, crab fry, and the famous Konkani staple, Bombil (Bombay Duck) fry.

  • Sol Kadhi: This refreshing drink, made from coconut milk and kokum (a fruit native to the region), serves as a perfect accompaniment to spicy dishes. Its tangy and slightly sweet taste helps to balance the flavors of the meal. Fresh organic Kokum are available for sale at Shubhanan wellness, Alibag and online as well.

  • Modak: A traditional Maharashtrian sweet, Modak, holds a special place in Alibag's cuisine. These sweet dumplings, often filled with jaggery and coconut, are a must-try during festivals and celebrations.

  • Tandlachi Bhakri: Rice bhakri, a traditional Maharashtrian dish, is a flatbread made of rice flour famous in Alibag. Small portions of dough are flattened into round discs using palms and cooked on a griddle until they turn golden brown on both sides.

3. Where to Experience Alibag's Culinary Delights

We at Shubhanan Wellness, Alibag host popti parties (on request) for our guests during evenings. Popti is seasonal and hence available during the months of December - March. With the drop in temperature, Come join us with your friends and family to enjoy and explore a different culinary experience local to this coastline. The chilled slow breeze on your face,trendy music in the air and popti aroma all around the place makes it a perfect evening to spend under the starry night with your loved ones. To book your place visit us at -

fire pit ignition for slow cooking of popti pot
Popti being put in the fire pit for slow cooking

You can also explore local eateries, beachside shacks, and traditional homes known for their authentic preparation of Popti and other regional dishes. Engage with locals to learn more about their cooking techniques, ingredient selection, and the cultural significance of these culinary gems.

Alibag's culinary landscape, with Popti as its shining star, offers a flavorful journey into the heart of Maharashtrian cuisine. From the rich, slow-cooked perfection of Popti to the tantalizing array of seafood and indigenous flavors, Alibag's local cuisine promises an unforgettable dining experience that captivates both the senses and the soul.

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