Lip smacking seafood dishes, colorful ambiance, dance and a perfect dose of Koli culture, the Versova Koli Seafood Festival 2019 had this and much more happening over the weekend at the Koli village in Versova High School Association School grounds. Originally an annual festival organised by Koli community of Versova, this special edition was organized by the Koli Women of Vesava Koli Mahila Samajik Sanstha. The festival opened on Women’s Day – 8th March and went on till 10th March, while the first edition of 2019 happened sometime in January 2019. According to some online reports, about a whopping 1 to 3 tonnes of fresh fish is cooked and sold daily at this 3 day event.
If you’re a seafood lover like me, this food festival would be a paradise for you. From King Prawns, Bombay Duck (Bombil), Lobsters, to Pomfret, Tuna, Surmai (Seer fish), Bangada (Mackerel), Shellfish and more were served in different style – tandoori, tava fry, with Bhakri (made of rice) and spicy and flavorful biryani. Vegetarians shouldn’t shy away and should go with their friends and family to experience this gastronomic journey, as there are enough and more vegetarian options on offer. The next time you’re able to catch this festival – mostly Jan 2020 or a special edition that they sweetly organize in 2019, I strongly recommend that you have the Squid Masala – the most well-cooked squid that I’ve had in my life and the stuffed/tandoori Pomfret. Don’t forget to gush this down with a glass of flavorful Solkadhi or some freshly brewed Beer.
The festival is not only known for the lip-smacking food, but also the music, dance and drama that the Koli community puts up for the public, truly showcasing their happy and colorful culture. If you like what you saw and ate, you can take a little Koli-ness back, along with you – I am talking about the Koli masala, pickles and fryums stalls spread across the ground.
All in all, if you love to experience the food you’re eating, with a perfect dose of culture, celebration and good ambiance, this is the place to be. Have you experienced the Versova Seafood Festival yet? Tell me in the comments section!