Kini Hotel, Kumta

pics of chai and breakfast at Kini Hotel Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

This tiny tea shop in Kumta is my main eating and meeting place in Kumta. It’s in the main paent (market) and only a few steps from the Shanteri Kamakshi Devasthan and the Venkatraman Muth/Devasthan. Continue reading “Kini Hotel, Kumta”

Kini Hotel, Kumta

Tambdo Phovu – Red flattened Rice

Phovu (flattened rice) freshly mixed with a few spices is a staple of Konkanis. Growing up, we’d eat tambdo phovu (tambdo – red) nearly every day for breakfast. If not for the main dish, at least as a side. I prefer it sprinkled with a little sev, or served on the side (see pic below). When visitors arrived unannounced, the women would quickly mix this as a snack. Since this is simply ‘mixed’ it is also called Kalayile (mixed) phovu.

Tambdo phovu is very easy to prepare and inexpensive. The biggest expense would be the coconut and in the Konkan, every family would have their own coconut trees. You could mix as little or as much as you’d want. It doesn’t spoil, though the phovu may soften a bit.

The key ingredient here is the phova piTTo (powdered spice mix). Earlier, this would be made in every home, but now families simply buy it in the market. Phova piTTo from Kumta is famous! On every visit to Kumta I pickup a pound to bring here, and also for my aunts and cousins living in Mumbai (who are too lazy to travel to Kumta). Shilpa of Aayi’s Recipes has a recipe for the Kumta phova piTTo!

After much pestering, Manashi has developed a taste for it and now makes delicious tambdo phovu. I get it at least once on the weekend! I count my blessings, else I’d have to make do with chemical laden, starchy mush called cereal!


  • Phovu (thin puffed rice, 2 cups)
  • soyi (grated coconut, 1/2 cup; we use the frozen variety, microwaved to thaw)
  • Kotumbari (coriander seeds, 1 tbsp)
  • Jirae (cumin seeds, – 1/2 tsp)
  • Tambdi mirsang (dried hot red peppers, 4 medium sized)
  • Saakar (sugar, 1 tsp)
  • MeeTh (salt, to taste)


  • Roast the coriander and cumin seeds; then the red peppers separately in a wee bit of oil.
  • Collect in a steel bowl, along with the soyi, poha piTTo, sugar and salt.
  • I use a pestle (of mortar and pestle) to first crush the seeds, the red peppers and then crushingly mix with the phova piTTo, soyi, sugar and salt.
  • Mix in the phovu in small amounts.
  • Moisture from the soyi should be sufficient to soften the phovu, but you can sprinkle a few drops of water.
  • Serve with some sev on the side.
  • Bon apetit!

Eat Healthy! Live Long! Run Far!

Tambdo Phovu – Red flattened Rice