• 1 cup white peas
  • 1 potato cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 petals of star anise
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tsp saunf
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 4 red chillies
  • 5 to 6 peppercorns
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Oil
  • 3 onions
  • Little tamarind
  • Salt to taste

Tonak is a coconut gravy preparation which Goans love to eat with goan bread called pav. Normally the ingredients for the tonak  gravy are  the same but the main ingredient changes  and this causes the variation in the taste. I prefer this tonak to others.


  1. Wash and soak the white peas overnight.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil and fry the coriander seeds, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and red chillies one by one on low heat. Keep it aside.
  3. Now add 1 sliced onion in the same oil and fry till they are golden .
  4. Add the grated coconut and fry on slow fire till golden brown. Add saunf, poppy seeds and turmeric. Switch off the gas and allow it to cool.
  5. Grind to a fine paste the coconut, tamarind and the fried masala.
  6. Add the remaining 2 chopped onions, potatoes and the peas in the pressure cooker along with the 3cups of water and cook till 2 whistles.The peas tends to release its skins so throw away the skins that float on top.
  7. Add the ground masala paste, salt and cook on slow fire for 2 or 3 minutes.
  8. Addition of prawns makes the dish tastier. So the non-veg should try this recipe with a cup full of prawns.