Mutton Polov

Mutton Polov

This is a traditional Mangalorean dish typically served at Roce ceremonies.  The Lunch or dinner at Roce ceremonies is either fish curry or mutton polov alongwith the other main items of the menu like chone tendli sukhe, sannas, vorn etc.

In Mangalore in old times, “Korpo” was used for this preparation i.e. fresh coconut and sliced onion would be put out to dry in the sun and used with the spices for the masala paste.  I am sure this is still being done when cooking is done on a large scale for weddings, etc. For home cooking, we would go with the quicker method of roasting the coconut and onion on a pan!

Mutton Polov

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 kg. mutton
  • ½ kg. Ash Gourd (Kuwalo) (Winter Melon)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. coconut

Roast and grind to a paste

  • 1 cup heaped fresh coconut
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 red Kashmiri chillies
  • 1 tbs. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp.cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. raw rice
  • 1” cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 cardamoms


  1. Clean and cut mutton into cubes, wash and drain well. 
  2. Clean the ash gourd, cut into wedges, remove the seeds, peel and cut into ½” cubes.  Wash and drain.
  3. Slice one onion and fry in a little oil to light brown
  4. Add the mutton pieces and cook till they change color and most of the water that is released evaporates. 
  5. Add sufficient hot water to the mutton, bring to a boil and cook for about 60 minutes.  If using a cooker, it will be quicker.
  6. Stir in between and add salt half way through cooking. 
  7. When the mutton is tender remove to another dish and set aside. 
  8. In the same vessel add a cup of water, the ash pumpkin cubes, 3 bay leaves, 1 tsp. salt (or to taste) and cook the vegetable adding a cup of thin coconut milk. 
  9. When half done, add the cooked mutton alongwith the stock. 
  10. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. 
  11. Then add the ground masala paste, adjust the curry by adding the masala water. 
  12. Cook on medium till oil surfaces. 
  13. Test seasoning and add salt if required. 
  14. Meanwhile, take a frying pan add a tbsp. of coconut oil and fry the sliced onion till golden brown. 
  15. Garnish the curry and serve hot with rice or sannas, etc.

Weddings in COVID-19 times

Winnie Couture Is Now Making There Are Now Making Haute Wedding Masks

Marriages in  COVID times

Lockdown Weddings

Are weddings happening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?  Absolutely!

The COVID-19 Pandemic has jeopardised, among other things, wedding plans of many young couples i.e. those who were to get married in 2020, had all arrangements in place and were waiting for ‘D’ day to dawn.  While one or two years may have been spent in planning and preparing for the auspicious occasion, the onslaught of the Coronavirus in early 2020 have brought all plans to an abrupt halt.  Moreover, the virus continues to spread without showing any signs of retreating soon.

The answers to go ahead with a wedding or not in the present circumstances are not easy due to uncertainity surrounding the issue.  But many young couples are now considering taking the plunge and starting to look ahead.  Most countries are gradually opening up to the “new-normal”, of which we are still unsure of how long this “new-normal” period is going to last.  Could be a year or even more. Churches also are begining to open.

Basically most non-essential travel for medical reasons, study and other personal plans have been put on hold albeit temporarily, with everyone adopting the ‘wait and see’ approach.  Weddings however cannot be put on hold indefinitely.  It is a day every young couple looks forward to with much anticipation, a journey they were both so looking forward to starting before the turn of events early this year. 

Therefore, assuming the Church is willing to bless the nuptials, people should go ahead with weddings even in COVID times, with precautions so as to cause the least amount of risk to yourself and those attending.  Every government has announced guidelines for weddings in COVID times which must be adhered to.

As such, the following points reportedly must be borne in mind while planning the wedding :-

  1. Weddings should ideally be planned in the “outdoors” in the presence of a minimum number of people say no more than ten to thirty people, being family and very close friends.  Rest of the guests can attend virtually.
  2. Weddings can take place with just the two immediate families attending. 
  3. An indoor reception with no more than 30 people with proper PPE and social distancing factors.
  4. A small ceremony with the Big party to coincide with the Anniversary, whenever life returns to normal.

Having written several posts on Traditional Marriage ceremonies where the weddings are celebrated for no less than three days with a large number of guests mingling with each other, elaborate ceremonies and great merriment, in contrast a lockdown wedding would basically be restricted to, provided all necessary precautions are followed and taken into consideration  –

  1. A one day event, with a symbolic Roce ceremony with immediate family.
  2. Other pre-wedding parties like the Hen-party or Bachelors party would be celebrated on Zoom or such virtual platforms or dropped.
  3. Bridesmaids & Groomsmen to be restricted to one or max two.
  4. Photography would be restricted to one professional photographer, no videographer, no hashtags.
  5. No party favors.
  6. No immediate Honeymoon.
  7. No hugs and kisses, no handshakes.
  8. Proper social distancing, hand sanistisers and masks provided to those attending.
  9. Definitely celebrate with a cake and wine, with only the bridal couple partaking.
  10. Food may be served if it is just the immediate family and all are known to each other to be safe, if not ‘boxed’ meals would be safest.  Buffets are to be avoided.  If it is a small gathering at home, then home-cooked meals are preferable.

Many would feel it is safer for a 2021 wedding, but given that most people whose plans for a 2020 wedding have crashed, would most likely be planning a 2021 wedding.  As a result, venues would be limited as most bookings may have already been made.  So the quicker these are booked the better.

Another important aspect to consider is the size of venue.  For a usual venue of say 250 guests in normal times, the venue in COVID times for 2021 would require to be bigger maybe double the size if social distancing norms are to be implemented.

The Pandemic has made people realize the importance of life and surviving with the most basic needs. Hence priorities have shifted and extravagance is certainly not one of them.  So atleast till the curse of the virus has abated, one has to find ways to live a more meaningful and frugal life.

Marriage customs & traditions

Marriage customs and traditions (Roce)

Marriage Customs and Traditions – Wedding Garments and Jewellery


Mangalorean wedding garments and ornaments

In spite of extensive research to get pictures and illustrations of bridal garments and jewellery worn in the past by the Mangalorean/South Canerese catholics, I have not had much success.  Most of the ornaments were inspired from jewellery worn by mangalorean hindu and Goan jewellery.  Hence, some of the pictures illustrated below are just ‘Indicative’ in my pursuit to obtain the actual wedding ornaments’ pictures and will update as I go along.


Wedding garments

In the early days the traditional wedding dress worn by the bridegroom was a short loin cloth (kachhen or dhoti) with red and gold hem (todop), a shawl to cover his shoulders, a red handkerchief (leis) on the head and a shirt with gold buttons and a coat (kutav). The bridegroom wore a chakrasar-neck chain and a pair of sandals or a pair of socks.  The groom also wore the “Urmbal” (head gear).  The traditional unbrella used was a big umbrella with 10 sticks “Damaskachi Satri” depicted by the red unbrella.


Traditional wedding costume

Bellevision traditional wedding garments traditional wedding garments

On making enquires with friends I was told by Lydia Vas that her mother, who married in the year 1939 wore a ‘heavy embroidered skirt’ for her wedding and ‘chinelem‘ for footwear.  While researching on this topic I came across the “pano bhaju” and “chinelos” which is the attire of Goan catholics and quite believe this could have been the dress adopted by some brides in ealier times due to our Goan history.  Her mother-in-law though, wore the kirgi baju.

Goa tourism pano bhaju chinelem

GoaTourism – Pano Bhaju & Chinelem illustration

Kirgi Baju

Traditional Kirgi Baju

kirgi bhaju costume

Traditional Kirgi Baju

In fomer days the bride used to wear a “Kirgi” and a “baju”.  Kirgi is a piece of cloth 4 feet long and 3 feet broad wrapped waist down around the body.  The baju is a long sleeved jacket to cover the upper part of the body and covered with a veil in V shape.

After the wedding ceremony the bride would change into the “Sado” when she gets her pallu “Worl” to symbolise the change from spinster to married.

In today’s day the Kirgi Baju is worn by the bride for her roce and the kirgi is usually made from the bride’s mother’s wedding banarsi saree “sado”. 

In later years the wedding dress gradually changed to the bride wearing a white saree but the bridegroom wore the dhoti and kutav. 

IMG-20180317-WA0009 (1)

Bride in white saree

Then & Now:

The traditional wedding saree worn by the bride is known as Sado and is presented by the groom. The second wedding saree is the dharma-sado  (also referred to as Sado vailem) which ranks second to the sado, also an expensive saree, and is presented to the bride by her mother/family (in some instances the bridegroom may voluntarily pay for the dharma sado and the sado as it was in my case).  The third saree is the “maipano” given by bride’s mother.  For my ‘porthapon’ I wore the dharma-sado and then changed into the maipano at my mother’s house. 

Red Banarsi


Sado veile dharma sado


Sado maipano


It was and still is customary to present sarees to the female members of the family and some female wedding guests, especially by the bridegroom and male family members and children and some guests also received presents of clothes.


Now and in recent years bridegroom wears a suit without hat and the bride wears the white dress. Below are the wedding pictures of my late parents married 63 years ago, my wedding 36 years ago and most recent is my son, but all these weddings took place in Mumbai City hence the western influence however, the tradition of the bride changing into the sado (as in the traditional wedding costume pictures above) was maintained and still continues.

Brides and grooms in Mangalore also have switched to the western style of dress with Sado ceremony.

MaiPapawedd pic

My parents wedding 1955

Rudy Cecilia wedd (1)

My wedding 1982


My son’s wedding 2011


Wedding Ornaments

It was common practice to call the goldsmiths to the house to prepare the ornaments.  The traditional gold ornaments worn by the bride were:

  1. Pirduk-gold chain with black glass beads with a pendant also called mangalsutra which used to be tied by the mother-in-law. Another form of pirduk was a pendant with a cross studded with precious stones. To the top of the cross was a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit minin” and sorpoli worn on a gold chain (without beads).

    Pirduk – Mangalsutra/Karimani


Sorpoli with minin

Sorpoli with Minin

Sorpoli and Pirduk with Minin (Updated 4th October, 2021)

(Lately made by Mrs. D’souza who was kind enough to share

the picture with me for posting it here for the benefit of my viewers)

jewellery_cross1 (2)

Pirduk (Cross pendant) with Minin (Dove)

The cross design was mainly the ‘Trinity cross’ with a dove on top of the cross.

jewellery_trinity cross1 (1)

2. Kanti-necklace of gold beads or red coral and gold beads, various types as shown below.  Understand these are nowadays usually worn by senior married women.

Pouli corals

Coral Kanti

Coral and gold beads necklace

Coral Kanti


Gold oval beads Kanti strung on gold chain

GLAcharya Jewellers updated

Necklaces usually worn by elderly married women

3. Chakrasar– Neck chain worn by men and chain of small round gold plates woven one into the other and forming a long chain, worn by women (also worn by Hindus).


Chakrasar – neck chain worn by men

Chakrasar Bride

Chakrasar – Bride

Gold Bead chain

Lakshmi Sara – Bride

4. Fugador – Necklace of large green stones mounted on gold,



5. Kap – Round disc ear ornament inserted into the lobe of the ear. It is still the typical ear ornament for married women in Canara. But in later years the Kudkan became more common, which is a round gold disk surrounded by precious stones.

Earing discs ancient

Kap – Indicative

vajra_kutka_diamond earings


Diamond ear studs


6. Karap – Inserted in the middle ear with a thin gold chain attached to the hair,


Karap – Indicative

7. Mugud – Worn on the top of ear, a gold disk surrounded by pearls and attached to the hair by a chain,

8. Kanto – Gold or silver pin with a gold head stuck through a bun at the back of the head.


Kanto – Indicative

Gold hair pin with gold head

Kanto – Indicative

9. Dantoni – Two ordinary pair of combs with the top plated in gold and worn in the head on both sides above her ears.

Antique silver hair combs southerbellekari

Dantoni  – Indicative

10. Masli-two more combs with a figure of fish in gold inserted in each comb,

11. Bang-gold chain with pendant in the centre of the forehead and hair parting,


Bang (Maang Tikka)

Maang Tikka Traditional

Maang Tikka with chain

Bang Bride

Mangalorean Catholic bride wearing Bang with chain

12. Rings – on her hands several rings

jewellery ring

Traditional Ring design

13. Bangles – Three sets of gold bangles


14. Red Glass Bangles – plus some red glass bangles which are worn with sado.

red bangles lastbustovasco


Wedding Garments

Sado, dharma-sado and maipano and additional sarees may be purchased and as tradition dictates some close family female wedding guests are also presented sarees and male guests also receive presents of clothes. For the nuptials a white dress or saree are worn and the changing into the Sado is done mid-way at the wedding reception.

Wedding Ornaments

The basic jewellery is now a modern necklace, gold chain with pendant and bangles, much less jewellery than in the past. The mangalsutra is paid for by the bridegroom which he puts on the bride.  The mangalsutra though is simply a symbol of the married state adopted from old hindu traditions and is part of a social custom.  The Catholic Church recognises only the wedding bands” that are exchanged in the church and therefore only the wedding rings are blessed and witnesses testify to having witnessed the exchange of the rings.

Gold wedding bands

Wedding Bands

As explained in “Finalising the alliance – Sairik” the concept of Dowry has now changed from “cash” to “kind” – Gold what the Bride brings with her (based on her financial status) and 50% share of the wedding expenses.

Modern bridal jewellery

Modern jewellery


Modern Mangalsutra

Latest southindian Gold-bridal-jewellery-collections-2016

Modern necklaces

Usually the parents of the bride and groom and some elders from both families go together to pick the bridal sarees and jewellery, an event which would take almost the entire day and also provides a good opportunity to bond with the new relatives.

The brides’ jewellery and the wedding sado (although purchased by the groom is given to the bride for having the blouse etc. tailored) are to be taken to the grooms house by a couple of elders of the brides’ family a day or two before the wedding as “denem“.  The denem articles are displayed by the grooms mother to her family and guests and is brought to the church wrapped in a red velvet or satin fabric as these are to be carried to the church alongwith the Jasmine and Aboli (Crossandra) flowers by the bridegrooms family so that they can be blessed during the general blessing at the nuptials and then taken to the reception. The bridegrooms family is responsible for dressing the bride in the sado, flowers and ornaments.


Jasmine mangalore flowers


Aboli flowers

Special thanks to Mrs. Lydia Vas for her valuable input and for sharing some jewellery pictures and Mrs. Diana D’souza for the picture of the bride in white saree.  Truly appreciate your efforts.  Thanks also go out to Mrs. Janet D’Souza and Mrs. Jenifer Dias for the additional jewellery pictures.

Previous Post:Bachelor Bachelorette Party Bridal Showers

Next Post : Wedding Invitation “Voulik”

References: Severine Silva and Stephen Fuchs & Victor D’sa, S.V.D.: The Marriage Customs of the Christians in South Canara, India, wikipedia, Bellevision, Goa Tourism, Konkani State Vishal Gomantak

Mangalorean Marriage Customs and Traditions

Image result for mangalorean catholic wedding
Traditional Wedding
Modern Wedding

My interest in Mangalorean customs and traditions now takes me to “Marriage” customs and traditions and although not an expert in this genre, I have always aspired to know and learn more. Having done some research on this subject coupled with some of my life experiences, I have chosen to write on the “Mangalorean marriage customs and traditions” for the benefit of those who have limited knowledge and are seeking some guidance on this issue.

Marriage is a sacred institution, a blessing from God and this is a universal truth. Marriage customs and traditions however, differ from country to country, community to community and in India from culture to culture.

Indian weddings are extravagant and full of grandeur. The rituals in the olden days were far more elaborate than today where most of the customs are ignored or overlooked and weddings are shortened from the customary ten days to maybe two or three days maximum. The contemporary wedding receptions on the other hand are held on such a grand scale which more than makes up for the entire ten day celebrations of yester year.

Many today aspire to follow the traditional customs even with limited resources and in limited circumstances if only to define the rich mangalorean culture that we should all be proud of. Many of the customs are also similar to Goan marriage customs due in fact to our ancestral links.

In an effort to remind us of the old customs and to apprise of the modern day customs, I will briefly describe the Mangalorean marriage customs and traditions “Then” and “Now” and in the sequence they were performed.

1.Match-Making “Sairik”

2.Finalising the Alliance “Sairik

3.Engagement “Mudi”

4.Reading Of Banns “Chiti Vaschyo”

5.Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

6.Wedding Garments/Jewellery “Sado” ETC.

7.Wedding Invitation “Voulik”

8.Wedding Pandal/Gifts of Food Etc. ” Kazara Matov”

9. “Vojem” etc.

10.Dot and Denem

11.Roce Ceremony

Laudate Psalm


Wedding Songs

12.Nuptial Blessing “Resper”

13.Wedding Reception “Kazara Jevon”

14. Mother-In-Law’s Gift of Ring to Son-In-Law “Maain Mudi Shivnchem”

15. Solemn transferment of Bride to Bridegrooms’s family “Opsun Divnchem”

16. Return Dinner “Porthapon”

17. Conclusion & Post wedding ceremonies

N.B.: I am open to accepting research projects on Culture and Traditions. Please email me with your requests at

Thank you.


Contribution towards research and development of Mangalorean Culture and Traditions

If you find my research and posts on The Mangalorean Culture and Traditions useful and worthy and would like to participate towards improving and enhancing my website and my research, please contribute how you see fit.


Continued………………. 1. Match-Making “Sairik”

References: Severine Silva and Stephen Fuchs & Victor D’sa, S.V.D.: The Marriage Customs of the Christians in South Canara, India

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