Flavours of Maharashtra 1


You know it is funny, I’ve been in Mumbai for over two years now but I’ve not had the chance to have a proper Maharashtrian meal. There’s been the occasional one at a Malvani style seafood place but nothing that gave me an experience of the variety of flavours that the state is home to. So when I received an invite to check out the Maharashtrian Food Festival at House of Asia, The Mirador Hotel in Andheri, I grabbed the chance.

One look at the menu and I was drooling. I just couldn’t wait for the meal to begin. We started off with a Aam Panna, which happens to be one of my favourite drinks to have this time of the year, and some Sol Kadhi.

Aam panna (left) and Sol kadhi

Close on the heels of these came the soups – a Tamatyache saar (tomato soup) and a Kekdyache saar (crab soup), interestingly it was the vegetarian one that caught our attention with simple, clean flavours.

Kekdyache saar (crab soup)

Pangat: An informal setting

This was followed by an array of starters – Kelfuache vade (banana flower fritters) which had a bitter aftertaste – the chef informed us later on that this was meant to be – then there was the Kothimbir vadi (chickpea flour and coriander dish), Dalimb Batate (potato patties with a pomegranate stuffing). The brain behind this food festival – Chef Kamlesh Salve, told us that the festival is called Pangat because that’s what an informal setting for a Maharashtrian meal is known as. The chef also told us that he hadn’t restricted the menu to just one part of the state but attempted to capture the best of every region.

Kelfuache vade

Kothimbir vadi

Some stunning chutneys to go with the starters: (From bottom left) Black sesame chutney, Raw mango and chilli chutney, Mint chutney, Tomato and garlic chutney and some Date and Tamarind chutney in the centre

Dalimb Batate 

Then came some of the non-vegetarian starters, out of these, the Bombil fry stood out. Paired with the Raw mango and chilli chutney, it made for one lip-smacking combination.

Makli Masala (squid)

Jeerameerichi kombdi (chicken with cumin and black peppercorns) 

Bombil (Bombay Duck) fry 
 By this time we were quite stuffed and wondered if we would be able to do justice to the main course that was waiting in the wings. We requested the chef and his team to serve us just tasting portions. Out came a thali, which was visually appealing with all the bright colours and the irresistible aromas was stirring up quite an appetite. I tasted a little bit of each of the dishes before I dug in and each one was distinct with well-rounded flavours. The best part of this thali was that individually each of the dishes were delicious and together, they added up to something that was nothing short of a treat for the tastebuds.

Here’s what our thali looked like:

From bottom left: Kombdi (chicken) sukke, Kairi chi kadi (raw mango curry), Masale bhaat, Amti (lentil dish), Bharli vaangi (stuffed brinjals), curd, Dhanyache usal (mixed pulses curry) and Pandhara rassa (a mutton dish native to Kohlapur). In the centre is the Tandla che bhakri (rice flour flatbread) which is typically served in a Maharashtrian meal 

Like all Indian meals, this one too, ended on a sweet note – with some Puranpoli and Olya naralachi karanji (a dumpling stuffed with a sweetened coconut mixture and fried). That was the end of a fantastic meal and my only regret was that I wished I could do more justice to the main course, if you’re planning a visit to House of Asia, then I strongly recommend you give the starters a miss and head straight to the main course – it is worth it, trust me!

Olya naralachi karanji

Puranpoli

Address: House of Asia, Hotel Mirador, New Link Road, Chakala, Andheri (East), Mumbai
Contact: 6649-5000
Date: 10th to 16th April 2015

Time: 7:30 pm onwards

Price: 900/-

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  • itsPotluck

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