Posts filed under ‘Good Food in Nasik’

India’s Best blogger, Khadya Jatra and Khandeshi Cuisine

India’s Best blogger, Khadya Jatra and Khandeshi Cuisine….confused? …read on 🙂

2016 seems to have started on a very positive note! Betterbutter had organized ‘ India’s top blogger contest ‘.To participate we had to Curate a meal for two in a foodbook to make a complete meal. I participated and my foodbook menu included- Meetha Pan spritzer, Mini Thalipeeth Tostadas, Garam Masala spiced Palak Paneer Timbale and Meringue nests topped with Mango curd and fruits. foodbook

As you must have guessed by now, I won the India’s top blogger contest! The prize is as awesome as the concept & contest- a gorgeous orange coloured Le Creuset Casserole! Thank you again Betterbutter for this!

le crueset

The recipes are already on the blog or you can check out the foodbook and some of my recipes here on betterbutter.

Khadya Jatra: I wrote this article for a Facebook group initiated by Saee of My Jhola– Angat Pangat, which re-discovers traditional Maharashtrian cuisine. We are starting with a new series on the group called ‘Khadya Jatra’ #APKhafyaJatra ,where a specialist of a particular sub-cuisine of Maharashtra will curate some background information about it and give an authentic recipe with step by step images.Members can then try out the recipe and thus get a chance to learn about the sub-cuisine and recipes.

I am fortunate to be the first ‘specialist’ and Saee invited me to curate some information and a recipe about Khandeshi Cuisine.Thank you Saee for this,I am honoured.

Spicy, fiery gravies with a thick sinful layer of oil floating on top (tarri) -that’s a trademark Khandeshi dish for you!

Nashik (where I stay) borders the Khandesh region (some parts of present Nashik district are part of Khandesh),has a strong influence of the Khandesi cuisine and you can see specialties like Misal and Shev Bhaji dished out at every nook and corner.

The quintessential Kala Masala forms the base of most gravies (rassa) along with dry coconut (khobra), onion and garlic. These are traditionally served with Bhakri or Rice.

pasta and dubuk vade 1.jpg

Peanuts and peanut oil is also extensively used for cooking. Peanuts, small green lavangi mirchi or fiery Red mirchi, garlic are roasted on an iron griddle or directly on charcoal, pounded in a wooden mortar and pestle (Badgi-musal) to make the famed Thecha. Apart from the staple Jowar Bhakri, Kalnyachi Bhakri- Chutney is very popular with most Khandeshi’s. Kalna is a blend of Jowar + Urad and is served with a spicy peanut chutney.

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The Khandeshi love for eggplants need not be stressed. Be it Bharit made using large green eggplants (Jalgaoni Vangi) or small eggplants stuffed with kala masala or mashed eggplants (Ghotleli Bhaji), every Khandeshi loves this vegetable! The Ghotleli Bhaji and Dal batti are part of many festivities in most Khandeshi households.

Mande (Khandeshi version of Puran Poli) and Wheat Kheer are the popular sweets from the region.

The hot summers are utilized to make different types of Papads and Vade (Valvan) like the laborious yet rewarding Bibde.

A very popular Khandeshi preparation is Patodyachi (or Patvadya) Bhaji. Rolled out Besan flour dough is cut into strips and cooked in a spicy kala masala gravy. The other lesser known form of this preparation is called ‘Dubuk Vade’. Instead of making strips, dumplings are made from the besan batter and cooked in a similar gravy. I am guessing the name Dubuk comes from the noise it makes when a dumpling is dropped in the gravy-I am not sure of this though 🙂

Dubuk Vade 1

 It is simple, it is spicy, it is fiery, it uses Kalal masala gravy and it is absolutely lip smacking- ticking all the right boxes for typical Khandeshi, homestyle food. I have toned down the heat and oil to suit our taste; you can adjust it to yours.

Dubuk Vade 2.jpg

Here’s the recipe for Dubuk Vade

Recipe serves ~ 3-4 persons

Ingredients

For the Rassa

2 onions, sliced

¼ cup dry coconut, grated (Khobra)

4-5 garlic cloves

Handful of fresh coriander leaves, cleaned and washed

2 teaspoons Kala Masala (or to taste)

1 teaspoon Red chilli powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

2+2 tablespoon oil, divided (or more if you like)

2 teaspoon Cumene seeds (jeera)

Salt to taste

Water as required

For the vade (dumplings)

¾ cup Besan, sieved (gram flour)

2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated

½- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)

Salt to taste

Method

To make the Rassa

Heat 2 tablespoon oil on an iron griddle or in an iron wok.

Add the onions and garlic and sauté till the onions start browning. Stir so that the onions and garlic are sautéed evenly.

Add the grated coconut and sauté till it just starts browning and starts emitting the aroma.

Add the coriander. Stir around to mix.

Take it off the heat and add the red chilli powder and kala masala.

Mix and cool completely.

Grind the masala, in a blender, using very little water to a smooth paste.

Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan/wok.

Add the cumin seeds.

Once they sizzle, add the ground masala and sauté.

Cook till the water evaporates and the oil starts oozing out, taking care not to burn the masala.

Add sufficient water (about 2 ½ -3 cups) to make a medium consistency gravy.

Season with salt and let the Rassa boil for a few minutes.

Meanwhile make the dumplings

Mix all the ingredients under dumplings. Add water to make a batter of dropping consistency (~ ½ cup)

Drop spoonfuls of the batter in the boiling Rassa, working quickly so that all the dumplings cook evenly. Add little water to the bowl/vessel in which you made the dumpling batter, whisk and add that to the gravy so that it will thicken a bit.

Cook for a few minutes till the dumplings are cooked through (about 8-10 minutes) and the gravy thickens a bit. (add water if it is too thick)

Serve hot with Jowar Bhakri or Rice, with a raw onion and lemon wedge on the side

Note: If you want that layer of oil floating on top, use more oil and chilli powder.

 

March 14, 2016 at 5:44 pm 8 comments

‘Tarridar’ brunch at Culture Kitchen’s ‘SoMarathi’-‬ Maharashtrian Brunch Sunday

I have always missed good quality ‘food Events’ in Nashik. Either I get to know about them after they are long over or then they are not worth the effort. I have had my share of disappointment in the past, with the typical food festivals happening in various hotels.

A few days back, Culture Kitchen -the restaurant with the most gorgeous Ambience in Nasik, announced ‘Somarathi’ its Maharashtrian Sunday Brunch event.

culture kitchen 024

I have to confess, I was very skeptical of the authenticity of the Misal that would be served at this ‘fine dining’ restaurant.Also our current favourite ‘Chulivarchi  (Chulha) Misal’ at Sadhana Restaurant has set the bar high!

The need to getaway and to enjoy some precious time with A, against the backdrop of the gorgeous view lured us to Culture kitchen this Sunday. Both kids promised to behave themselves after being assured of unlimited TV time and good food :).

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The spectacular landscape coupled with the cool breeze always makes the long drive worth the effort. A lazy start to the Sunday brunch, the place seemed to be quiet when we reached. A few minutes after admiring the view, we immediately got down to business-target was the Misal counter. The dry sprout base was served separately with 2 types of Rassa (gravy) Khandeshi and Nashik special. A chose the spicier Khandeshi Rassa and I chose the Nashik Rassa. All the assorted Misal toppings-farsans, onion, coriander,lime,papads etc. were spread out elaborately. I chose the diet chivda and whole wheat pav -just for a feel good factor. The breads I am told are baked in-house and were fantastic.

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The Rassa and Tarri (which I did not have) kept making an appearance at the table as and when we demanded. The accompaniments included Poha and mini batat vadas along with green chutney, which were ok. I was too focused on the Misal to care much about them though. The scrumptious, spicy  Misal made us forget that we are in a Fine dining restaurant and we gorged on it.

culture kitchen 006

The Masala Chaas was the star amongst the sides, it always is for us. A helped himself to bowls of Shrikhand and he loved it. There was a live egg Bhurji counter and I helped myself to some along with a cup of strong hot coffee. Stuffed to the Gills, all I wanted was a cozy nap after this hearty brunch.A quick stop at Sula, to buy more bottles of their Grapeseed oil and we were back home for that nap.

culture kitchen 070

At Rs.249/person, I think this is reasonably priced, considering we could eat just a light salad even for dinner! Also no after effects were observed the next day 🙂 As Rocky & Mayur would say-its value for money.

Capturing the beautiful landscape through my lens was an added bonus for me

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The #SoMarathi, Sunday Brunch will be on for next 7-8 Sundays, with a rotating menu, specially the sides.

January 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm 1 comment


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