Maharashtrian cuisine and food habits are unique like its topography, grace and hospitality. As the topography changes so does the cuisine have dramatic changes as one crosses over from the Konkan region and the steep Sahyadris to the desh or plateau region. In the Konkan region fresh water as well as sea fish is popular ingredient while in the desh region it is Jowar and Bajra made bhakari. Food lover Marathi manoos has over the centuries not only gracefully imbibed influences from the neighboring states but has also influenced the cuisine elsewhere. For e.g. the ubiquitous Sambar of South India finds its roots in the amti / aambat god waran of the Maharashtrian cuisine while the rice based Chitranna borrowed from the neighbouring Karnataka is a favorite in many a households.
Jowar, bajra, wheat with toor and moong dal have traditionally been the staple foods of Maharashtrian cuisine while rice was a staple grain in the Konkan region until 100 years ago.
Maharashtrian cuisine can be distinguished based on its region as follows-
- Konkan region- which uses a lot of rice, fish, kokam and coconut for food preparation.
- Nashik-Pune-Kolhapur region- which uses jowar, bajra, wheat and rice. Draws influences from Gujarat and Karnataka for many recipes.
- Aurangabad- Parbhani-Nanded region- spicy food and draws influence, especially for meat based recipes from Hyderabad.
- Vidharba region- tends to be less spicy and has generally remained true to the core Maharashtrian cuisine.
The Maharashtrian cuisine has given the world Bhakari made from jowar or bajra, peethala a side dish prepared from besan and yogurt, the concept of wadi and Usal and its variant the famous Misal. A Maharashtrian can make wadi, a flat square formation, from any possible basic ingredient be it rava/sheera wadi, kothimbir wadi, khobra wadi or alLu wadi.
Today, we will talk about Thalipeeth, a multigrain roti type of preparation. Though the origins of this tasty recipe cannot be traced to any particular era it is unique since it has its own ashthastkam written in its praise in Sanskrit. A part of the ashthastkam presented at the end of the blog, talks of how different grains are crushed together by the grinding stone, mixed with water and pound with hands to make a tasty thalipeeth. It exhorts Bharatiyaas to come together in a similar way irrespective of their caste or varnas to work hard for the development of their self as well as that of the country. To create a unified country that will not exhibit individual properties but will blend with others.
1 cup Wheat Flour
½ cup Jawar Flour
½ cup Besan Flour
½ cup Rice Flour (optional)
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp of sesame seeds
1 small piece of ginger grated
½ cup finely chopped coriander leaves
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped tomato (optional)
Red Chili powder or 2-3 finely chopped green chilies as per your preference
1 tsp oil
Salt as per taste
Mix all the different flour in a mixing bowl. Add garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric powder, grated ginger, coriander leaves, onions and tomato and mix everything well with the flours.
Start adding water slowly to the mixture while continuously kneading the dough. Knead the dough till it is stiff (slightly more stiff than what is used for rotis or phulkas)
Set the dough aside for 10 minutes.
Take a rolling board or flat smooth cutting board. Apply a few drops of oil to the surface.
Take a 2 in. ball of the dough and start flattening it out on the surface in circle with fingers. Make a hole in the middle.
Heat ½ to 1 tsp of oil in a flat skillet
Place the flattened thalipeeth on the skillet and allow it to be cooked well from both sides. Keep turning till it is some what cooked. On the top surface sprinkle a few sesame seeds and let it get completely cooked.
Thalipeeth is best enjoyed with fresh bowl of curd and a side of tamarind or peanut lasoon chutney.
न किं जातिभेदो न किं वर्णभेदो दृढं द्रुश्यतेअस्ममासु सृष्टेः स्वाभावात् |
प्रसङ्गे सति त्वेकातमेव यामो न च द्वैतबुद्धिस्तदा बाधते नः ||1||
अहो भारतीया इमामेव रीतिं निजश्रेयसे सर्व एवानुयायात् |
न वा जातिभेदो न वा वर्णभेदो मनगिष्टलाभे भवत्वान्तरय: ||6||