APPE

Appe are small and sweet and is made with semolina……… Pathare Prabhus generally make them during varIous festivals…….. Appe get their unique look due to being cooked in appe pan that has depressions…… Delicious appe can be served as dessert or can be had as snacks with tea or coffee.20180719_230937.jpg

INGREDIENTS : 1 cup Semolina, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tsp ghee, 1 tsp poppy seeds, a pinch of cardamom powder, a pinch of nutmeg powder, few raisins, oil for frying.

DIRECTIONS : Soak semolina in warm milk for at least an hour……. Now add sugar, ghee, poppy seeds, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and raisins…….20180706_164302.jpg Gently mix the batter…… Leave aside the batter for at least half an hour……. Batter should be of dropping consistency.20180719_230446.jpg

Heat oil in the appe pan……..20180719_230635.jpg Drop batter in the depressions and fry on low flame…… When the appe’s lower surface becomes golden brown, turn them so as to fry the upper surface…..20180719_230746.jpg Serve hot.20180719_230835.jpg

NOTE : Increase/decrease sugar according to taste……. If required, add milk to batter to get dropping consistency…… Can add chopped dry fruits according to taste.

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PRABHI SAMBHAR MASALA

Central to the Pathare Prabhu Cuisine is the Prabhi Sambhar Masala…….. This aromatic spice mixture enhances the taste of dishes when added…… Each family of this community have their own traditional recipe of this masala which is generally a closely guarded secret.

Prabhi Sambhar Masala can be made easily at home.20180718_003619.jpg

INGREDIENTS : 2 tbsp Chana Dal (Bengal split gram), 2 tbsp Wheat, 1 1/2 tbsp Cumin, 8 tbsp Coriander, 1/2 tsp Fenugreek, 1 1/2 tbsp Black mustard, 1 pinch Asafoetida powder, 1 tsp Turmeric powder, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 15-20 Red chillies.20180718_003311.jpg

DIRECTIONS : Excluding asafoetida powder and turmeric powder, dry roast all the remaining ingredients…….. Cool……… Now add asafoetida and turmeric powders…….. Grind the spice mixture to a fine powder…….20180718_100415.jpg Prabhi Sambhar Masala is ready……… Store in an air tight container.

NOTE : One can increase or decrease red chillies according to taste……. If Kashmiri red chillies are used , colour will be very good without being too hot.

PATHARE PRABHU CUISINE

Known as the builders of modern Mumbai, Pathare Prabhus are also known for their special cuisine…… While migrating through Rajasthan, Gujarat, Deccan, Pathare Prabhus picked up different nuances of the cuisines of these states and made it their own……. Smt.Laxmibai Dhurandhar wrote the first Marathi Cookbook called Gruhinimitra in 1910.

Pathare Prabhu cuisine, in many ways, is like the cuisine of the Konkan Region……. Due to the proximity to the sea coast, Prabhus love seafood like White pomfrets, Black pomfrets, Rawas, Ghol, large prawns, lobsters, etc…… At the core of this cuisine is their masala, Prabhi Sambhar Masala, which is a mix of various spices in definite proportions.

Except for certain occasions, the Prabhus love to have non vegetarian food throughput the year……. In earlier days, when game was allowed, their menu included pigeons, partridges, quails, rabbits and venison…….. Being lovers of non vegetarian food, the Prabhus took many traditional Maharashtrian recipes and made it their own by adding mutton, prawns, etc. to them……. Like they stuffed minced prawns in Alu chi wadi (Steamed rolled colacasia leaves), added prawns to Upma, stuffed Karanji (generally sweet) with minced mutton, etc……. They even added prawns/ Ghol fish/ dried prawns/ dried bombil (Bombay duck)/ meat to traditional Gujarati Undhiyo ( a vegetable dish made with potatoes, aubergine and seasonal vegetables) and made it their own calling it Ghada (earlier cooked in earthen pots buried under sand).

Pathare Prabhus also developed several items that are unique…… They made Pav (their version of sour dough bread) at home which goes very well with Aamras (mango purée)……. Kelebombil, fried Bombay ducks stuffed with mashed ripe bananas, is rather unique……. Prabhus picked up baking techniques from the British……… Karandi (prawn) pie is very similar to Shepherd’s pie, but with spicy prawn filling…….. Usually coconut is not used much in this cuisine…….. Grated coconut and coconut milk are used only in certain items….. Dried fruits are liberally used in their desserts.

Thus Pathare Prabhu Cuisine is an unique influenced cuisine of Maharashtra…….. Traditional with modern outlook.

PATHARE PRABHU COMMUNITY

Pathare Prabhu Community is one of the earliest settlers in Mumbai……. Mumbai’s famous landmarks like Mahalakshmi Temple, Dadar’s Prabhadevi Mandir, Kalbadevi’s Shri Ram Mandir, Thakurdwar’s Gora Ram Mandir & Kala Ram Mandir, Dadar’s Kirtikar Market, Bhau-cha-Dhakka (Ferry Wharf), etc. were built by this community and are still in existence……. Prabhus were highly literate, well to do, great philanthropists……. Under the Portuguese and British, they occupied powerful positions and enjoyed special privileges…….Thus Pathare Prabhu Community enjoy a significant position in the History of Mumbai.

Pathare Prabhus migrated to Mumbai during the 13th century……. They are believed to be the descendants of King Ashwapati, Ruler of Nepal…… Records reveal the journey of this community from Nepal to Bombay (present day Mumbai) through Marwar, Rajputana, Gujarat and Deccan…….. On the way, they picked up many Rajput & Gujarati traditions…….. They are also known as Patane Prabhu (Lords of Patan)…… They usually speak Marathi…… The older generation spoke the Prabhi language (a combination of Gujarati & Marathi languages)……..Prabhus steadfastly cherish and preserve their culture.

Thus we arrive at the doorstep of another interesting & unique cuisine.