SOMVANSHI KSHATRIYA PATHARE (SKP) CUISINE

SKP cuisine is simple and flavourful……… Except for coconut curries, very little coconut is used…… The main flavour come from a traditional spice mixture – SKP Masala…… This cuisine is a potpourri of vegetables, eggs, fish and meat……. But SKP’s are partial towards seafood…….. Seasonal vegetables like drumsticks, brinjals, turnips, etc. are found in some seafood preparations……. Koshimbir is a must with every meal……. A Maharashtrian yoghurt based salad, koshimbir is served as an accompaniment as it balances the spices of the main course……..SKP cuisine has some unique koshimbirs………. Regular fresh vegetables are prepared with simple basic spices……. Interestingly, SKPs love adding sprouts to fresh vegetables….. This community prefer to cook desi chicken (free range)…… As accompaniments rice, chapatis and rice ghawan (crisp rice pancakes) are more common…….. Kombdi wade (mixed flour poori) are preferred with richer curries.

Gujarati influence can be be seen in some dishes……. During Sankranti, Ukad Handi is made…… Ukad Handi is very similar to Gujarati recipe Undhiyu…….. Both dishes are made during winter as a wide variety of seasonal vegetables are available during this period……… Literally meaning Boiled Pot, Ukad Handi is made by marinating vegetables like potatoes, raw bananas, beans, brinjals, suran, etc. with spices and pastes and filling them in earthen pots…….. These pots are sealed and placed in bonfire……. The vegetables cook in their own juices acquiring a lovely smoky and earthy aroma resulting in a healthy meal.

SKP cuisine is very simple and rustic making use of local ingredients and flavours.

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SOMVANSHI KSHATRIYA PATHARE COMMUNITY

Somvanshi Kshatriya Pathare (SKP) community is one of the few original residents of Mumbai……… Somvanshi literally means Descendants of the Moon……. They were highly educated and great philanthropists……. SKPs were very progressive in their outlook……. They promoted widow remarriage at a time when it was looked down upon.

SKP community have a unique history…….. This community seems to be an amalgamation of various clans migrating in from Utkal (now Orissa), Magadha (Ancient kingdom in present day Bihar), Mahishmati (Ancient city in present day Madhya Pradesh), Telangana, Dekkhan (Devgiri or Mungi Paithan) and Anhilvaad (Gujarat)…… Later all these clans united and inter-married……. Their Guru is Jagadguru Shankaracharya……. The descendants of Utkal Somvanshis worship Bhuvaneshwari Mahalakshmi……… Worshippers of Vajreshwari Mata belong to Anhilvaad and Magadha clans……..Dekkhan Somvanshis worship Ekvira Mata……. Mahikavati Mata is worshiped by the descendants of Mahishmati Somvanshis…….. SKP community is also known as Panchkalshi, Choukalshi, Vadval or Panmali.

SKP cuisine is highly influenced by the coast and its wide range of seafood.

CONCLUSION – PATHARE PRABHU COMMUNITY CUISINE

Due to their affluent lifestyle, Pathare Prabhus were often addressed as Sokajis…… Over the years, Pathare Prabhu cuisine has developed into a fine art……. While migrating through Rajasthan, Gujarat, Deccan, Pathare Prabhus picked up different nuances of the cuisines of these states and made it their own……. Thus their journey contributed to the unusual dishes one finds in the community.

Pathare Prabhu Community, usually, are Non Vegetarians……. But, particularly during various religious festivals, the vast repertoire of vegetarian dishes they cook are equally delicious…… Though these vegetarian dishes are prepared with elaborate attempts to make them look similar to non vegetarian ingredients…… For example, while cutting snake gourd for Fried Snake Gourd dish, the vegetable is chopped in such a way so that it resembles small prawns……. Similarly, while cooking Suran (Yam) Curry, it is cooked in such a way so that it is as similar to Mutton Gode as possible.

Being progressive, Pathare Prabhus picked up various cooking techniques like baking during the British Raj…….. Bhanole, a baked cabbage and prawns dish, is an interesting example of how this community adapted a western technique to suit their palate.

Other than the Prabhi Sambhar Masala, Pathare Prabhus have various spice blends which give their cuisine a distinctive subtlety …….. Prabhi Methkut is one such example…… One can cook Bombil Methkutache (Bombay Duck Curry) with this spice blend.

The meals are generally eaten with rice and khakra (chapatis slightly toasted with ghee)……. Coconut Milk Curry is a must…….. Sambhare, Kalvan, Sheer and Gode-Aatle are different types of Coconut Milk Curries.

Pathare Prabhu Cuisine is the result of migration of this community…… It has been wonderful journey through this marvellous cuisine.

KOJAGIRI KHEER

Kojagiri Purnima, an auspicious day, is the full moon day that falls in the month of Ashvin (September-October) of the Hindu calendar…….. Purnima means Full moon…….. Kojagiri Purnima marks the end of Monsoon season……. Pathare Prabhu community enjoy Kojagiri kheer very much……… They eat this kheer after sighting the full moon…….. According to Ayurveda, the end of Monsoon season aggravates pitta (acidity)…… To balance the pitta, cooling foods like beaten rice, cold milk, etc. are recommended.

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INGREDIENTS : 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup poha (beaten rice), 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch of saffron, 5-6 cardamoms, few cashew nuts, few resins.

DIRECTIONS : Boil milk in a thick bottomed pan on high flame…….20180927_100352.jpg When the milk starts boiling, reduce the flame…… Keep stirring the milk……. In the meantime, wash the poha…..20180927_100459.jpg Soak the poha in water for five minutes…… After about ten minutes of boiling the milk add soaked poha…… Stir…… After about five minutes add a pinch of saffron…….20180927_100657.jpg Stir…….. After about five minutes, add sugar…… Stir……. Crush the cardamoms………20180927_101128.jpg When the kheer reaches desired consistency, add crushed  cardamoms, cashew nuts and resins…….20180927_101043.jpg Stir…….. Remove from heat…… Cool……20180927_101238.jpg Refrigerate….. Serve garnished with cashew nuts & resins.

NOTES : One can use any dry fruits……. One can have this kheer warm too…… Adjust sugar according to taste.

TANDALACHE VADE

(RICE POORIS)

Rice is called ‘Tandul’ in Marathi language……. Poori (Fried Indian flatbread) is called ‘Vade’……. Being crisp on the outside and softer inside, Tandalache Vade go very well with curries…… Generally spices are added to rice flours……… Here boiled onions are added to make simple Vade…….. Can be had as main course with curries…… Can also be had as snacks with pickles.

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INGREDIENTS : 1 cup rice flour, 1-2 onions, salt to taste, water as required, oil for frying.

DIRECTIONS : Slice the onions…….. Boil the sliced onions in water till soft…….. Add salt according to taste……… Mix rice flour, boiled onions, 1 tsp oil, enough warm water (from boiled onions) thoroughly to form a smooth dough…….20180927_094651.jpg Cover…… Let the dough rest for at least half an hour……..20180927_094804.jpg Heat oil……. Make balls from the dough……..20180927_095532.jpg Apply a little oil to the palms…….Take a dough ball……..20180927_094847.jpg Press between two palms…….20180927_095023.jpg Vade should not be too thick nor too thin…… 20180927_095125.jpgDeep fry the pressed Vade till golden………20180927_095232.jpg Take out and keep it on tissue to soak excess oil……. Serve hot.

NOTE : One can make vade by mixing flours of lentils, corn, etc. with rice flour…….. If pressing between palms becomes difficult, one can take a plastic sheet…… Grease it lightly with oil…… Place the dough ball on it…… Flatten it with finger tips……. Alternatively, lightly press with the back of a plate.

MUTTON CURRY PATHARE PRABHU STYLE

Pathare Prabhu Community prefer mutton……. Mutton, in India, is generally referred to goat meat……. Prabhi Sambhar Masala gives this mutton dish a robust and delicious flavour.

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INGREDIENTS : 1/2 kg mutton, 4 medium potatoes, 6 onions, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 1/2 tbsp garlic paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 10 black peppercorns, 4 cloves, 1″ cinnamon stick, 3-4 green cardamoms, 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds, 8- 10 dried red Kashmiri chillies, 1/2 dried coconut, 1-2 tsp Prabhi Sambhar Masala, 1 tbsp ghee, salt to taste, 2 tbsp oil.

DIRECTIONS : Wash chopped mutton……. Keep aside…… Peel the potatoes and chop into two pieces…… Finely chop four onions…… Grate the dried coconut……. Roast two whole onions directly on the gas burner…….20180719_230050.jpg
Spice paste : Heat 1 tsp oil……Add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, coriander seeds and red chillies ……. Sauté till fragrant……. Cool…… Grind to a paste with chopped roasted onions………20180719_225829.jpg
Sauté grated dry coconut…… Cool…….. Grind.

Heat remaining oil…… Sauté chopped onion till golden brown…… Add ginger and garlic paste……. Sauté……. Add mutton…..20180715_141942.jpg
Add ground spice paste, coconut paste, Prabhi Sambhar Masala, turmeric powder and salt…….20180719_225628.jpg Sauté till the mutton is well coated…….. Add potatoes and 1 cup water…….20180719_225230.jpg Cover and cook till mutton is done and the gravy is thick…….. Add ghee…… Stir……20180719_225116.jpg Serve hot with steamed rice or chapattis.

NOTE : One can use unpeeled baby potatoes…… Chillies and black pepper can be adjusted according to taste….. Can use fresh grated coconut instead of dried coconut…… Can garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

SARANGYA CHE BHUJANE

Pathare Prabhu community ‘s comfort food is Bhujane…….. This simple tasty recipe can be made from ingredients generally available in Indian homes and is ready in a very short time…… Bhujane can be also made with eggs, prawns, Ravas fish, Ghol fish as also vegetables like potatoes……… Pomfret is called Saranga in Marathi language.

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INGREDIENTS : 3 small pomfrets, 2 onions, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 tbsp garlic paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp red chilli powder, a pinch of asafoetida, few sprigs coriander, 2 green chillies, salt to taste, 2 tbsp oil.

DIRECTIONS : Clean pomfrets thoroughly and cut into two pieces…… Chop the onions, green chillies and coriander finely……. Except the fish, mix all the ingredients in the cooking pan…….20180706_165931.jpg Crush all the ingredients with hand for at least 8-10 minutes till a homogenous paste is obtained……..20180706_152431.jpg Add as much water as is required to wash the hand crushing the ingredients……. Now add in the pomfret pieces and coat with the masala……20180706_152744.jpg Cook on high flame and bring me his to a boil…….. As soon as it boils, turn the heat down…….. Cover the pan with lid…….20180706_165429.jpg Cook on slow flame till the fish is done…….. Remove the lid, tilt and turn the pan so that the whole thing comes together…….20180706_164027.jpg Don’t stir with ladle……. Switch off the flame….. Cover with lid and let the curry cool down a bit…….Serve with steaming hot rice.

NOTE : Instead of small pomfrets, a big pomfret can be used…….. Chillies can be increased/ decreased according to taste…….. Crushing of the mixture with hand is a must otherwise the resultant curry will be runny……… Don’t stir with ladle as it could break the fish.