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.

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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.

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.

TAVSALI

Cucumber Cake is called by East Indian Community as Tavsali……. Tavsali gets its name from the Konkani word Tavshe……. Tavshe means cucumber……. Very easy to make, the texture of Tavsali is light, moist and soft……. Cucumber cake is generally made from large and ripe yellow cucumbers.

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INGREDIENTS : 1 large cucumber, 1 cup semolina, 1 cup jaggery, 3/4 cup fresh grated coconut, 4-5 green cardamoms, cashew nuts as needed, coconut oil/ghee.

DIRECTIONS : Wash and peel the yellow cucumber…… Cut into half…… Remove the seeds….. Grate the cucumber…… Don’t discard the cucumber juice…… Keep aside….. In the meantime, roast the semolina till fragrant….. Keep aside…. Powder the cardamoms……. Chop few cashew nuts.

Take a bowl……. Mix roasted semolina, grated cucumber with all its juice, freshly grated coconut, jaggery, cardamom powder and chopped cashew nuts…… Mix well to get a batter of medium consistency without lumps……. Keep aside for at least 1 hour.

Take a container….. Grease with ghee……. Pour the batter…….. Heat some water in the pressure cooker…… Keep the container containing batter in the pressure cooker…….20180427_004229.jpg Cover the container………20180427_004410.jpg Cover pressure cooker with lid…….20180408_115910.jpg Steam for 30-40 mins……. Check whether it is done by inserting a knife….. If the knife comes out clean, then it is done……20180427_004502.jpg Cool the cake a little and take out by inverting the container on a plate……20180427_003736.jpg Decorate with cashew nuts…….20180405_204441.jpg Serve warm…… One can also serve it with some ghee/milk…… Cucumber cake can be served wit thickened milk/condensed milk…..20180427_005006.jpg

One can bake Tavsali instead of steaming it……. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30-45 mins.

NOTE : If yellow cucumber is not available, then one can use regular green cucumbers……. If using green cucumbers, one does not need to remove seeds…… Increase/decrease jaggery according to the sweetness required……. If the consistency of the batter is too thick, one can add a little milk/coconut milk…… On can use steamer or Electric cooker too.

ARROZ FUGATH (WEDDING PULAO)

Portuguese call the rice Arroz……. East Indian Community call their rice dishes Arroz too…… Arroz Fugath, or as the East Indians call it, Wedding Rice/Pulao, is a sweetish pulao mixed with dry fruits….. Goes very well with spicy side dishes.

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INGREDIENTS : 2 cups Basmati Rice, 400-500 gms onion, 8-10 cloves, 2″-3″cinnamon, few cashew nuts, few raisins, few cranberries (dried), salt to taste, oil, 4 cups water, boiled eggs.

DIRECTION : Wash the rice thoroughly…… Soak in water for 1/2 an hour….. Drain….. Keep aside……. Slice the onions……. Heat oil…… Fry the onions till golden brown…… Remove and keep aside…… Fry the dry fruits and keep aside.20180504_154814.jpg
Heat oil……. Add rice and half of the fried onions……20180504_155410.jpg Stir fry…….20180504_155531.jpg Add cloves, cinnamon and salt……20180506_154017.jpg Stir fry….. Add water…..20180506_153836.jpg Let the water come to a boil……. Cover…..20180506_153741.jpg Cook till done……. Garnish with Fried onions, dry fruits, boiled eggs…..20180504_163122.jpg Serve hot.

NOTE : Can use ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil……. Any dry fruits available at home can be used….. Can sprinkle coriander leaves as garnish too.

FUGIYAS

A big favourite of the East Indian Community, Fugiyas is a sort of fried bread…… Fugiyas is a must at weddings and festivities…… Slightly sweet, they are soft & spongy melt in the mouth round balls…… Fugiyas are delicious and can be had any time of the day….. Can be had with tea….. Also goes very well with meat curries like Indyal (vindaloo), sarpotel, etc.

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INGREDIENTS : 1/2 kg Maida (white flour), 1 egg, 1tsp yeast, 2tbsp sugar, salt to taste, 1/4 cup oil, water, oil to fry.

DIRECTIONS : Mix yeast & sugar with lukewarm water and keep aside to let it rise……. In the meantime, sift maida…… Warm the oil….. Now mix maida, egg, salt, risen yeast, warm oil and lukewarm water to form a smooth pliant dough……20180408_103815.jpg Cover the dough and keep aside in a warm place for at least least 2-3 hours so that the dough rises. 

Heat oil…… Wet the palms …… Hold the dough with the left hand…….20180427_005219.jpg Firmly press out through forefinger and thumb……20180427_005317.jpg With wet right hand lift the ball…..20180427_005432.jpg Drop the balls carefully in the hot oil…… Fry till light golden over medium heat….20180408_133657.jpg With slotted spoon remove the Fugiyas from oil…… Transfer to a tissue paper lined bowl….. Serve hot.

NOTE : While frying, don’t overcrowd….. Sugar can be increased or decreased according to taste.

MUTTON INDYAL

East Indian Community popularly call Vindaloo dish Indyal or Indad…… Indyal can me made with pork, chicken or fish too…. Weddings or feasts of this community must have this dish…… Best combination with Indyal is Fugiyas.

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Ingredients : 1 kg mutton, 2″ginger, 20-25 garlic cloves, 15-20 red dry Kashmiri chillies, 2 tbsp cumin, 1/4 cup sugarcane vinegar, oil, salt to taste.

Directions : Wash the mutton, apply salt and keep aside…… Roast the cumin seeds……. Soak the Kashmiri red chillies in hot water for at least 15 mins……. Grind the ginger, garlic, red Kashmiri chillies (If one wants the dish to be less hot, slit the chillies and remove the seeds) and cumin with sugarcane vinegar to make a very fine paste……20180427_004638.jpg Marinate the salted mutton with the ground paste and enough oil…..20180427_004818.jpg Add more salt if required…..20180427_004934.jpg Keep aside for at least an hour……. Place the marinated meat in pressure cooker…….20180427_005102.jpg Add water according to the gravy required and place on medium heat for about half an hour…….20180408_115910.jpg Serve hot with Fugiyas……. 20180408_132520.jpgGoes well with bread and steamed rice too.

NOTE : Marinated meat kept overnight tastes even better……. Increase or decrease chillies according to taste…… Quality & sourness of vinegar is very important, so increase or decrease it accordingly…… This dish tastes even better the next day or the day after.