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.

20180927_101747.jpg

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.

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.

20180719_224732.jpg

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.

20180706_221249.jpg

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.

KŌLAMBĪ PIE

(PRAWN PIE)

As many members of the Pathare Prabhu community were employed with the British, baking and other cooking techniques became a part of their cuisine…….Pies, savoury puddings, shortcrust crescent pastries, fritters, sour dough breads, etc. evolved during the era of the British Raj…… Kōlambī Pie is the robustly spiced version of the traditional Shepherd’s Pie of the British…… It can be served as main course with garlic bread and salad……..Can also be served as a snack.

20180819_004144.jpg

INGREDIENTS : For Filling – 350 gms prawns, 4 onions, 6-8 garlic cloves, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp Prabhi Sambhar Masala, mango powder to taste, salt to taste, coriander leaves, oil.
For Pie Crust : 4 potatoes, 1/2 – 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, salt to taste, egg yolk.

DIRECTIONS : Clean the prawns…… Finely chop onions & coriander leaves…… Crush the garlic…… Boil and mash the potatoes……. Lightly beat the egg yolk……20180811_231852.jpg

Filling : Heat oil…… Add crushed garlic…… Sauté…… Add chopped onions…… Sauté till translucent……. Now add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, Prabhi Sambhar Masala, a pinch of mango powder……. Sauté till fragrant……..20180811_230141.jpg Add prawns & salt…… Mix till prawns are well coated…….Sauté on high flame……. When it is almost done add the chopped coriander leaves……20180811_230723.jpg Mix….. Take off the heat…… The filling is done…..Keep aside to cool.20180811_230436.jpg
Pie crust : Add cumin powder, chilli powder & salt to the mashed potatoes…….20180811_142308.jpg Mix thoroughly…….20180811_230923.jpg Divide the mashed potatoes into two parts.
Assembling the pie : Grease the pie dish well…….. Press one part of the mashed potatoes to cover the base……..20180811_231011.jpg Spread the prawn filling evenly………20180811_231448.jpg Cover the filling with the rest of the mashed potatoes…….. Seal from all ends…… Make pattern with a fork……..20180811_231549.jpg Brush the top with oil……. Bake, in a preheated oven, at 180 degree Centigrade for about 20-25 mins or till browned…….. Take out the pie from the oven……. Liberally brush with lightly beaten egg yolk…….. Bake for another 5-7 mins till it turns golden brown……20180811_231741.jpg Serve hot.

NOTES : This pie can be also be made with tiny white prawn called Karandi in Marathi…….. Then it becomes Karandi Pie……. One can add a handful of boiled peas to the filling…… Chilli powder and other spices can be adjusted according to taste.

TALALĒLĒ SARPADANŚA

(FRIED SNAKE GOURD)

Pathare Prabhu community are thorough non vegetarians…….. But during festivals and certain occasions they have elaborate vegetarian meals…….. Fried Snake Gourd is one such dish……. Snake gourd is called Sarpadansá in Marathi…… Snake gourd is a low calorie vegetable which aids in digestive process, reduces the effects of bloating & constipation, improves blood circulation, prevents scalp disorders, prevents respiratory problems, etc…….. Fried snake gourd can be served with steamed rice and dal (lentil curry)…… It can be also be served as snacks or as starters.

20180819_000848.jpg

INGREDIENTS : 100 gms Snake Gourd, a pinch of Turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp Prabhi Sambhar Masala, Salt to taste, 1-2 tbsp rice flour, Oil.

DIRECTIONS : Peel the snake gourd……. Cut into two halves lengthwise…… Discard the fibrous bits from the inside……. Chop…….20180813_140145.jpg Heat enough oil for deep frying……..Salt the snake gourd pieces……. Rest for a minute….. Drain out the liquid that comes out of snake gourd…… Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Prabhi Sambhar Masala…… Mix well with to coat the snake gourd…… Now dredge with rice flour…….20180813_140431.jpg Deep fry in oil over medium heat till done……20180819_000628.jpg Take out and keep it on tissue to soak excess oil….. Serve hot.

NOTES : Salting of the snake gourd should be done just before frying…… If the salt is left on for too long, the texture of the gourd will be ruined due to loss of too much moisture…… While heating oil one must be careful…… If the oil is not hot enough, lot of oil will be absorbed and the dish will be ruined……… If the oil reaches smoking point, the snake gourd will burn resulting in bitterness….. Red chilli powder can be adjusted according to taste.

ANANAS SAMBHARE

(PINEAPPLE CURRY)

A Pathare Prabhu meal is incomplete without a coconut milk based curry……. No Pathare Prabhu wedding feast is complete without this wonderful sweet & spicy Ananas Sambhare…….. Ananas means pineapple…… This delicious fruit contains disease fighting antioxidants, helps in digestion, suppresses inflammation, boosts immunity, etc……. Coconut milk has many benefits too…… It strengthens the bones, helps prevent anemia, improves digestion, boosts the immune system, has antibacterial, antiviral & antifungal properties, etc.

20180819_003419.jpg

INGREDIENTS : 200 gms chopped pineapple, 2 green chillies, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, a pinch of asafoetida, 1 tbsp besan (gram flour), 1 cup coconut milk, 3 tsp sugar, Salt to taste, water, 1 tsp oil.

DIRECTIONS : Chop the pineapple……. Slit one green chilli…. Chop the other green chilli in thin slices………20180819_002343.jpg Mix besan with 3 tbsp water to make thick smooth paste……20180819_002450.jpg Heat oil on a medium flame…… Add slit green chilli and a pinch of asafoetida….. After a few seconds add the pineapple pieces & turmeric powder……20180819_002606.jpg Sauté…….. Add 1 & 1/2 cup water and stir……..20180819_002728.jpg Simmer till pineapple pieces soften…….. Mix in sugar and salt…..20180813_132328.jpg Simmer….. Now mix in the besan paste stirring constantly but lightly to prevent any lump formation………20180819_002959.jpg Add coconut milk…..20180813_132607.jpg Stir…..20180819_003302.jpg The moment it simmers, put off the flame…….. Garnish with thinly sliced green chillies…….. Serve hot with steamed rice.

NOTES : Adjust green chillies according to taste……. Can add cashewnuts – for this add cashewnuts while sautéing pineapple pieces…… One can adjust consistency of the gravy, according to taste, by increasing/decreasing water/coconut milk.

PATHARE PRABHU STYLE SHEKTACHYA SHENGA BHAJI

Pathare Prabhu name for Drumsticks is Shektachya Shenga……. Drumsticks are pods of the tree Moringa oleifera….. This superfood is considered to be therapeutic with a very high nutrition content……… Drumsticks are beneficial for fighting cold & flu, digestive disorders, lung problems, glowing skin, strong bones, avoiding infections, improving nervous & immune system, reducing diabetic level, etc….. One should choose plump and fleshy drumsticks for cooking.

20180811_221115.jpg

INGREDIENTS : 2-3 drumsticks, 1 onion, 1/4 tsp cumin, a pinch of asafoetida, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1-2 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp Prabhi sambhar masala, 2-3 tsp sugar, salt to taste, 1-2 tsp oil, 1/2 cup water, coconut, coriander leaves.

DIRECTIONS : Peel the tough green outer layer of the drumsticks…….. Cut into finger sized pieces………20180811_125322.jpg Finely chop the onion and coriander leaves……. Grate the coconut……. Heat oil…… Add cumin and asafoetida……. When the cumin splutters add chopped onions…….. Stir fry till the onions are translucent…….. Now add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Prabhi sambhar masala, sugar, salt and the drumstick pieces……..20180811_220655.jpg Stir and add water……..20180811_220829.jpg Cover and cook…….20180811_220931.jpg When it is almost done add grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves…….20180811_221224.jpg Cover and cook again for a few more minutes……..20180811_225233.jpg Serve hot with rice/ chapatis.

NOTE : This dish is little sweetish…… One can adjust sugar according to taste……. Also adjust chilli powder according to taste.

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.

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.