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.