Once you are away from home, all you seek is memories to cherish from home, a set of good friends, and of course good food. Finding the right resources and the grocery to prepare the traditional family recipes can be daunting when travelling. Although London has all the possible outlets for different Indian communities say Gujrati, Punjabi, South Indian and Bengali. However, being a Marathi, I had to struggle initially to get hold of the right spice blends to satisfy my family’s palate for “assal”(true) marathi food. Although we have adapted out eating habits to suit the availability of the resources in English market, yet, a bowlful of ambat varan(dal), fiery chutney or thecha and the soft ghadichi poli(folded chapati) is so much comforting and gorged by my boys in no time with no fuss at all.
Abha Apte, a friend I met recently has got the solution for every marathi household living in and around London. She has a stock of most of the authentic Maharashtrian grocery and snacking goodies. To enlist a few of her products:
Chitale namakin mix/ corn chiwada/ kharee bundi
Chitale gulabjam and dhokla mix
Sohum rajagira roll
Sohum special bhakari peeth(jowar flour)
Sohum gavhachi kanik(wheat flour)
Bedekar lasoon/ shengdana/ javas/ teelvand karale chutney
Bedekar Sunday masala
Bedekar Goda masala
Prakash kolhapuri thecha
Sohum thalipeeth bhajani
Rasoi magic masalas’
You may contact her on 01183775995 or 07905187699
Abha has future plans to make these products available online for others out there. Wait and watch the space:)
I am absolutely pleased with the products Abha has provided me with. The products in italics are the ones which I have used and extremely happy with the results on my table…especially because I love experimenting and developing recipes.
My polya(chapatis’) are as soft as they can be. I had never had such good results with my chapatis’ ever since I arrived in UK. Back at home, I could make them well in advance in the morning and easily have them without any complaints. However, the cold and dry weather out here took toll on my chapatis’ , they lose the softness in no times. However, with Lokwan Ghavhache peeth, I have had my chapatis’ staying soft all day… Ghadi chi poli, fulke or the simple roti… I am damn pleased with the results. I even can freeze the dough a day in advance and use it the next day. Nope the dough doesn’t darken at all!!
We had a wholesome meal of Dal-Vanga(lentils and aubergine) and bhakri the other night. All thanks to the Bedekar’s goda masala I had.
The recipe of course is from my favourite cookery Geeta Ruchira by Kamalabai Ogale.
To make Dal-Vange you will need:
1 cupful of toordal
1 large aubergine chopped in cubes
1 tsp of mustard seeds
2 tsp of red chilli powder
Goda masala(I used Bedekar’s)
1/4 cup jaggery(I used a tablespoon of crushed jaggery)
1 tsp Tamarind pulp
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
curry leaves few
2 tsp coriander
salt to taste
chopped coriander for garnishing
Dry roast cumin, dessicated coconut and coriander and crush in mortar and pestle. Keep this aside.
Pressure cook the lentils till soft. In a separate pan, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Steam the aubergine cubes till soft. Add the softened dal(lentils) followed by chilli powder, goda masala, jaggery and tamarind pulp and the mix of dry roasted coriander-coconut and cumin seeds. Bring to simmer and garnish with chopped coriander. You may adjust the consistency by adding more water if you wish so.
Paired with Bhakris’ we made with Soham’s Bhakri peeth, the dinner was relished and loads of good wishes showered to Abha for such a good deed as bringing a little India to Berkshire:)
Check my Pull apart bread recipe
where I used Bedekar’s Lasoon-khobre chutney and Prakash Kolhapuri thecha. Thecha in the bread was relished by the boys in the house and I absolutely adored the taste of garlic-coconut chutney in my bread with a hot cuppa!!!
I hope you enjoyed this review. If you are a fan of Marathi food and love styling food, here is a giveaway on my blog. Do join in and have fun!!