I am considered a 100% Maharastrian thanks to my last name. But let me take this opportunity to clarify – I am a true Mumbaikar (Born & Brought Up) but I am not a Maharashtrian (as per the standard definitions). We are Deshasth Brahmins & speak kannada at home but watch more Marathi serials than hindi or kannada. We enjoy Marathi films, plays & love the food. Thanks to my friends & extended family, I have been introduced to other Maharashtrian communities.
I had seen pics/post’s by foodies on the #JWSaharGoesKonkan trail & their Guhagar visit. How distinct can be the cuisine from the usual Maharashtrian fair? Got my answers when I visited JW Marriot Sahar for the Konkanasta Brahmin food festival. The food is prepared under the guidance of Mrs. Kelkar from Diveagar who manages a lodge & serves authentic konkanasta food.
Started our evening with a Kokum Mojito which I really loved.
Coming to the food –
The 1st thing that caught my attention was this massive spread of papads & achaars.
Atleast 10-12 types of achaar, chutneys were available including – raw mango, lemon, etc. The surprise element was the panchamrut.
I have always had sweet Panchmrut made of milk, banana, honey, curd & ghee. But this one was a savory made with soaked methi seeds & dry fruits. Really interesting flavours. Picked some papads – rice, poha & tomato koshimbir (chopped tomato with grated green chilli & fresh grated coconut salad) & started my meal.
Sabudana Khichadi – Love at first sight & bite. OMG!!!! One of the best khichadi I have had. Made in Sajuk Toop (Pure Ghee) this was pure happiness.
For the main course we tried
Phansachi Bhaji – Raw Jackfruit Sabzi
Kajuchi Usal – Cashew Sabzi
Batatyachi Bhaji – Potato Sabzi
Dalimbi Chi Usal – Don’t know what’s it called in English
Masale Bhaat – Masala Rice
Varan – Dal.
I didn’t quite like the jackfruit sabzi. For me it had gone a little soggy/limp. Missed the bite. The kajuchi usal was an amazing 1st experience for me. Soft halves of cashews mildly flavoured with spices tasted really good. Who wouldn’t like boiled potato sabzi made is ghee & loaded with roasted peanut powder?? Brought a broad smile on my face. I don’t like dalimbi usal as it has a bitter after taste, so I couldn’t go beyond a spoon. The masala bhaat is an integral part of the maharashtrian meal. Fluffy rice with veggies like – carrot, green peas, tondali, etc was just perfect. With the basic seasoning of hing & jeera, the varan was divine.
I am a massive thaalipeeth fan & have been praised by family & friends for my thaalipeeth. When I saw the chef making them right there & serving, I waited for my turn. Served with chutneys – fresh coconut & dry-coconut & garlic – these were good as well. ( Being biased, I like my thaalipeeth’s more :))
Aamras, Mango Sewaiyaa Kheer with Saffron & Ukadiche Modak were for desserts. I am not a mango fan but I tasted the aamras & kheer. Top it with the ghee & I am sure you would love it. I couldn’t get over the modaks – perfectly pleated, these were just heavenly. Stuffed with the perfect filling of fresh grated coconut, jaggery, etc – How I wish I could have one right now. 😀
The only thing I missed at this meal was bhakri; that would have completed the meal for me.This food experience has made me really curious to know more about the cuisine, culture & the community as a whole. Thanks Guiltless Foodies for this awesome experience.
Would love to be part of such an awesome journey from the beginning & not just enjoy the food. J W Sahara team – anyone listening? 🙂