Pathare Prabhu Food Festival 2012
There are very few community festivals...the Koli festival being very prominent and the Pathare Prabhu festival which was held on 3rd and 4th November 2012 at the Pathare Prabhu hall at Khar.Pathare Prabhus were one of the earlier settlers of Mumbai and owned properties in Girgaum,Fort,Malad,Uran and Bhayander.Even today, majority of Khar is owned by them.They started the Mahalakshmi Temple in Mumbai and Bhaucha Dakka Jetty.
Actually it's quite interesting to observe that some facial characteristics are typical to each community and one can guess this on seeing a person.
I was invited by Bimba Nayak from whom I learnt Malvani cooking.She also teaches cuisine of Pathare Prabhus.She made a Kojagiri special thali on the last day which had Dudh Pohe and nonveg items.
On Sunday morning the Beetroot Sambhari stood out...a lavender colored veg gravy!
The menu at the exhibition was different on Saturday evening,Sunday morning and night.On the first day,there was a display of food that they make for welcoming a bridegroom and bride (Fula Bharnyachi Thali) though that day it was for the Chief Guest eligible bachelor and popular foodie Kunal Vijayakar :)
Other prominent Pathare Prabhus include Pramod Navalkar,Shreyas Talpade and Jayshree T.
Was introduced to the Koli women who had made sure excellent catch was available for the dishes.The Ghol Bhujane and Kolambi Che Khadkhadle were indeed spectacular!
Day one, I met the bubbly couple Kurush and Rhea Dalal and the sweet and gentle Megha Goyal,all fellow bloggers.We had the Bhanola ....which is a baked dish made of gram flour and shrimps.This community loves to add prawns to food....be it poha or bhanola! A unique dish was the Bombil Mumbra which was a baked dish made of Rajali Banana,Rice Rava and Bombay Duck.Chutneyche Saranga or Chutney Stuffed Pomfret was hugely popular that day.
Day two had Biryani,Curries and Kheema Pao made by the Dhurandhars
I must admit to not having many food pictures cos there was a long queue and I was making sure I got to try every possible dish.The Ghol curry at Pant Bhavan Girgaum stall was well flavoured and fresh.The Stuffed Pomfret was sold out but Bimba kept the last one for me!
Pathare Prabhus (like most other Maharashtrian communities) have their special masala called Pathare Prabhu Sambhar Masala which has dhania,jeera,rai,red chillies,whole wheat,methi seeds,hint,pepper, haldi and most importantly Channa Daal.
I picked up a DVD by Kalpana Talpade which had simple videos on nonveg cooking.She shows curries such as Solacha,Methkoot,Athla,Purnacha,Kalvan,Khadkhadla and Bhujna.These involve mixing masalas,adding water and cooking for few minutes on a slow fire,preferably in a wide bottom vessel,without much oil..Kel Bombil is banana and Bombay duck cooked on gas.They also have their own bread using homemade yeast
At the exhibition was a stall by Reena Dhairyawan with artwork using paper quilling.
Another stall had Warli art.
Since Diwali was round the corner,there was a stall selling rangolis.
If u are a music fan,then watch out for the Pathare Prabhu Idol!! At an auditorium next weekend!
Considering there was so much food around,it was no surprise to see a counter for Body Fat Analysis :)
The monthly publication of this community is the Prabhu Prabhat.
Stunning Pathare Prabhu jewelry was displayed by Sanskriti run by Chhaya and Trupti Talpade.Above is a pearl set given during engagements
All in all,it was an informative fest. Food,art,music and colorful costumes! This was their first time and it was a great effort and I hope to see more food stalls in the future!
My friend Pradeep Rao(@pprao) visited it on day one and thought it was brilliant.He thought it would bring out the pride in their community for the youngsters as it displays food and customs to others.Pradeep is welltravelled all over the country and the world and he said he had never seen or eaten some of the things that were there....and that is really saying something!!
My Malayalee friend Anna Thomas said "For me it was a beautiful way they keep the traditions alive over centuries,meeting the families participating who can trace their origins back to the Nepalese king Ashwapati.I thought its an awesome way they ve kept and passed on their culture to the future generations and shared it so generously with the rest of us.."
If only all other communities all over our country would take cue and have such programmes! As for now,I have learnt how to be a Sokaji...a bon vivant! Cheers!!