Rural Food at Mahalaxmi Saras Exhibition 2013
Attended the Mahalaxmi Saras Exhibition for the first time.I know it's not going to be my last...This is set up by the Govt to promote rural fare.There are stalls with handicrafts and food from small scale food industries from interiors of Maharashtra and some other states
The first stall I came across had roasted millets or Nachni...wholesome cereals which can be made into a porridge or a bhakri
Then there was Ukadi Tandul which is small grained and fibre rich.It is used to make rice, gruel and rice dosas or Ghavan.
They also had Kharwas which is made from cow's colostrum and is mixed with nutmeg and coconut and slowly cooked.This is available in most Maharashtrian cuisine restaurants as dessert.
Next was a stall with cashewnuts, Kokum and Haldi from Sindhudurg
Another stall had freshly pound Thecha,which has Sankeshwari Red Chillies ground with garlic and lemon and is eaten with Bhakri or Khichdi
Bor and Chickoos from Bhima Shankar area were also on sale.
As was red jaggery which the ladies told me was organic
Also came across Butter made from Kokum seeds and used to heal cracks on soles.
These were at a Vengurla stall which also had kokum for sale.Kandlele Pohe or Brown Poha was also for sale....amazingly healthy breakfast dish
Next was the Jawas or Flaxseed Chutney....omega 3 fat source for vegetarians
Spotted fresh ginger which they said would stay really long without spoiling...it was fragrant!
Saw Clay Pot and other clays vessels and made a mental note to go back for them.So much healthier to use!
The Food Court was at the back and had an astounding number of stalls.I didn't finish seeing all of them.Veg food like Thalipeeth,Bhakri-Bhaaji,Pancakes and Puran Polis to nonveg items like Pandhara Rassa,Tambada Rassa,Fish Curry,Malvani Thali and what not.
I had delicious Malvani food for lunch...low in oil and spices as compared to the fare in Mumbai restaurants.Food here is what you would get if you were to visit homes in villages
One of the most interesting stalls at the Food Court was one from Khondamali,Nandurbar which had an upturned vessel over a gas (in villages,it's over a chulla) for making puranpolis.
These Puranpolis or Mande were made with wheat flour and channa dal stuffing but coated with bajra flour to ensure they did not break.They were spread by hand only and not by the rolling pin.The cook flipped it in the air in the same way an Italian chef would flip a pizza...and then put it on the vessel called Khapar to cook on a low flame.
At this stall,I also picked up a mix of jowar flour with spices and Khandesh masala.I would highly recommend you carry a map of Maharashtra to see which place the stall food is from.
The Exhibition has bajra and jowar for sale
and Gavti Tur...for making a simple vegetable
There were stalls with handicrafts.Uttam Shende from Gadchiroli makes beautiful artwork out of driftwood he finds in the forests and by lakes and rivers.He says he is blessed to find art created by nature and then polishes them and presents them to the world.He has won several awards.
Today he created a piece of art to represent the Universe with all creatures in it living in symbiosis and Man at the top of the chain.The man apologized for not being dressed properly cos he had been working.
The piece above has been made from Bamboo
Was heartening to see the humble Kolhapuri Chappal
Another stall had stunning woodwork...like the Parliament above.
Went again to the exhibition....read here for the next day's experience
This annual exhibition is not to be missed.Conveniently located at Bandra Reclamation,opp Lilavati Hospital....this is the closest you can get to rural fare in an urban city like Mumbai...