CKP Food Fest,Mumbai
Maharashtrian cuisine has great diversity.Each community has its own fare.What one sees in restaurants is Malvani food or Puneri Brahmin food.C.K.P or Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu is a Maharashtrian community that has its origins in the Indus Valley in Kashmir.Hence one sees the use of saffron and poppy seeds in their cuisine.The clan migrated via Madhya Pradesh to the Konkan coast and hence fish,tamarind and coconut were also added to their cuisine.Recently I had written about the Pathare Prabhu cuisine,another Maharashtrian community,which Bimba Nayak introduced us too
The Koli and Pathare Prabhu communities display their food for the public every year.CKPs had their exhibition in Thane but this year it was at Khar.Some of my relatives are CKP and having tried their food, I just had to visit this exhibition.
Like the Pathare Prabhus,CKPs are fun loving and progressive minded.The typical CKP Prawns Lipte was on display...a gravy made with onions and tamarind.Vaalache Birde which is their sprouts dish was also available.The distinct CKP Masalas are the Lal-Tikhat made of Sankeshwari chillies,fennel seeds and coriander seeds and the Tadla Masala,made of fried onion,dried coconut and gram masala
Meat is a substantial part of their cuisine,maybe the Kashmiri influence?
Like Pathare-Prabhus,CKPs use lot of prawns....as in prawns khichadi above and jwala sukhe (tiny shrimp) below.Sode and Sukat are the dried variety.Sodyachi Bharli Vangi was on sale.Picked up a lovely book on CKP cuisine by Bhanumati Gupte.Her daughter Waradha Churi has written a book on five cuisines(Italian,Thai,Chinese,Mexican and Lebanese)
My cousin picked up Prawns Lonche (Pickle) and Ninava (CKP sweet).The Prawns Khichadi picture is taken by Soumitra Velkar who cooks Pathare Prabhu food for people via Meal Tango.The picture below is by my cousin Swati Arte whose mom-in-law is CKP.
We shared our table with a endearing CKP couple,the Guptes.Mrs Gupte's family is associated with the Kulkarni auditorium where the fest took place. Mrs Gupte told me how eating habits of people have changed,incorporating other cuisines,thanks to travel,marrying out of community and also health concerns as some dishes are rich.Hence it is great to have an event that keeps one's community cuisine alive.Incidentally Mrs Bharti Gupte is a matrimonial matchmaker
There were also people from other communities that came to the exhibition
The grand fest was organized by Sameer Gupte and Monica Pradhan
The good food got everyone dancing to Marathi songs :) Me included