Welcome to Varan Bhaat!
As any good Maharashtrian will testify, Varan Bhaat is soul food indeed! (For the uninitiated, this means Daal-Rice.)
This blog is filled with nostalgic memories and the flavours of my childhood.
Perhaps it’s a sign of age that as I wander through these memories of sunny kitchens, I can still see the puffed phulkas, jars of pickles drying in the summer sun, taste the tang of coconutty curries, smell steaming pots of crabs, sizzling kadhais of fried pomfret and ravas.
My resolve to recreate these for Rohan strengthens with every recipe I can find and recreate.
Indian food that is popular outside the country represents a tiny fraction of what you would eat in India. And Maharashtrian food is less familiar even to most Indian palates. (Mumbaikars, Vada pav and missal do not count.)
This blog, however, is meant to be quite specific. It is my effort to gather family recipes from a cuisine that belongs to a microcosmic community of Maharashtrians known as the ‘Pathare Prabhus’.
Don’t expect to Google the term to find out more. The tiny Wiki article you will come across does not even begin to do justice to this people.
The PPs (as they are referred to) are a Maharashtrian community from Mumbai, India. Legend has it that this community is one of the oldest residents of the island of Mumbai. A progressive community that loves its food and culture and values education, family and the vibrant PP community. PPs love celebrations and find joy in life.
I hope I am able to take Rohan on this enticing and soul satiating journey of discovering Pathare Prabhu food and that I am able to do justice to this jewel of a cuisine.
‘There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”
George Bernard Shaw, I couldn’t agree with you more.