Thaalipeeth is a popular Maharashtrian griddlecake or flatbread – made from a variety of grains, or a combination of a few. Veggies are not a common ingredient, though my mum does add roasted and mashed aubergine, on occasion. This red pumpkin and peas combination is more unusual. I discovered it quite by accident and decided to experiment with it. The original recipe had a list of ingredients with hints and tips, but the rest was left to the chef’s intuition. So I made up the measurements on the fly.
My association with thaalipeeth is with winters, when the wind is blustery and your body needs some warming foods. Even when mother nature is playing truant and raining down unseasonally (and we’ve certainly witnessed our share in the last few weeks) – these make an ideal weekend brunch option.
150 grams whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons rice flour
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
300 grams red pumpkin, peeled and coarsely grated
1 cup peas
1 tablespoon ghee or oil (for kneading)
3-4 tablespoons ghee, melted (for cooking)
salt to taste
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
1 tablespoon cumin powder
3-4 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped
- Microwave the grated pumpkin for 2-3 minutes, until it is cooked enough to be mashed with a fork.
- Microwave the peas until cooked.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the whole wheat flour, rice flour, sesame seeds, ghee, salt, chillies, coriander, paprika, cumin powder and black pepper. Mix well together with your fingers.
- Once the pumpkin and peas have cooled slightly, add these to the mixture. Knead well with your hands. The pumpkin and peas are quite moist and the mixture does not need any additional water for the kneading.
- Knead until the dough has come together and is slightly stretchy.
- Divide into equal number of balls. This recipe should make 10-12 balls.
- Heat a shallow frying pan. Add a teaspoon of ghee and swirl it around. You should have enough to roast these thaalipeeth.
- Now apply a little ghee to your fingers and palms. Flatten each ball on your palm and make a hole in the centre. (They should look like flattened doughnuts.)
- Place it onto the frying pan. Swirl the ghee around or add a few drops to the centre and sides of the thaalipeeth. Cook till golden and then flip over and cook the other side.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve hot.
They are great on their own but you can also serve them with a cooling yoghurt-cucumber raita.