Bhajniche Thalipeeth

Served with curd and peanut chutney
Served with curd and peanut chutney

Thalipeeth is a savory pancake and a popular Maharashtrian breakfast item. We, many a times, have it for dinner as well. It is a very nutritious dish with a variety of grain cereals and pulses ground together. Bhajni (meaning: roasted) is the flour used to make thalipeeth. The recipe for bhajni is given below. Once the bhajni is ready, it can be stored for months together, preferably in an air-tight container to retain its fragrant aroma.

Thalipeeth Bhajni

Recipe:

  1. Bajri- 750 gms

  2. Jowar- 750 gms

  3. Rice-500 gms

  4. Wheat-500 gms

  5. Chana dal-500gms

  6. Dhania seeds – 250 gms

  7. Whole udid black dal (with skin) – 250 gms

  8. Soya beans seeds– 250 gms

Dry roast all the items individually on a slow flame and grind it together to a fine powder. Store it in a cool, dark place. I sometimes keep it in the freezer by sealing it in a Ziploc. It stays good for around 4-6 months in the freezer.

 

Thalipeeth

Recipe:

Makes 4-6 thalipeeths of medium size

2 cups bhajni

2 finely chopped medium-sized onions

1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

2-3 finely chopped green chillies

2 tsp red chilly powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

A pinch of asafoetida

Water for kneading the dough

Salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and make a pasty dough. Once the dough is ready, slightly grease/wet your palms and flatten the dough ball onto a wet plastic sheet/butter paper into a round pancake. It is important to wet your palms and the plastic sheet so as to avoid the sticking of the dough to your hands or to the plastic. Now carefully lift the thalipeeth off the plastic by turning it upside down onto the heated griddle. Sometimes, I even flatten the dough ball into a pancake directly on the griddle by sprinkling water which helps me spread it evenly. Keep the heat on moderate to allow it to cook evenly.

Thalipeeth is a thick pancake and needs to be cooked on moderate heat/flame to allow its even cooking. Form holes on to the thalipeeth with your fingers. This helps in cooking it evenly. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the sides of the thalipeeth and in the holes to shallow fry it. Cover the thalipeeth for a few minutes with a lid. Flip over the thalipeeth and cook it on the other side as well. Your crispy thalipeeth should be ready soon.

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In my mom’s house, it is usually served with a dollop of home-made fresh butter and a side of mango pickle. I like it with curds and my husband and son enjoy it with desi ghee.

Tip: You can also add vegetables of your choice to thalipeeth such as grated carrots, cucumber, methi, spinach to give it that extra vitamin punch!

Bharli Bhendi (Stuffed Okras)

Bharli bhendi (Stuffed Okra)

 

On most days, I make it a point to cook dal along with a vegetable curry made separately or added to the dal itself. Today, I was craving for some typical Maharastrian bhaaji (vegetable) to go with my simple dal tadka and rice. As I scouted my fridge, I came across these organic bhendis (okra/ladyfingers) waiting to be cooked. The tender and slender bhendis were the perfect lot for making bharli bhendi (stuffed okra).

Being a south Indian who was born and brought up in Maharashtra, the local Maharashtrian cuisine has always held a special place in my heart! The sprinkle of sugar with a dash of lime; the generous garnish of freshly scraped coconut with finely chopped coriander leaves; the heat of lavangi mirchi along with fragrance of goda masala, bring out the sweet, sour and fiery tastes of its delectable cuisine. The recipes especially from the konkan belt of Maharashtra usually tend to go light on complex spices and tries to enhance the original flavour of the dish with the addition of these simple, healthy, yet glorious condiments. Bharli bhendi is one such flavorful dish, simple to make and delicious to eat!

 

The recipe for it goes like this:

Bhendi, ends chopped and slit on one side – 500 gms

Oil – 2 tablespoons for shallow frying

Haldi – 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida – a generous pinch

To be ground into a dry masala (without adding any water):

Freshly scraped/desiccated coconut – 1/4th cup

Roasted peanuts – 1/3rd cup

Garlic – 4-5 in number

Green chillies – 2 or 3 depending on your taste

Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped

Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons

Jeera powder- 1 teaspoon

Sesame seeds – 1.5 teaspoons

Goda masala (or garam masala) – 1/4th teaspoon

Powdered jaggery or sugar – as per taste. I had added 1 teaspoon of jaggery powder

Lemon juice – from 1 small lemon

Salt – to taste

 

Prepare the masala by grinding all the above listed ingredients and mix in the lemon juice and salt. Feel free to adjust the ingredients in the masala to suit your taste. After all, cooking is not an exact science and should satisfy one’s taste buds! Fill the masala in the bhendis tightly and keep them ready. Meanwhile, heat a pan to start with the tempering. When the oil is sufficiently hot, add the mustard seeds and wait for it to splutter. Then add the haldi, asafoetida and the stuffed bhendis.

Make sure the bhendis are arranged in the pan in a way so that they do not overlap each other.If the pan is small, you can make it separately in two batches.Keep the flame on low to medium heat.  After arranging the bhendis, cover the pan with a lid so that the bhendis get cooked evenly. Flip them after every  3-5 minutes till they are crisp and done on all sides.

Enjoy it hot with dal rice and ghee 🙂