Aai chya gaavaat

Updated: Jul 19, 2020, 07:57 IST | Prutha Bhosle | Mumbai

A Nashik-born couple is using recipes from their hometown and creating a culinary ripple in south-central Europe

Rajkanya and Vishal
Rajkanya and Vishal

After Vishal Patil married his sweetheart Rajkanya, the couple moved to Austria last year. Born in Nashik's Gangapur Road and Dhule regions, respectively, Vishal works as a process engineer for a pulp and paper technology firm, while Rajkanya is pursuing a masters in informatics at Klagenfurt. When he discovered his wife's love for cooking, things took a turn for the couple. "She'd create videos of herself cooking and post them on TikTok. As the number of viewers grew, we thought of taking her passion to the next level by starting a YouTube channel," Vishal, 30, says.

In August 2019, the couple launched ViRaas. The channel now has about 1.12K subscribers and focuses on traditional recipes from their hometowns that are tough to come by online.

Rajkanya, 26, says she learned cooking from her aunt with whom she lived briefly while pursuing a bachelors degree in Nashik. "My aatya [aunt] taught me the basics. Until then, I hadn't cooked. After I got married, I had the chance to experiment so that we could enjoy a variety of foods. But since we have limited grocery options in Austria, making authentic Indian food has been a challenge," Rajkanya says.

Some recipes turn out to be more popular than others, like the chana dal landage, dudhi na dhokla and chhodyani khichdi. "We record our videos on our smartphones, edit them on Android and iOS software," Vishal says, adding it's been a pleasure spreading the love for Khandeshi food and culture online. "The food from Nashik has hints of Rajasthani and Gujarati cooking. The black curry (rassa) is commonly served as an accompaniment. And, who can beat misal pav, a Nashik signature?"

Follow on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7HJUc3bZKc JwwA0eXzZfbA

Chana dal landage

Chana dal landage

For stuffing
1 cup chickpeas (chana dal)
1/4 cup green gram (matki dal)
1/4 cup black gram (urad dal)
1-inch ginger
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp red chilli powder
Salt as per taste

For dough
2 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp carom seeds (ajwain)
Salt as per taste

For tadka
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard (rai)
1 tsp jeera
2 tbsp sesame seeds (til)
Coriander leaves

Mix and wash all the three dals and then soak them in water overnight (or for 8-9 hours). Drain out the water and put the dal in mixing jar. Add ginger and garlic and grind it to make a smooth paste. Now add cumin seeds, coriander powder, garam masala, asafoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Grind it again and add some water if needed. Make sure the paste is not runny. Put the paste aside. Form the dough by taking wheat flour and adding oil, salt and crushed carom seeds into it. Use a large pot, fill it with water and cover with a lid. Now roll the small portion of dough into roti and apply the paste over it. Put these rolls in steamer and steam for about 10-14 minutes. After steaming, remove it and cut it into small round pieces. Once done, take a large kadhai and add oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sesame seeds to it. Now put the flame on high and add the round-shaped landage pieces into it. Stir fry for about 2-3 minutes or till it becomes crispy. Turn the flame off and serve it with hot kadhi.

Chhodyani khichdi

Chhodyani khichdi

1.5 cup gehu (chhodya)
1/2 cup moong dal
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 potato
1/4 cup groundnuts
1 tomato
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 and 1/2 tsp red chili powder
salt as per taste
3 cups of water
Coriander leaves for garnishing

Chhodya: Take whole wheat grains in a kadhai and roast them on very low flame for about 15-20 minutes. Later grind them to coarse structure, make sure not to make a powder out of it. Once ground, separate the powder and coarse grains. Use only coarse grains for this recipe. You can use the powder for making rotis.

Chhodyani khichdi: Take 1 and 1/2 cup of chhodya in a bowl and keep it aside. Take 1/2 cup of moong dal and wash it. In a pressure cooker, add 2 tbsp of oil. Once heated, add 1 tbsp mustard seeds and cumin seeds to it. Add garlic and chopped onion and cook it until it becomes golden brown. Add 1 potato, groundnuts, 1 tomato and cook it well. Once cooked, add hing, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix them well and cook for about 2 minutes. Now add 3 cups of water and mix well. Close the lid and cook until 4 whistles. Add coriander for garnishing and serve with hot kadhi.

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