Diwali 2020: Chef shares lesser known, authentic Mumbai festival recipes

Updated: 13 November, 2020 12:53 IST | Ankita Mishra | Mumbai

Mid-Day brings to you two authentic Maharashtrian dishes that may not be very popular now-a-days but can definitely be called the "soul-foods" of Mumbai.

Image sourced from Mid-Day archives
Image sourced from Mid-Day archives

The best thing about lesser-known delicacies is that they are hyper-local and are ingrained in the ecosystem of the region they originate from. They are not only the source of undiluted local flavours but are also an embodiment of the history and culture of a place. Speaking of which, festivals are one of the most loved ways to celebrate the culture and heritage of a city. So this Diwali, Mid-Day brings to you two authentic Maharashtrian dishes that may not be very popular now-a-days but can definitely be called the “soul-foods” of Mumbai.

Dadpe Pohe - coconut infused spiced pohe and Anarsa - rice and jaggery sweet (fermented); are two recipes that have got lost amid the wave of fusion recipes. However, Satyajit Kotwal, Food Expert with The Resort Mumbai, revives these recipes for the local food-loving Mumbaikars.

About the dishes

Dadpe Pohe: Unlike the usual Poha, this dish is made with thin flattened rice. It is not cooked. Raw poha is mixed with fresh grated coconut, ginger and lime juice. After mixing, the ingredients are covered with a lid and a weight is kept on top so that the flavours are well absorbed. Dadapne in Marathi means “to press” or “kept underweight”. Hence, Dadpe Poha.

Anarsa: Anarsa is an authentic Maharashtrian sweet dish specially made for festivals like Diwali and Dussehra. Famous for its pastry-like shape, Anarsa is a snack made from soaked powdered rice and jaggery or sugar.

Lost recipes

Dadpe pohe and Ansara are not commonly cooked in Maharashtrian households now-a-days that’s why they are among the many authentic yet lost recipes of Mumbai. Chef Satyajit Kotwal says “the cooked version of Poha (usual Kanda Poha) is more popular and also Dadpe Pohe has very short shelf life, so one cannot store it even for few hours.” He adds, “Ansara is not very famous only because the process is relatively complicated and lengthy.”

Let’s cook!



  • Kolam rice 1½ cup
  • Jaggery (Gur) grated ½ cup
  • Ghee 7 tablespoons
  • Semolina (Rawa/suji) 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar 2 tablespoons


- Wash the rice twice. Fill with water till all the grains are immersed. Soak the rice for 5 days, change the water daily.

- On the 6th day, drain the water and spread rice grains on cloth. Let them dry out.

- Grind them to a dry powder. Make a fine powder. Sieve the powder through a fine mesh.

- Add jaggery and ghee to the powdered rice and start kneading. Add milk to make the dough pliable. It should be semi-soft.

- Divide into 12-14 equal portions and make balls out of it.

- Take poppy seeds in a plate press a dough ball on it. Now, roll the dough ball like a thick puri.

- Heat ghee in a kadhai. Deep fry the anarsa in the ghee till golden brown.

- Drain the excess ghee and serve.

Dadpe Pohe


  • 2 cups Poha (Flattened rice), thin variety
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander (Dhania) Leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Sev, thin variety
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh coconut, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste

Ingredients for tadka

  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asoetida (hing)
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Raw Peanuts (Moongphali)
  • 1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Sunflower Oil


- To begin making the Dadpe Pohe recipe, dry roast the thin variety of poha or flattened rice and keep aside.

- Now take a bowl, add the roasted poha, chopped onion, tomato, grated carrot, grated coconut, lemon juice, sugar and salt and mix well with the hands. Leave it to soak in the juices for 10 minutes.

- Heat oil in a small tadka pan, add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and let it crackle.

- Add the curry leaves and let it splutter. Add the green chili, peanuts and saute until the peanuts are roasted well.

- Add this tadka over the softened poha and mix well.

- To serve, take a portion of the prepared Dadpe Pohe in a bowl or plate, garnish with the remaining chopped onion, tomato, grated coconut, coriander leaves, nylon sev.

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First Published: 13 November, 2020 08:00 IST

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