Mee Marathi, eat Marathi

Updated: 19 October, 2020 10:49 IST | Prutha Bhosle | Mumbai

When authentic recipes inspired from different Maharashtrian communities of weavers, warriors and fishermen are done right, they deserve applause

(Clockwise from left) Brown onion cashew pulao, pandhra rassa mutton, kolambi khadkhadle, East Indian chicken, mango chilli prawns, prawns aluwadi, fugias, paneer appe (centre) and pomfret hooman catch of the day (centre)
(Clockwise from left) Brown onion cashew pulao, pandhra rassa mutton, kolambi khadkhadle, East Indian chicken, mango chilli prawns, prawns aluwadi, fugias, paneer appe (centre) and pomfret hooman catch of the day (centre)

Food: Excellent
Packaging: Average
Service: Quick
Pricing: Expensive
verdict: 2/4

For most part of her life, this Marathi writer with roots in the Konkan belt has stuck to the typical varan-bhaat-tup-kolambi combo. Having recently accepted that the cuisine of the second-most populous Indian state has much more to offer, we decided to experiment with fare from Kolhapur, Malwan, Vidarbha, Pune and Khandesh regions. Culinary Kitchen, a deli kitchen in Mahim, opened just in time to take this discovery to the next level.

Prawns aluwadi
Prawns aluwadi

The delivery kitchen pays homage to the state by offering all kinds of Maharashtrian savouries — Pathare Prabhu [the warrior community originally from Mewar], Malwani [fishermen folk from Sindhudurg]and Saoji [Vidarbha’s weavers].The menu is extensive and the cost, on the higher side.

In appetisers, we ordered mango chilli prawns (R350), prawns aluwadi (Rs 250) and paneer appe (s Rs 135). Pandhra rassa mutton (Rs 380), East Indian chicken khuddi (Rs 240), pomfret hooman catch of the day (Rs 350) and kolambi khadkhadle (Rs 300) made it to the main course. Fugias (Rs 160) and brown cashew onion pulao (Rs 160) completed the humongous thali.

Fugias
Fugias

The curries arrived in tin packaging, which explains why the order went slightly over our budget. This type of packaging is new, and is meant to keep the food warm until it reaches any corner of the city. Since this is a sustainable form of packaging, we look forward to reusing these tin cans. Items that arrived in plastic containers could not prevent spillage. It was a slight turn off, although the room was instantly filled with the aroma of these eclectic flavours.

While placing the order, the owner Amol Welling insisted that we try the pandhra rassa mutton first, and so we did, with the steamy pulao. The recipe is native to Kolhapur and is seldom served with mutton. But we understand why the restaurant decided to try out this fusion; cooked in lip-smacking coconut gravy, it turned out to be our most favourite dish of the meal. It was amazing how elements as simple as crispy fried onions, toasted cashew nuts and brown rice can transform a dish.

Pandhra rassa mutton
Pandhra rassa mutton

Another specialty that got our thumbs up was the prawns aluwadi. A combination of chana dal, garlic, ginger, coriander, green chilli and turmeric, this traditional Maharashtrian snack is an alternative to urad papad. While it is a common feature in our kitchen, never did we think of sprucing it up with prawns before; for us, it was a masterstroke.

The fugias [East Indian bread] came in semi-fried form, to ensure they don’t get soggy during the commute. But despite deep frying them in an open pan for two minutes, the balloon bread was a disappointment. Either the batter was not kneaded well, or hadn’t been fermented for a good amount of time.

Pomfret hooman catch of the day
Pomfret hooman catch of the day

The hooman catch of the day in the menu offers a choice of fish as per the season. We picked pomfret, and it was devoured in a minute. The right kind of spice levels clicked for this Konkani reviewer, who is used to eating seafood with copious amounts of spices. Sated with this heady culinary walkthrough of Maharashtra, and with large portions to suffice for six adults, our vote goes to this kitchen for being one of the most delicious discoveries in the lockdown.

Call 9321613138 (closed on Mondays, place an order between 11 am and 3 pm; 6 pm and 10 pm)
Note Place order 24 hours in advance. Due to limited staff, the delivery time is between 45 minutes to an hour. Online payments are accepted

4/4 Exceptional, 3/4 Excellent, 2/4 very Good, 1/4 Good, 0.5/4 Average. Culinary Kitchen didn’t know we had ordered. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals

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First Published: 19 October, 2020 10:11 IST

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