Padwa under house arrest

Updated: 25 March, 2020 09:54 IST | Karishma Kuenzang | Mumbai

With this Gudi Padwa set to be different from any other, Mumbai's Marathis deliberate on how they'll celebrate strictly-at-home

Gudi Padwa, which literally translates to new beginnings and celebrates the coming of spring, has taken a hit this season thanks to the Mumbai lockdown. We reach out to a chef, food consultant and a theatre personality, who tell us their idea of celebration and their take-away from the festival this year.

Shrikhand is one of the delicacies of Gudi Padwa. Pic/Saee Koranne-Khandekar
Shrikhand is one of the delicacies of Gudi Padwa. Pic/Saee Koranne-Khandekar

Faux shrikhand or masala doodh

Saee Koranne-Khandekar

Food blogger and chronicler of Marathi cuisine, Saee Koranne-Khandekar, grew up gorging on an elaborate Gudi Padwa lunch — with festive potato bhaaji, golden brown puris, masale bhaat, chutney, karachi daal (a salad made using chana daal and raw mango), among other indulgences, and of course, the shrikhand, which is cooling for the spring-summer season. But this year she hasn't even thought about doing anything at home. “We are all strained for resources and given the times we are in right now, there is neither access to produce nor is one in any festive mood, really. Most of us are cut off from families and have little or no access to dairy or fresh produce. I'm lucky to have a bowl of home-set yogurt, so I'll just add some sugar, nutmeg and saffron to make a faux shrikhand to cheer the children up, but otherwise I'm thinking one could make a glass of masala doodh using the same spices and nuts and milk that is available (dairy whitener dissolved in boiling water, if you must!) for a spot of cheer on what is otherwise a gloomy day,” she shares.

Let's stop and think

Savitri Medhatul

Theatre personality Savitri Medhatul hails from a non-ritualistic family, as her parents gave her a good dose of scientific temper. So, they celebrated every festival by taking time out and spending it with family, as opposed to the traditional ways. But food was a big part of these get-togethers, usually at her grandmother's house in Thane, where Medhatul would spend most of her time, given that her mother was a teacher. The one dish that she remembers clearly is the shrikhand puri her grandmother would make from scratch, as it was Medhatul's grandfather's favourite. While her grandmother used to put the dahi in a cloth and hang it a day before, Medhatul admits she won't be replicating the recipe this year. “Gudi Padwa represents the New Year, and I think this year, people need to contemplate on their actions. Let's reach out to family and friends, use social media in the proper way and take a relook at its existence in our lives. Let's think about the disregard for the environment. This year, festivities should go deeper than eating sweets. We must realise that co-existence is the real self-preservation,” she sums up.

Cook with your family

Devwrat Jategaokar

Chef Devwrat Jategaokar remembers the gudi preparations at his home in Akola. “I always wanted to tie the gudi as high as possible. Sakhrechya gathiche haar was my favourite, as I loved to break it and eat the pieces. Batasse lahya prasad was distributed after pooja, but my favourite still remains the hot pooran poli my mother used to make, topped with lots of melted ghee,” he says. But this year, he recommends safety first and a strict protocol of staying indoors. “I will be celebrating Gudi Padwa by tying up the gudi and worshipping it. I will also be cooking Gudi Padwa delicacies with the ingredients at home, keeping it simple. I think cooking with family is one of the healthiest and happiest things anyone can do. Many of my memories stem from experiences I had in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother. Cooking as a family brings us together. And that's what one should remember this year,” he concludes.

Easy coconut laddoos

Easy coconut laddoos

1 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
4 tablespoon milk powder
100g sweetened condensed milk
Desiccated coconut
for garnish
Almonds and pistachios for garnish

. Start by mixing desiccated coconut, milk powder and condensed milk in a bowl.
. Mix this well and form a dough. It is completely up to you if you want to make small balls or cut in equal sizes to give it whatever shape you want.
. Roll in desiccated coconut and sprinkle chopped pistachios and almonds on top.

By chef Devwrat Jategaokar

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First Published: 25 March, 2020 09:15 IST

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