Gud kha, god bola!
Eat sweet, utter sweet(er)!
The best place to get Maharashtrian delicacies would be mom’s kitchen. And I don’t mean the brand. Only mom’s kitchen can make a dessert taste sweeter – the love and affection which find their way in every recipe is the catalyst behind the great-lip-smacking-taste of these confectioneries. Nonetheless these treats are delectable in their own right whether at home, or a store.
Info alert: Each area of the state has its own specialty in cuisine as well as method of preparation.
With fingers and spoons, let’s dig in these Marathi goodies!
Puran Poli and Gulachi Poli
Festivities in a Maharashtrian household? Well, preparation of Puran Poli is definitely in the stars. It is a bread-stuffed-with-lentils-jaggery dish prepared specially during Holi and Gudi Padwa.
A heavier version of the same, Gulachi Poli is usually prepared during Makar Sankranti (Kite festival). Stores you can find these would be Panshikar (Girgaum), and Aaswad (Dadar).
Modak (and Ukdiche Modak)
The ‘sweet dumpling’ is the favorite appetite of Lord Ganesha. In his honor this sweet is prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi; offering it to him as well as distributing it among kinsfolk is a part of the festivities. Over the years, in innovative variations like banana, chocolate and motichoor as well as steamed modak (ukdiche modak) have also been created for this stuffed sweetmeat. At that time of the year and all year round, Panshikar (Dadar), Aaswad and Gypsy Corner stock this for you.
This scrumptious food, primarily a treat to the eyes, and also the tongue, is used to adorn the food festivities during Diwali. Sink your teeth in this coconut-y treat, at Chandu Halwai and Gypsy Corner (only on Sunday).
The ball shaped sweets made of either Besan (chickpea flour) or Rava (white semolina), also known as laddoos are a special exchange during festivals like Raksha Bandhan and Diwali in a Maharashtrian household. Til (sesame seeds) laddoos are especially made for the Makar Sankranti (Kite festival). These sweet dollops will be available at Panshikar (Girgaum as well as Dadar), Brijwasi Sweets, and Punjabi Ghasitaram’s.
A cross between custard and cheesecake, this melt in your mouth bonbon is available at Vinay Health Home, Prakash Restaurant, Panshikar, and Aaswad.
This semolina sweet dish, apparently one of the favorite suggestions of wedding caterers, and is served in Maharashtrian weddings. The pineapple version of the same can be found at Gypsy Corner.
Gulab Jaam (Gulab Jamun)
Dipped in liquid saccharine, these are balls of milk powder fried to perfection till delicious brown in color as well as taste. Indulge in the best ones at Panshikar (Girgaum), Aaswad, Kailas Parbat, Brijwasi Sweets, and Ghasitaram’s.
If you appear to be as coiled as this sweet dish, you’re contrarily referred to as ‘jalebi ki tarah sidha’(as straight as jalebi)! Which neither is this sweetmeat (nor you); the spiral-shaped-sugar-syrup-coated-crispy-yet-juicy jalebi is best eaten at Panshikar (Girgaum), Aaswad, among others.
These diamond shaped fried sweets in Diwali also doubling up as a snack otherwise, should be found in most of the farsan stores.
Kheer (Shevaiyachi Kheer)
An ornate version of rice pudding with vermicelli, raisins, cashews and almonds is this kheer. Find this extravagance at Gypsy Corner.
The accessibility of aam(mango)ras is not aam(common). Mango being on hand, only during summer, eating amrakhand (mango flavored Shrikhand) / amras with puri is purely seasonal. Aaswad, Panshikar store this during the ‘aam term’.
Having puris with this Indian dish made from strained yoghurt – another must have for any occasion is available at Aaswad, Prakash, Panshikar (Girgaum), and Gypsy Corner.
Other sweet fares for offer on the Maharashtrian palate are Basundi (milk dessert), Shikran (an instant dish made with bananas, sugar and milk), Narali Bhaat (a fiesta dish made during Narali Poornima), Anarsa and Chirota/Chirote (made during Diwali).
Info alert, again: The concentration of Maharashtrian population being in and around Lalbaugh and Dadar, the premium places to indulge in these ‘sweeties’ would irrefutably be found there.