When we think of New year, we generally think of new year resolutions and Martha Stewart styled New Year Eve celebrations. However, the Maharashtrian style Gudhi Padwa is celebrated in unique and special way.
The onset of Maharashtrian New Year brings us celebration vibes. Women dressed in 9-yards saree, hair tuck up in a tight bun, flowers, jewelry and the Marathi swag! Various towns and suburbs have a special New Year Parade showcasing their art and culture. And like every other festival, our homes get decked up, spic and span, with an aroma of traditional cooking floating around, adding festivities in the air.
Unlike the generic New Year, January 1, Maharashtrians do not have a New Year’s Eve or a list of irrational resolutions. Something very simple, yet unique, which unfortunately has been lost over the years, is (was) the morning ritual in every home: Neem leaf, jaggery and coriander seeds laddoo with a glass of water.
Yes, this is true. Neem leaf blended with lightly toasted and crushed coriander seeds, rolled with sticky jaggery to form little bite sized bitter-sweet-astringent laddoos; followed by a glass of water. Neem, which boasts as the ultimate antibacterial, and jaggery with its rich mineral content while regulating sugar levels and adding electrolytes is a perfect superfood that everyone should start their day or new year’s day with.
Gudhi Padwa meal
And once the morning rituals are completed with raising of gudhi and a puja, we get on to our favorite task of the day. EATING!! That’s correct, the purest essence of being an Indian is partly the festivities and celebrations and largely the food. Gudhi Padwa specials include a traditional Marathi feast featuring Puran Poli, Varan-Bhat, Puri, Batata Bhaji, Cucumber-peanut koshimbir and a legume curry. The usual suspects like papad, chutney, and pickle are always there to enhance your palate. While we shared the recipe for Puran Poli in our previous blog-article, we are sharing this all-time-favourite yet lost in the urbanization Vangi Bhat recipe.
Vangi Bhat recipe
- 1 cup Basmati rice, rinsed and soaked
- Small Eggplants/ Brinjals, cut into half – 3
- Groundnut oil – 2 tbsp
- Onion, sliced thin – 1
- Pinch of hinga or asafoetida powder
- Curry leaves, washed – 10
- Raw Cashews – 10 pieces
- Turmeric powder – 1/8th tsp
- Red chili powder – 1/4th tsp
- 1 tbsp Goda Masala*
- Ghee, Chopped coriander, Grated coconut for garnish
- Rinse and soak Basmati rice for minimum 20 min.
- In a wok, heat oil. Add sliced onion, fry until brown. Then add cashews and fry for 2 minutes on medium heat.
- Add asafoetida, curry leaves, and eggplant. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the powdered spices and rice. Mix until the mixture is fragrant. Add salt and 2 cups of water.
- When the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 15 to 20 min.
- Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork. Garnish with ghee, chopped coriander and grated coconut. Pickles and papad will give a good company.
*For the Goda Masala recipe, follow the video.
Preserving heritage does not limit to monuments and architectural wonders. It comes from simple things like language, food and lifestyle. Treat your guests with traditional food this Gudhi Padwa to preserve our pride and culture. Send us pictures, tag us and follow #metime, #femmefiesta!