Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thalipeeth : Maharashtrian Delicacy

A pancake is not a cake??? : I remember an incident when one of my very good friends, who is not much of an experimental foodie ( prefers to stick to the regular diet and cuisine), came out for lunch with me at a popular food-joint in Mumbai. Not understanding half of the ingredients that were mentioned as toppings and fillings in sandwiches and pizzas listed in the menu card, he asked me to order the simplest pizza for him! Pizza Margherita it was !!! After finishing our meal, i asked for the menu card to order some Crepes, that the place was famous for !!! "What's a Crepe?", he asked me... And i said, "They are thin pancakes"...He said ok, and liked the idea of ordering a Hazelnut Crepe with Honey...
And when the Crepe was on the table, his reaction was a "Click" moment... He was surprised/shocked to see a flat, thin batter based cake....
"This looks like an omlette,i thought it was a cake", was his reaction and i almost died there laughing!!! 
I sooo remember this incident that its glued to my memory and everytime i think of it, i can't stop laughing... 
As for my friend, well, now he surely knows what pancakes are, and even tasted a few (banana, chocolate to start with ) and relished them :))

Thalipeeth is a pancake : So Thalipeeth is a typical Maharashtrian dish, often eaten for breakfast or even for dinner. It is a pancake made from a dough. The dough can be prepared in different ways. Besan ( Gram Flour ), Jowar flour, Urad daal powder, wheat flour, rice flour, poha ( puffed rice ).... any 3 or all combinations can be mixed together and it just tastes great and healthy!!! The combination flour is called Bhajani mix which is readily available in market these days or you can get all the flours and mix it yourself. Thalipeeth is a good substitute to the normal poha, upma and bread butter that we have for breakfast! We normally make this for dinner and just 2 each makes our tummy's full due to it's rich nutrients.
Thalipeeth is best served with "Loni" ( White butter, that too homemade ), but if you don't have that, you can serve it with butter on top or even Ghee!! Curd tastes best with Thalipeeth too, some even have it with Tomato Ketchup :)

So here's a quick -to-make recipe of traditional Maharashtrian dish : ( My mom makes her own Bhajani, getting all the grains grinded together from a local flour mill... so i have used that Bhajani mix to make this . It has wheat, jowar and chana daal ). The additions can be done according to personal likings, such as onions, cumin seeds and/or cumin powder, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, corriander powder, green chillies or red chilli powder, black salt or normal salt, pepper, chaat masala, ajwain, ginger-garlic or paste, turmeric powder, garam masala, corriander leaves or even mint leaves or basil....You can make it as you like !!!!

Ingredients :

Bhajani mix : 2 cups
Ajwain : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 ( chopped finely )
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Black salt - to taste
Onion - 2 small ( You can chop finely, but i grated it- Gives a nice and different taste...)
And yes,....
Pepper - Our Favourite!!!! ( Add according to taste )
I normally add 1 tsp sesame seeds and 1/2 tsp saunf ( fennel seeds ), but this one i made in a hurry to pack tiffin for forgot to add them both...

Recipe :

Mix together all the ingredients and knead to form a dough. The grated onions will leave water, so dont add water at first as adding too much water will make the dough sticky... First knead all the ingredients and add water slowly ( spoon by spoon ), just enough to knead it all together. It might not form a tough firm dough...
Take around 1/2 tsp of oil now on your palm and knead the dough again applying the oil all over...
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Now take a thin plastic sheet or aluminium foil and place a small ball from the dough on it.
Start to flatten it with hand ( if it sticks to your hand, wet your hand with water and flatten again, it wont stick ).
Make it in a round flat bread ( not too thick, not too thin ).
Make 4 small circles in the flattened bread with your finger.
Heat a tava and grease it with oil... 
Gently hold one end of the foil, and take the thalipeeth in your hand by turning it over and remove the foil and place it on the tawa.( You can even place the Thalipeeth , gently place the edges on the tava and then separate the foil.)
Put little oil in each of the circle made and around. 
Cover the Thalipeeth and keep on low flame.
After about 2-3 minutes , remove the lid... If it has started browning from the sides, means it is cooked. Or else put the lid back again and cook on low flame for another minute.
Now, turn it so it gets cooked on the other side too. This time, don't cover it...
Keep turning it over till both sides are brown and cooked.

Serve hot with Ghee, Curd or White Butter :)

If You are Fasting, you can even make these with Sabudana ( Tapioca Pearls )... I will post that recipe sometime later.

Happy Cooking :)

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