Veggie surprise from Malvan
A home chef curates a veg brunch to bust the myth that the state’s coastal fare is only about kombdi and paaplet
MARRIED into a Malvani family 16 years ago, the first dish that Pallavi Prabhu savoured wasn’t kombdi vade or paaplet saar but traditional ras ghavane, featuring the soft, netted rice dosa, akin to neer dosa. It was accompanied by ras or coconut milk sweetened with jaggery and laced with nutmeg and cardamom. “My mother-in-law used homemade rice batter, and prepared it on a bhide [traditional griddle], which made ghavane perforated and softer,” recollects the 45-year-old home chef, who will replicate this process on Sunday to offer ras ghavane as part of a vegetarian Malvani brunch. It will be hosted at a community table in the outdoor setting of the quaint Andheri venue, Little House. “Most people believe Malvani cuisine features only seafood or chicken dishes, but there are plenty of vegetarian delicacies too. At home, we eat non-vegetarian food only three times a week. The idea is to get vegetarians to relish the cuisine too,” says Prabhu, whose sisterin-law, Neeta, will help her with the preparations. “Both of us have taken it upon ourselves to retain authentic Malvani flavours through recipes passed down to us by our mother-in-law,” she adds. For instance, her secret spices mix that will go into the making of sambare. This is made with black peas cooked in a coconut gravy, and is not to be confused with the south Indian sambhar. “She has handwritten the list of spices that go into the masala. Every year, we grind them together, and store about seven kilos. We mainly use it in sambare, a dish we make on special occasions like Janmashtami.”
Participants at the brunch will get to savour sambare with vade, a fluffy puri-like preparation made using multi-grain flour and flecked with fennel and fenugreek seeds, usually had with chicken gravy dishes. “However, unlike a puri, you can’t use a rolling pin to make vade. You have to pat the dough on a plastic sheet and deep-fry it.”
Hold the nori in one hand, while you spoon the sushi rice (recipes are available online) onto a side with your other hand. Then, you can add a filling of your choice, be it seafood (salmon, tuna, and scallops are popular choices), vegetables (cucumber, avocado, daikon radish) or mushrooms.
At the end, you can drizzle some soy sauce on the roll. Serve fresh.
Make sure you keep all the ingredients for your filling handy in little bowls next to you. To hold the filling, you will need small rectangular sheets of nori (dry roasted seaweed). These are available at most supermarkets that stock imported ingredients.
Roll the bottom left corner up to the middle of the top edge of the nori, and continue rolling till you have an ice cream cone-shaped sushi roll. Enjoy pistachio falafel, solo cheese, smoked chicken and pulled lamb burgers in the company of beer-infused cocktails like beer mimosa, beergrita and bull’s eye at a month-long festival that starts today. Each burger comes with a side of house salad or fries.