As proud Punekars, we have all been bhakarwadi enthusiasts. And Chitale has only taken our love for bhakarwadi to another level.
I remember as a kid when we’d go jumpy every time the jars in the kitchen would be restocked. Or the joy when we’d send packets and packets of bhakarwadi along with the non-Punekar guests who would visit us.
But of course, parents being parents, they’d have a strict vigil on the quantity of this snack. Their favorite excuses would be ‘Don’t eat too many or else you’ll not be hungry for a meal’ or ‘It’s fried and not a healthy option’. I guess we all made a grumpy face to that.
Today when I’m surrounded by my nieces and nephews who are toddlers, I understand the concerns of a parent. But the love for bhakarwadi cannot be turned a blind eye too. That when the ‘Bhakarwadi Bhaaji’ enter the scenes.
As the name suggested, it’s a healthy take on the delicious fried snack which can be had a meal. One can serve this bhaaji with rice bhakars or piping hot phulkas. And if you want to up your game a bit more, the try serving it with rumali roti. Whatever be the roti, it’s the bhakarwadi bhaaji is going to be the one to walk away with accolades.
So, here’s the recipe for the dish that will win you praises!
2 thinly sliced onions
1 cup of desiccated coconut (dried)
2 tomatoes’ puree
½ cup coriander stems
15 to 20 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger root thinly sliced
2 tbsps chopped coriander leaves
2 bay leaves
10 to 12 whole black peppercorns
½ tsp white sesame seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 black cardamom
2 to 3 green cardamom
1 star anise
2 to 3 dried red chillies
2 to 3 cloves
2 tbsps Kashmiri red chilli powder
2 tbsps garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
¼ cup + 2 tbsps of cooking oil
Salt for taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Bhakarwadi – 5 to 6 pieces, cut half
Finely onions and coriander leaves.
Step 1: Add 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and roast the coconut until rich brown in color. Remove from the pan and keep for cooling.
Step 2: Add bay leaves, peppercorns, fennel seeds, black and green cardamom, cloves and red chillies in the same pan and dry roast on low flame.
Step 3: Add the garlic cloves, ginger slices, and coriander stems to the roasted spices and roast them for two minutes. Remove from the pan and keep for cooling.
Step 4: Add 1 tsp of oil and fry onions until rich brown in color on low flame. Remove from the pan and keep for cooling.
Step 5: In a blender, add all the above items and tomato puree and make a fine paste. Use water only if required.
Step 6: Add ¼ cup of oil in the same pan and heat it. When the oil is moderately hot, remove the pan from the flame and add Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and mix well.
Step 6: Add the freshly made paste to the oil, mix well and put the pan on the flame.
Step 7: Cook the mixture for 10 minutes until oil separates and then add 6 cups of water (or as per the choice of the consistency of your gravy).
Step 8: Bring the gravy to boil and then let it cook for 30 minutes on simmer until an oil forms a thin layer atop the gravy.
Step 9: Add salt to taste and a dash of lime.
Step 10: Garnish with coriander.
Heat the gravy just before serving. In a flat bowl, pour the gravy and then place the half pieces of bhakarwadi. Sprinkle finely chopped onion and coriander to complete the dish.
Tempted, no? Try the recipe and tell us how it was!
Information and title image source: eatlivecook