The diverse magnificent land i.e. Maharashtra offers plethora of culinary experiences to food lovers like you and me.
This is one of those experiences by the legendary Puneri Shaan- Hotel Shreyas, serving Punekars for the past 50 years and happy customers epitomizes the fan following this place garners to not just Maharashtrian folks but anyone and everyone.
They are hosting the ‘Maharashtrian Food Festival’ on July 14 and 15, I was a part of a prelude tasting event.
Here’s what we had, tried sharing my experience based on the variety of food served in different states of Maharashtra with their health quotient:
It started with the refreshing appetizer Kokam sharbet- sweet, tangy and we were all geared up.
Next on the plate were quite a lot of things- different types of bhajjis (fries), Kothimbir (cilantro leaves) wadi (patties) the usual which I have had are the crispy ones, these were softer from inside went well with tamarind chutney. Here the flour with coriander leaves and spices as cumin seeds, lal thikat (red chilli powder) are steamed first and then cut into wedges.
Kolache pohe made it’s way- first time had this Konkani preparation, puffed rice tasted quite different.
Pune and Misal are synonyms, loved the misal which also had mashed potatoes and right amount of spiciness.
Then tried the Pitla or Zunka- Maharashtrian’s comfortable food the preparation is quick and tasty. Besan flour (Chickpea) made from chana dal is a protein rich food which tingles the taste buds with kharada.
Pandhara rassa commonly seen in Kolhapuri cuisine was a delightful one- coconut milk with green and black cardamoms, nutmeg, poppy seeds, onions is a good option for vegans.
In between this tried Masala keli (stuffed bananas) this was full of sweet- savory flavours.
Team Shreyas ensured we dint have to wait for the next servings and innumerable items were served, this is when bhajis (vegetables) were waiting for us.
Started with zanzanit Shev bhaji which is a Khandeshi dish, spicy thrill for people in Jalgaon. The thick shev with khada masala was a good dish.
Smoky time- as Vangyachi bharit (aubergines) made with green chillies, coriander, peanuts was our next mains. I love the bharleli vangi over bharit version, somehow smoky flavours dint appeal to my taste buds.
These came with the breads- Poli, Puri, Bhakari- Jowari and Bajarachi, these are highly fibrous with high nutritional value.
Now was the time to try something new Gola bhaat with Gola sambar. This is enjoyed in the Vidharba region which is primarily rice with red chilli phodni ( served on the top with mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves). The gola ( dumplings) are made of besan flour with cumin, red chillies, ova in it. I tried this for the first time and liked it with shendanachi chutney.
Skipped the Dal khichidi as wanted to make some way for the panchapakwan- SWEETS were calling me!
Started with my all time fav-Ukadiche modak. The trick to make the best ones are the right proportion of three ingredients – jaggery, coconut filling and poppy seeds with good consistency of rice flour. The sight of sajuk tup (ghee) served on this steamy, cute little modaks brings loads of happiness. I totally loved these!
This made me try Basundi- good amount of milk thickness which I gorged with puris.
Amba sanja poli was the third one- I was very happy with the first two and somehow this was just an average experience.
The last two were- Gulab jamuns – soft, spongy and tasty and Shrikhand- reminded me of my mum’s food. Completely homely feels!
And the best part- Taak ( buttermilk) simple- no cumin seeds, ginger, coriander- freshly made with curd- much needed after hogging so much!
Before we left we were offered Paan and happily grabbed them with both hands- loved the simplicity in the flavours.
The place bustled with foodies and we all know the reason for the popularity of this simple, homely place.
Thank you team Shreyas and Heena Bhatt-Ray for hosting us.
Dates you should note- July 14 and 15
Unlimited buffet at Rs 400, Call 020-25531228 for reservations.
Shreyas- HOME away from home!
* This review is completely based on my experience.*