Aai’s Shrikhand & Puran Poli: Chef Narayan Salunkhe’s Gudi Padwa Memories
Narayan Salunke, Sr. Executive Sous Chef, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Alibaug on his most cherished Gudi Padwa food memories
Gudi Padwa is among the most celebrated festivals in my hometown, Raigad in Maharashtra. For me, this festival means a cheerful get-together with relatives, friends and the community.
Making the Gudi
One of my fondest memories of this festival takes me back to my childhood, where my mother used to wake us up early in the morning to clean the house and the big front courtyard, before making the Gudi. For the non-initiated, a Gudi is a new kalash (an urn) usually made of copper which is covered in a bright red, yellow or saffron cloth, and lifted upside down at the entrance of the house. We would then go to the local market nearby to bring mangoes, neem leaves and fresh flowers, for that sweet fragrance, to adorn the Gudi. We would thoroughly enjoy decorating the Gudi and our house with colorful flowers and other festive decorations.
Gifts and celebrations
Aai (mother) and Baba (father) have always made sure that no festival goes by without gifting their kids a small amount of cash or a special gift. On the morning of Gudi Padwa, my siblings and I would open our gifts, and then the entire family would head towards the temple for thank and worship the almighty.
The grand lunch on Gudi Padwa
Gudi Padwa is one of the few festivals where everyone is treated to a unique preparation made from neem and jaggery. The bitter-sweet flavor of this dish resembles our journey in life – one mixed with happiness and sorrows & ups and downs.
Amongst other dishes, Aai (mother) is best at preparing Shrikhand (flavored yoghurt) and Puranpoli (sweet stuffed flatbread). All through our childhood, we would be most excited for lunch time on Gudi Padwa as it was truly a scrumptious feast. We would even help Aai prepare lunch only, so we could get a chance to try a nibble of the food during our preparation. Our Gudi Padwa lunch included Papad (Indian crackers), Sliced Lemon, Puri Bhaji (Crisp-Fried Flatbread and Vegetable Curry), Rice, Shrikhand and Puranpoli.
In conclusion, Gudi Padwa indeed is a festival that every foodie like me always looks forward to.
Chef Salunkhe's Zafrani Reshmi Khawyachi Puran Poli with Khatachi Amti
Zafrani Reshmi Khawyachi Puran Poli
This sweet flat bread is stuffed with the yummiest mixture of jaggery and reshami khawa and flavoured with the slightest hint of cardamom powder.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 powdered green cardamom
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoon rice flour
- 1 reshami khawa
- 1lit milk full fat
- 1/2 cup ghee
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 gm saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
For preparing this easy Maharashtrian recipe, take a glass bowl and mix flour with water in it. Knead well to make stiff dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for 1 hour.
Now knead the dough again, adding salt, water and oil, little at a time, till the dough becomes pliable. Mix the mixture to a smooth consistency adding a little milk if it is too dry. Add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.
Now take a lime-sized lump of the dough and a little larger lump of the reshmi khawa mixture. Roll out two rounds from the dough on a board sprinkled with rice flour, into flat rounds of about 7 inches in diameter.
Cover the rolled dough round with the reshmi khawa mixture, leaving half an inch at the edges, and then cover this with the second round. Roll again over this to seal them together, pinching the edges to seal well. Roll out like a thick chapati.
Heat ghee on a hot griddle and put the puran poli on it. Keep pressing and turning it so that it cooks well on both sides. Keep adding ghee all around to brown it evenly without sticking to the griddle. Serve hot.
Khatachi Amti (a type of dal)
- Drained water of chana dal
- 1/4 cup fresh coconut
- 10-12 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 strands curry leaves
- 1 tsp jaggery
- Some fresh coriander leaves
- 3 tsp red chili powder
- Salt to taste
Grind cumin seeds and sesame seeds to a coarse powder. Make a paste of fresh coconut, 5-6 garlic cloves and ginger. In a big vessel, heat oil, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, curry leaves and remaining crushed garlic. Sauté until golden brown.
Add ground paste and sauté for few seconds. Add chilli powder and leftover water from chana dal. Add salt to taste. Add jaggery and coriander leaves. Bring curry to boil and then allow it to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.