The feelings were high when I alongwith few other #TheBTeam bloggers received an invite to be a part of the bloggers table to explore the culinary traditions of Maharashtra specially curated by celebrity chef and food connoisseur Aditya Mehendale (Author of the book- Rare Gems- A Non-Vegetarian Gourmet Collection from Maharashtra). It was going to be an evening full of gastronomic food and fun. Once it was mentioned an authentic Kolhapuri thali to be spread over for the dinner’s menu our stomach growls with unsatiated hunger. This scrumptious opportunity is brought to Puneites by Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjewadi, Pune in association with Maharashtra Tourism and Development Corporation (MTDC) to promote indigenous Maharashtrian food. This 10 days Maharashtrian food festival is scheduled to run from April 11th – 21st April 2016. A vibrant ambience greets you, with women in nauvari sarees and men dressed in traditional maharashtrian attire. The Momo Cafe is decked up with local kitchen tools and spices. Aromatic fragnance was all over as spices were doing the magic on the food lovers there.
The evening was well received by all of us and firstly it was a great meeting with Arundhati Gewali who welcomed us into the hotel with briefing about this concept of having speciality maharashtrian cuisine and the association with Chef Aditya. We had been told about the dimly lighted, centrally located, amazing BBQ live grill laced Ignite, an another bar/lounge offering from CY by Marriot for all the party lovers or the people who wants to enjoy the amazing ambience by midnight in the heart of hinzewadi. It remains opens till 1am and that could be the biggest attraction for the people who reside in this area but happens to visit KP or Other parts of the town for enjoying the weekend stuff!
Later, we had been provided with special bloggers table where we all bloggers alongwith the chef Aditya, Mr. Abhijit Chitnis, GM (CY byMarriot) had been arranged to sit together and enjoy the temptous Kolhapuri-affair! To start off the culinary journey, We had been greeted by traditional coastal (Konkan) Maharashtrian drink, Sol Kadhi which was extremely refreshing with a light coconut base and a hint of kokum. It was very soothing and right on spot!
For the record, there were two seperate segments for the menu, one consisted of Veg menu while other non-veg menu. The spread was good and quite liked by all the people who had joined there.
Kanda batata rassa
Matki chi usal
Bhendi chi bhaji
Gawari chi chaji
Non- Veg Thali (what My bon appetit had😎)
Sarga tawa fry (a pan fried fish with a crunchy crust at its base) – it was delicious and the fact that very less oily as compared to many other fish dishes. The marination of the fish has been done in a bit of turmeric, red chilli powder, lemon juice, salt and some garlic; with a coating chickpea flour (with some fine semolina added to it) and then frying it on a pan/griddle which made the taste very raw and subtle.
Navsacha kombda (chicken in coconut curry) – this is a koli recipe and this chicken preparation is prepared in Koli marriages generally and this chicken preparation requires the very authentic Koli Masala, a regional spice blend. The influence of coconut in the food is very natural and therefore roasted coconut paste is used in this recipe. This delightful and flavourful curry completely gets a high five from me and fellow bloggers on the table!
Sahalache mase ( fish, prawns, squid and what not!) – This dish was the perfect amalgamation of fish, prawns and squid simmered in the silkiness of coconut milk making it different. Chef Aditya also added that the dish gets its unique blend of flavour, taste and texture because of tender coconut and water.
Bharli wangi (stuffed eggplants with dried shrimps) – this was cooked to perfection and most of us liked it.
Wal Piwli Sal – dal-prep was very nice. Easily done up.
Ratalyachi kheer (sweet potato pudding with the goodness of ghee and milk)- This was very simple looking but tasted divine !
Kharwas (steamed pudding)- This spectacular dish is made from the first milk from cows and buffaloes after they give birth. It is a steamed pudding and its silky texture and melt in the mouth appeal made me go all yum.
Tamda rassa (red gravy)- This bold & spicy, vibrant & robust, highly aromatic, rich & flavourful gravy was a winner for the night!
Pandhra rassa (white colored chicken gravy with immense spices)- the delightful spicy mouth watering recipe with the bhakri, a millet flatbread was liked by few.
Kombdi dum pulao – it was mild and tasty. Generally in Kolhapuri food, I didn’t had a chance to try this before.I liked it.
All of these has been served with bhakri and pitla. The whole concept was very much told by Chef himself and also he let us know many other things in detailed way about the Royal Kitchens of kingdoms and how they used to cook the amazing food using varied spices and all.
Later, #TheBTeam had special candid moments with the Chef Aditya and later with the whole bloggers troupe !
They have lined up this amazing fest for these many days just to let Punekars have the essence of the all Maharashtrian cuisines. There you will be having glimpse of the sumptuous dishes of the Royal and ancient Maharashtrian cuisine: Patahre Prabhu Kombdi masala, Nagpur’s Saoji Machhi Masala, Varhadi Mutton, Konkan – Malwani phanes sukka, Kolapuri kombdi rassa and more. So, people dont wait and just book your tables to enjoy the different types of maharastrian cuisines at Momo Cafe by Chef Aditya. It would be a great chance if you are looking to explore authentic Maharashtrian cuisine, Grab the local food experience at the lavish lunch buffet, priced at Rs. 749 plus taxes and the dinner thalis, priced at 999 plus taxes. Each day is going to be a food celebration from a different region of Maharashtra.
Momo Café is located in CY by Marriot, Hinzewadi.
Disclaimer: The invite was for a complementary food tasting event.
This review is a narrative of my experience at the event. The views expressed in this review are solely mine and others are more than welcome to agree or disagree with the same. The review is in no way influenced either personally or commercially nor has it been lifted, copied or plagiarized from any source however I have done my due diligence on the event via publicly available information on the internet. All the photos has been taken by my iPhone 6+.