As we move on to Maharashtra, we have so many to select from. Again going by the Indian Bread that I wanted to choose from, I instantly opted to make Thalipeeth. This is a long pending dish on my to-do list. Ever since Roti Mela happened, I had this marked on my list. Finally, after so many years, I do it now and so pleased that I have something very unique to showcase this state.
Unfortunately, when one thinks of Maharashtra, Bombay is what comes to mind and we sort of settle in that place. I am guilty of not moving beyond this city to actually explore what else is famous in the other cities. Anyway, the chats are famous and I even had a link that talks about 40 dishes that one can not miss eating in Bombay. Yes, it will always be Bombay as it is Madras for me.
Bombay and Pune always remind me of my single visit to the place. This was nearly two decades ago, with my parents for a family friend's wedding. They were Punjabis, so I got to taste Punjabi and Bombay food during our visit. I am sure the place has changed so much that I would hardly recognize it. However, the food I ate during my visit will forever be fresh and the same.
So coming to the Maharashtrian meal for the day, I made the Thalipeeth and Thecha. As I read about Thalipeeth, it is normally served with Green chutney and Thecha, which is again ground / pounded green chilies with garlic. I was planning on making all these dishes, in the end, made only Thecha and served mango pickle, curds.
Thalipeeths is made with Bhajani or Thalipeeth flour. This flour is normally sold as such in the Mumbai market. This is a mix of all whole grains which can be easily made at home if you have these flours ready. As I read about how to make this at home, I resorted to making this flour with the ready-made flours I had in my pantry. As with most recipes, there are so many varieties to make this bhajani flour. I sort of a mixed couple of recipes together and ended up making it.
Reading on making the thalipeeth from the different online resources and blogs from here, here, here and here, helped me making this dish. I only hope I met the original dish.
The pattern used to make this roti is also different, as holes are made on the top to enhance better cooking all over. The rotis can be made thick or thin, however using so many flours, one has to make sure it gets cooked well. First I tried making the holes after placing the rotis on the tawa, then realized pressing down holes when it's still on the board, works out even much better.
Quick Bhajani/ Thalipeeth flour
Jowar flour - 1/2 cup
Bajra flour - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
Ragi flour - 1/4 cup
Besan (Chickpea flour) - 1/4 cup
Wheat flour - 1/4 cup
Rava / Semolina - 2 tbsp
Bhajani - 2 cups
Onions, finely chopped - 2
Green chili paste - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped - 2 tbsp
Roasted Groundnuts Coarsely ground - 1/4 cup
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking
Table butter to serve
How to make Thalipeeth
In a big bowl take all the flours. Add finely chopped onions, green chili paste, chopped coriander, sesame seeds, groundnut, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt and mix well.
Add warm water to the bowl and knead it into a soft dough. The dough will be slightly sticky because of the combination of various flours.
Grease a plastic sheet and take a small orange sized ball and pat it to form a 4-5" diameter disc of 1/2" thickness. You need to wet your hands for easy spreading. Slightly press the edges with your fingers to give a nice circle. Make a few holes in between.
Transfer it carefully onto a hot tawa and pour oil in the holes and also around the edges and cover it with a lid. You can smear some water on top of the thalipeeth, this will make sure that the thalipeeth would not get dry.
Let it roast on a medium flame for 2-3 mins, once it is brown at the edges turn to the other side and roast again.
Repeat the same for the remaining dough to make thalipeeth.
Serve it hot with Thecha, Mango Pickle, and salad.
I used ready-made flours, else you can get the grains and dry roast the grains before grinding them either in a mill or mixer.
Finely chopped vegetables like cabbage, methi leaves, spinach leaves, or grated vegetables like cucumber, bottle gourd, radish to make thalipeeth.
Thecha is the Maharashtrian word for the ground paste of Green chilies/ Red chilies, salt, and garlic. It is supposed to be very spicy and is simply ground to a paste on which the tempering of oil, cumin, mustard, and turmeric is added. It is served mostly with their bhakri or Thalipeeth
Ginger - 2 inch
Green Chilli - 10 nos
Garlic head with skin - 10 cloves
Rock salt - 1 heaped tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 4 tsp
Slice the ginger to help in pounding. Coarsely pound these together.
Heat 4 tsp oil till very hot but not smoking. Add turmeric, jeera, and mustard seed to the oil.
Add hot oil mix to pounded mix. Mix well
This is very spicy, so take care to eat this carefully