Monthly Archives: August 2015

Weekend Fling With Mahabaleshwar – My Photostory

When the monsoons put on a show, trust me, Mahabaleshwar has got the best seats. And we waste no time in grabbing them every year.
There’s some sort of romance associated with those pattering rain-drops and this place. Verdant hills seem to quiver in the freezing mist, which is why they keep themselves warm in those velvetty green quilts. Singing of birds, shrieking of monkeys, fluttering of leaves when they leap, mooing of cows… is all what you see and hear. No screeching horns, no yelling alarms… just nature at her seductive best.
Greenery
A walk on these lone misty roads and Langoors suddenly prancing out of nowhere. Our romantic walk quickly turned into an adventure and we scampered towards our hotel with those bags full of goodies.
Doesn’t this look straight out of a horror movie…
Scenery bw
Venna Lake:

Uncle Patel, quiet a raconteur, took us for a wonderful long ride on the lake. Longer than the others did. With hair-raising tales of goats and dogs being kidnapped by leopards at night, tigers been relocated and sinewy bisons still inhabiting the place, it was a relief to know all these awaited the other side of the lake. Uncle Patel also took us to a place right above a house submerged 12 feet under water. He actually made us hit the oars on the roof…evidence corroborated! When I asked if I could click him, he beamed. Said this was the first time a tourist had asked him for his pic. Else he’d always been behind the lens. That sound when the oars whack those calm waters is so therapeutic.
Venna Patel uncle
Venna Lake is quiet generous with amateur photogs like me 🙂
Venna Horses
Mahabaleshwar has some of the best and out-of-the-farm produce to offer.
Venna Fruits

Don’t dare miss the piping hot ginger tea
Venna Ginger tea

With corn pakodas and green chutney for company
Corn Patties

Roasted sweet corn is another option if you don’t mind those vampire teeth later… except for the burnt black hues instead of red 🙂
Venna Corn

Shivneri Restaurant has an array of Maharashtrian dishes, including North Indian ones. We gorged on the fiery Malvani Chicken Curry, tender fried Kolhapuri Chicken, straight-out-of-the-pan Chapatis and steamed White Rice. Jowar and Bajra Bhakris are awesome. They take 30 minutes to come after the order is placed.

Shivneri Food
The gorgeous fresh pizza from the wood-fired oven and a mug of hot chocolate mocha at Mapro. It’s as touristy as it gets. They even have their own baked bread for their wide range of delectable sandwiches. Now, that’s something you cant afford to miss. (visit www.mapro.com)
Mapro pizza
This is the time to lose yourself, get engulfed by the smell of wet earth and let the cold mist kiss the tip of your nose. Leave the city behind for those two days of sheer rejuvenation… before the rains bid adieu.
Go, experience the beauty of monsoon in Mahabaleshwar…

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Thalipeeth – Maharashtrian Pancake

The traditional Thalipeeth  or the Maharashtrian Pancake, brings back those beautiful sepia memories of my childhood, every time I cook it even today. My mum used to make this as a tea-time snack. I remember queuing up alongside my little bro and sis, waiting for her to toss it into my plate. I always loved those slightly burnt edges and used to save them for the end.
Now, it is my best friend for those lazy afternoons when lunch just doesn’t wish to happen.
Whoever says fast food is unhealthy, this one humbly begs to differ.
Thalipeeth
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Serving: Makes 6 – 8 medium size pancakes

Ingredients:

100 gms Besan (Bengal gram flour)
100 gms whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and add water enough to make a thick batter.
  2. Drizzle teeny bit of oil in a fry pan, preferably a non-stick one.
  3. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread it to form a pancake of around 2 mm thickness.
  4. When the top side starts to  blister, flip it over and cook the other side.
  5. Cook both sides till golden brown.
  6. Drizzle more oil from sides of the pancake (only if needed).
  7. Repeat the process for rest of the batter.
  8. Serve hot with a dollop of butter.

P.S.: Best enjoyed with a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee. I relish it with my Maggie hot n sweet sauce. Sometimes even with sweetened curds. I know that sounds crazy 🙂