Mamledar Misal

There is a mail that does rounds on internet with a list of famous Misals of Maharashtra and where to find them. Mamledar Misal is listed in it. It has got its name because the food joint is situated right beside Mamledaar/Tahsildaar office in Thane.
Thane being our district, a Virarkar has to frequently visit the city for getting various official jobs done. I got a chance to taste it on one such visit and it is pretty nice Misal.

Tikhat Misal
Tikhat Misal
Mamledar Misal 5
Double Tikhat

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Shevala –A Delightful Start of the Monsoon

Shevala is an edible, exotic vegetable, botanically related to the family of Suran Flower. You can compare the similarity with the help of pictures (especially the inflorescence structure). Both, Suran flower and Shevala taste similar after cooking and have a very limited season. The difference is Shevala is not a plant grown in farms. You can find Shevala in the markets of Virar, Vasai, Goregaon and Dadar in starting 2-3 weeks of June. (In earlier version of this post I had written that they are found after first rains. Well, it hasn’t rained yet this year and I just bought it from the market. The vendor explained that the one that grow before rains are called dhulicha shevala (Shevala of dust), they taste better, she claimed). This one is forest grown plant plucked by the local tribe mainly Katkari’s from the Interiors in Thane District. The below picture is of the Shevala shoots we clicked  in village Pargaon near Saphale. If you visit this place during the season, some local will graciously take you, like they took us, to show where this plant grows.  Click here to find more pictures  – http://www.flickr.com/photos/virarandwest/sets/72157634170947536/

Shevala in Woods

The Katkari’s sell them to the local veggie sellers and they bring it to the markets  of nearby Mumbai  suburbs, mostly western suburbs. In Virar, you can find Shevala in Bazaar that takes place everyday from 7a.m. to 9 a.m in the ground near Virar-Vasai Mahanagar Palika (Virar East). You might  also find it in West of Virar, near Railway Station.

Shevala 2

Shevala is an itchy veggie like Taro leaves (Alu). To counter this the seller will also hand you some green fruits that resembles emblica. They call it Kakada. Cut them, remove seeds, grind in grinder and add the extract while cooking.

Kakada
Kakada

Like  Suran Flower, Shevala too has a  part with pollen grains, the third down most segment, that is cut off and not used in cooking. Only the rest of the inflorescence (Spadix) and the immediate leaf cover (Spathe) is used.

Shevala 4

Shevala 5

Shevala 6

You can cook Shevala exactly  as per  Suran flower recipe given in the previous post or try a new one. Three things that are  Primary requirement in cooking Shevala- A tempering of Asafoetida and crisp frying in good amount of oil(Just like Taro leaves), secondly adding kakada extract and third tamarind extract.  Crisp fried Shevala on Asafoetida tempering can be preserved for six months by keeping it in an airtight container and deep freezing it in the refrigerator.

Shevala 7

You can add Field beans(vaal) to it and make a curry(Aamti). Non vegetarians add Kheema(cooked minced lamb meat) or prawns to it. You can also make delicious patties adding boiled potatoes or wadi by adding besan flour  and baking it in pan or oven.

Shevala 8

Shevala 9

One important tip is that adding beans, meat, pulses or simply rich coconut gravy is vital to this veggie. It alone has no taste but brings exotic flavor to the recipes by its presence.  Shevala also tastes very good with Gram Dal or adding Soyabean Chunks. Just treat your dish royally.

Do share with us your recipes if you are already familiar with this veggie.  Email it to twocents@virarandwest.com and we will publish it here with the senders name.  Hurry, because the season is going.

Additional Information:- Smt. Shakuntala Dharmadhikari, Virar East and Smt. Manisha Bhise, Goregaon West

Recipe Suran Flower Bud (Puranaachi Bhaaji)

suran flower pic

Recipe again friends, this is a very popular vegetable among locals of Virar-Vasai belt. Suran Flower bud is comparatively less known to many because of its lesser availability. End of April-Mid May is the only season for it. If you haven’t heard of it before, you will have to consciously look for this veggie in the market. Mostly local vegetable sellers from nearby villages will have this and can guide you on it. If the bud is flowered it stinks and is not used in cooking. Be prepared to taste a distinguished tasting edible flower, i.e, if you haven’t had Shevala of early monsoon season, another local favorite, which tastes very similar to this one. This is cooked in 2-3 styles with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian version. Following is a traditional recipe contributed by resident of Virar who chooses to stay Anonymous. We can’t thank enough for this contribution and have tried this recipe which tastes awesome.

Ingredients

Suran Flower Bud -1IMG_1800a

Onion – 6-7 Medium size

Potatoes- 2

Grated coconut – half of the coconut

Peanuts – ½ cup soaked in water

Crushed Peanuts -1/2 cup

Tamarind extract– 1 small cup (recipe is not overtly sour)

Jaggery – 1 tablespoon

Salt – To taste

Oil – 7-8 spoon

Asafoetida – 1 pinch

Red Chilli Powder- 1 spoon

Turmeric Powder -1/2 spoon

Maharashtrian Goda (Black) Masala/or any ground mix Masala you regularly use while cooking – 1 -1 and 1/2 spoon

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Method

Wash the Suran Flower Bud. Cut and throw away down most part with pollen grains marked in the third picture. Being a flower of Suran, it shares its itchy characteristic and the part with pollens is the itchiest of the bud.   Finely chop the rest of the flower. Heat oil in the pressure cooker, add pinch of Asafoetida and fry sliced onions till they turn pink. Add finely chopped  Suran flower bud and fry for 15-20 minutes on low flame. This extensive frying is necessary to counter itchiness of the vegetable. Now you start getting the aroma of vegetable, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, goda masala or any other mix Masala. Add soaked peanuts, roasted and crushed peanuts, grated coconut, potatoes, tamarind extract and salt. Add water just enough as the consistency of this  is thick and keeping it in mind that it doesn’t get burned.  Cover the lid and place the cooker whistler. Turn off the gas after it whistles twice. Remove the lid after pressure cooker cools down. Add jaggery and mix well. Serve it with Chapati.

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Recipe Suran Flower Bud (Puranaachi Bhaaji)

suran flower pic

Recipe again friends, this is a very popular vegetable among locals of Virar-Vasai belt. Suran Flower bud is comparatively less known to many because of its lesser availability. End of April-Mid May is the only season for it. If you haven’t heard of it before, you will have to consciously look for this veggie in the market. Mostly local vegetable sellers from nearby villages will have this and can guide you on it. If the bud is flowered it stinks and is not used in cooking. Be prepared to taste a distinguished tasting edible flower, i.e, if you haven’t had Shevala of early monsoon season, another local favorite, which tastes very similar to this one. This is cooked in 2-3 styles with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian version. Following is a traditional recipe contributed by resident of Virar who chooses to stay Anonymous. We can’t thank enough for this contribution and have tried this recipe which tastes awesome.

Ingredients

Suran Flower Bud -1IMG_1800a

Onion – 6-7 Medium size

Potatoes- 2

Grated coconut – half of the coconut

Peanuts – ½ cup soaked in water

Crushed Peanuts -1/2 cup

Tamarind extract– 1 small cup (recipe is not overtly sour)

Jaggery – 1 tablespoon

Salt – To taste

Oil – 7-8 spoon

Asafoetida – 1 pinch

Red Chilli Powder- 1 spoon

Turmeric Powder -1/2 spoon

Maharashtrian Goda (Black) Masala/or any ground mix Masala you regularly use while cooking – 1 -1 and 1/2 spoon

IMG_1801a

IMG_1805a

IMG_1809a

IMG_1810a

IMG_1813a

IMG_1823a

Method

Wash the Suran Flower Bud. Cut and throw away down most part with pollen grains marked in the third picture. Being a flower of Suran, it shares its itchy characteristic and the part with pollens is the itchiest of the bud.   Finely chop the rest of the flower. Heat oil in the pressure cooker, add pinch of Asafoetida and fry sliced onions till they turn pink. Add finely chopped  Suran flower bud and fry for 15-20 minutes on low flame. This extensive frying is necessary to counter itchiness of the vegetable. Now you start getting the aroma of vegetable, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, goda masala or any other mix Masala. Add soaked peanuts, roasted and crushed peanuts, grated coconut, potatoes, tamarind extract and salt. Add water just enough as the consistency of this  is thick and keeping it in mind that it doesn’t get burned.  Cover the lid and place the cooker whistler. Turn off the gas after it whistles twice. Remove the lid after pressure cooker cools down. Add jaggery and mix well. Serve it with Chapati.

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