What is Pathare Prabhu Food?

Due to several reasons, some historical and some gastronomical, Pathare Prabhu cuisine got developed independent of the typical Maharashtrian, Malvani, Konkani and Goan-Portuguese cuisines.

Here are some quick things for you to munch on and get a glimpse of what we mean:

Lots and lots of Seafood: Unlike the Maharashtrians on the other side of Western Ghats, for whom non-vegetarian items meant either chicken or mutton, Pathare Prabhus developed a cuisine that focused a lot (and we mean, a LOT) on seafood due to their proximity to the beaches in Mumbai.

Adding non-veg in everything: Pathare Prabhus took some of the traditional Maharashtrian recipes and PP-fied them – that is, added non-veg to them. Pathare Prabhus put minced prawn or mutton in almost anything that can be considered traditional Marathi – right from Upma with prawn to Alu wadi with prawn or mutton kheema to even Karanji (which is usually sweet) that has a kheema based filling.

 

Gujarati Undhiyo with prawn: This habit of PPs did not spare the Gujaratis too. In their zest to pursue non-vegetarian aspirations, the traditional Gujarati Undhiyo with aubergine and potatoes and seasonal vegetables became the PP Ghada – with shrimp and Ghol fish and – in some cases, even dry fish like dried prawn (sode) or dried bombil (Bombay duck).

 

Rare use of coconut: Pathare Prabhus rarely use coconut in their curries, unlike Malvani cuisine that is heavily reliant on grated coconut. Although, Pathare Prabhu cuisine uses a lot of coconut milk – there are special items using these.

Here are some quick things for you to munch on and get a glimpse of what we mean -

Snooty sokajis: The fish used in Pathare Prabhu items is usually the expensive and rare one – Ghol fish, Rawas fish, Black Pomphret, White Pomphret,, large prawn, lobsters … Will you stop drooling already?

The original bakers of Western India: Apart from ingredients, there were variations in techniques. Pathare Prabhus made pav (bread) that can be eaten by local Hindus without worrying about animal fat – and that bread is still made in Pathare Prabhu homes to go with Aamras (mango puree).

A full cuisine: Pathare Prabhus developed several items that are unique, and not just a twisted version of existing Marathi or Gujarathi items. Over time, the Pathare Prabhu cuisine became a full-fledged cuisine, complete with all courses and desserts and so on.

However, the small size of the community and the general interest of keeping these recipes secretive makes this wonderful PP cuisine inaccessible to most outsiders. You need to be invited to a PP home – like ours

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