Pathare Prabhu style Stuffed crabs aka पुरणाची चिंबोरी (pronounced pure-na-chi chim-bow-ree)


In our PP dialect, unlike standard Marathi, the word ‘पुरण’ refers to any kind of stuffing – savoury or sweet. Purna chi Chimbori is a traditional stuffed PP style crab… got these gorgeous roe filled crabs. Lunch was awesome! 😍

4 large crabs – clean out the gills and samdbag

Grated coconut – 1 wati

Onion – 1 large sliced

Toast the coconut till light brown, heat a tsp of oil and roast the onion on slow till brown.

In the same pan, in residual oil, roast –

½” cinnamon

1-2 cloves

6-8 peppercorns

2 tbsp of coriander seeds

½ tsp – badishep

You also need –

6-7 garlic cloves

2” piece of ginger

1 wati – coriander leaves

2 tbsp – mint leaves

1 sharp dark green chilli (or more if you want)

2 tbsp – roasted chana (डाळं)

Salt to taste

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp PP sambhar

½ tsp haldi


Grind all these to a smooth Masala paste and stuff into cleaned crabs

Take all the small claws and grind them with ½ cup water – strain this carefully

In a thick bottomed pan, heat 3-4 tbsp oil, add ½ tsp hing and 5-6 bashed garlic cloves.

Add the crab to the oil –

Cover and cook till the crabs are done – flip carefully once during the process so that the crabs are properly cooked.

Add the strained claw juice and clean out any leftover masala – and add to the cooking crab.

Dry off any excess moisture – cook till the Masala clings to the crab.

मुंबरे (pronounced moom-buh-ray) – Rice, banana and prawn cake

Mumbre is a traditional Pathare Prabhu style sweet-savoury cake. The ingredient combination in this recipe is extremely unconventional – the base is rice rawa and the batter has onions, prawns, an assortment of condiments and WAIT FOR IT… Ripe Rajeli (plaintain) bananas.

The result is almost handvo like, with the prawn and banana bits giving it unique texture and flavour contrasts in every bite.

#prawnrecipe #plantain #pathareprabhu #pathareprabhucuisine #maharatrianrecipe #marathifood #thistooismarathicuisine #unconventional #unusualfood


Idli Rawa (rice rawa) – 1 cup

Prawns (or deboned bombil) – 1 cup

Onions – 2 large nos chopped fine

Ripe Rajeli Bananas – 2 nos peeled and sliced / crushed by hand

Grated coconut – ½ cup

Roasted cumin powder – 1 and ½ tsp

Red chilli powder – 2 tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Coriander – 2 tbsp chopped

Crushed garlic – 1 tbsp

Green chilli – 1 chopped

Baking powder- ½ tsp

Juice Of ½ a nimbu

Soda bicarbonate – ½ tsp

4 tbsp oil for the batter and 2 tsp for greasing

Salt to taste


Crush the onions, salt, chillies, coriander, turmeric, red chilli, cumin powder and oil by hand till it comes together and becomes a bit pasty.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients (except prawns and lemon juice) and add a little water to get a cake batter like consistency.

Leave this to rest for about 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Add in the prawns and lemon juice, adjust seasoning.

Grease a 6” cake tin (I used a silicone Bundt) and pour in the batter.

Pop this into a preheated oven at 180 ℃ and bake for about 45 minutes till a knife comes out clean at the center.

Let it cool, unmould, slice and serve.

The recipe is listed in the iconic गृहिणी मित्र by the late Laxmibai Dhurandhar and is over a 100 years old.

Prawn and mango curry

There are times when one is craving something tangy and delicious without spending too much time and effort making it. Here’s a quick fix recipe that’s light, delicious and ready in a jiffy!

10-12 large prawns (seriously big ones)

3 tbsp chopped raw mango

1 tbsp chopped shallots or onion

2 cloves garlic – bash and chop

1 piece ginger – bash and chop

Pinch of methi seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

12 curry leaves

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

1 tbsp rice flour

Slit green chilies – 3

Haldi – ½ tsp

1 cup – thick coconut milk (can)

Heat oil, add mustard and crackle – add methi, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, haldi and onion – once translucent, add 2 tbsp coconut milk diluted in ½ cup water and a tbsp of rice flour and the kairi – boil till kairi softens a bit and add prawns.

As soon as they curl up and turn pink, add the coconut milk, salt to taste and a pinch of sugar.

At the very end, put in a tsp of raw coconut oil and immediately switch off gas – serve with plain rice

Eggless Jaggery Cake

Atta – 105 gms

Jaggery powder (BB Royal organic) – 65 gms

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Baking soda – ½ tsp

Cream + Milk – ¾ cup

Canola Oil – ¾ cup

Condensed milk – 2 tbsp

Yoghurt (Chitale) – ¼ cup

Vinegar – ½ tsp

Pure vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Candied mango – 20 gms (or any fruit / nut)

Whisk all wet and all dry ingredients separately.

Adjust batter with 1-2 tbsp milk if required to achieve cake batter consistency

Bake in a loaf tin at 180-190 ℃ for 25 minutes or till a skewer comes clean

Churma Laddoo – pakvan for Shravan Monday

Shravan Mondays are those rare days when the Pathare Prabhu clan fasts through the day and the fast is broken at dusk with a ceremonial meal.

One of the key components (among others) of the PP shravan Monday menu is 1 sweet pakvan, i.e. – a dish cooked in ghee (savoury pakvans may be made in oil).

Many PP homes make it a point to make these laddoos on at least of the 4-5 Monday meals every Shravan.

Churma is very popular in Rajasthan. This one is probably one a recipe, my Parbhu ancestors picked up when they migrated from Rajasthan and North Gujarat to Mumbai.

The recipe involves a fairly simple technique, but is slightly time consuming. And these are totally fail proof unlike the ordinary rawa laddoo.

Knead 3 cups of rawa, with a generous pinch of saffron in a few tbsp of warm milk (the objective of the milk is merely to bind the semolina together). Knead this to a stiff dough.

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and deep fry these in hot ghee to a golden brown colour.

While the fried dough is still hot, break this into bits ans when cooled slightly, blend to a coarse powder in a mixie. Strain the crumbs through a sieve and measure the residual crumb.

To this, add powdered cardamom and nutmeg, fried raisins and chopped toasted nuts (almonds, pistachio and cashew)

Measure out powdered sugar, equalling 3/4th of the crumb volume (3 cups of sugar to 4 cups of crumb. I’ve used ‘bhura shakkar’ which is an amorphous castor sugar like Indian variant, available at most grocers. This sugar yields very good results in making laddoos.

Mix the crumbs and sugar while still a little warm and add a little ghee to bind the crumb.

Mould this into laddoos and if the mix is too dry, add a few drops of milk to bind together (not too much as it compromises the shelf life of the laddoo). Rest the laddoos for one hour or so and serve.

These are so irresistible, you’ll find yourself unable to stop with having just one! 😜

Ingredient list

3 cups fine semolina

4 tbsp milk (for dough) and few drops to bind

Saffron – ½ tsp

Raisins – 20 gms

Assorted nuts – 20 gms

Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp

Nutmeg – a generous pinch

Ghee – 200 gms (deep frying as well as 4-5 tbsp for binding)

Field Beans Curry – Vaala che Bhujane

Hyacinth Beans or vaal are very popular in Western and Southern states of India. Commonly called ‘Avarekaalu’ in Kannada and Vaal in Marathi and Gujarati, these beans have a unique, pleasantly bitter taste. There are numerous popular recipes using this bean, found across the region.

The beans need to be soaked, sprouted and peeled. But I usually take the shortcut and but ready sprouted and peeled vaal.

These are very popular in Pathare Prabhu homes for our customary ‘vegetarian Monday’. The rich meaty taste more than makes up for the absence of meat or fish.

These are cooked in gravy form exactly like fish bhujane and taste fantastic with steaming white rice.

In a flat thick bottomed vessel, crush together a finely chopped onion, 1 tbsp chopped coriander, a tsp of crushed garlic, 1 tsp red chilli powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder and a chopped chilli, salt to taste and approximately 1 tbsp oil.

Crush these by hand till the ingredients mix and come together really well. This needs to be done with a lot of patience and takes a good 6-7 minutes.

The vessel I’m using is an heirloom brass ‘Langdi’ which needs to be tinned (Kalhai) every now and then. But the maintenance requirements are more than made up for by the uniform even cooking when one uses these.

Now tip in soaked and sprouted vaal beans and coat well in masala. Add around ½ cup water, enough to submerge the vaal along with the crushed masala.

Once you’ve mixed the vaal with the masala, these should not be stirred with a spoon till they’re completely cooked. The vessel can be tipped from side to side to achieve any mixing if required. Bring the mix to a rolling boil.

Cover with a lid and pie some water over the lid. Simmer over a medium – low heat till the beans are completely cooked. Ideally, the bean should hold shape with the sprout still clinging to the bean after cooking. If these get overcooked, they taste mushy and honestly not very pleasant.

This is a quick fix with the whole dish taking no more than 20 minutes to make from scratch (provided you have access to peeled vaal sprouts).

Serve with steaming white rice or chapatis. Perfect for a rainy day.

Panchamruti Vaangi – Sweet n Sour Eggplant Curry

Panchamrut is a Chutney like preparation served as a side in Pathare Prabhu wedding feasts.

The smoky masala is very versatile and can be used to flavour an assortment of vegetables and even pairs well with pork! (Purists may shudder at the mere thought… but don’t beat it till you try it).

The panchamrut masala comprises of a host of ingredients including, Coriander Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Bay leaves, Cinnamon, Nag kesar , Star Anise, Stone Lichen (dagadful), Dessiccated Dry Coconut. All of these are roasted separately and ground to a masala powder.

The recipe I’m posting today is my own take on this classic. I’ve made a few tweaks to suit my taste. The original dish is made without any onion and coriander leaves. Mine is closer to a standard Marathi style Bharla Vanga.

Heat oil, splutter a few mustard seeds and hing, add a few curry leaves and a chopped onion. Sauté the onion till brown.

Next, slit the eggplants vertically till the stalks, leaving them attached. Stuff these with a tsp of panchamrut powder, turmeric and red chilli powder to taste, season with salt and little sugar and add to the browned onions.

Let the eggplants cook in their own steam till almost done. Add 2 tbsp of tamarind pulp and 2 tbsp of jaggery. Mix well and cook further for 4-5 minutes.

By now the sauce is syrupy and coats the eggplants completely. Dish out and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with chapati / bhaakri.

Ingredient list

4-5 Eggplant (small)

2 tbsp Onion (chopped)

1 tbsp Oil

4-5 Curry leaves

Panchamrut Powder – 3 tbsp

Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Tamarind Pulp – 2 tbsp

Jaggery – 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Vat Pournime Chi Panchbheli Bhaaji – mixed sprout subzi

Jyeshtha Pournima (the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyeshth) is celebrated across Maharashtra as वट पौर्णिमा. The ritual worship of banyan trees and wives fasting for the long lives of their husbands.

The day long fast associated with the ritual (something like a Maharashtrian karwa chauth) was given up in my family a long time ago. Since mom was a working professional, Aaji decreed that she couldn’t possibly be expected to fast.

She continued cooking this ceremonial meal (typically made for breaking the fast) though. The menu for the day every year at our home comprises this पंचभेळी subzi – 5 sprouted pulses along with Aam-Ras and puris.

The traditional menu (sprouts and aam Ras puri) is still cooked in most Pathare Prabhu homes to mark this day.

Here’s the recipe for this simple yet delicious vegetarian dish

Mixed Sprouts (moong, chawli (lobia or black eyed beans) vaal (bitter field beans), chana (red gram) and kala vatana (black peas)- or any 5 of your choice)… traditionally, every pulse (including the moong) are peeled. Without delving into the nutritional virtues of cooking the sprouts with the peels on, I assure you that the deskinned ones taste delicious. I was too lazy to peel them off this year.

Heat oil, add a pinch of hing and jeera- splutter and add a chopped onion. Aaji wouldn’t make it with onions initially – but later, when mom and she gave up fasting, she started adding them. I guess for upvaas, one doesn’t use onions.

Once the onion is translucent, throw in the sprouts and steam cook till all are done.

You may want to pressure cook the vatana and chana first and cook vaal, moong and chavli separately – as they all cook at different points and if you try cooking these all together, it becomes a mash. Add water as required.

Add turmeric, red chilli powder and PP Sambhar as per taste.

Once cooked completely, add salt and sugar and loads of fresh grated coconut. Give it a good mix and serve with aam Ras and puris.

Ingredient measures

1 tbsp oil

Pinch of Hing

½ tsp Jeera

1 medium sized onion – finely chopped

2 cups – Mixed sprouts (moong, vaal, chana, chavli, black peas)

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp Pathare Prabhu Sambhar

Salt and Sugar to taste

Kaatyache Bhujane… Pathare Prabhu Style seafood stew…

Most people of my generation (I was born in the late 70s) buy seafood butchered in a pretty standard fashion, with the fish being sliced into steaks with a central bone surrounded with marbled flesh.

The Mumbaikar Kolis though, have a unique style of cutting large fish (this cut is typically reserved for fish like Ghol, Tuna and Rawas, which grow to a significant size), where boneless fillets (the choicest parts) are extracted from the fish. These get sold at a premium and the residual head, spine and tail (बघड, काटा and पिसारा respectively in Parbhi Marathi) are sold separately. All of these parts are bony and gelatinous. Any recipe that involves cooking these, yields a dish with a distinct smell, typical to fish, and a unique jelly like texture (somewhat close to a paya soup). These ingredients are most definitely an acquired taste.

The part I’ve used in this recipe is an all time PP favourite, ‘kaata’. Notice how the spine is butchered into pieces with due care to ensure that the joint between each spine is left intact (attached to each other with cartilage and holding delicately flavoured and delicious fluid).

Apply some turmeric and salt to each piece and set aside till you go about the rest of the prep. I’ve used 6 chunks of kaata and the recipe which follows is in proportion for this quantity.

In a flat vessel, crush together (by hand) a large sized finely chopped onion, Salt to taste, 1 heaped tablespoon of ginger garlic paste, ½ tsp turmeric powder, a finely chopped spicy chilli, 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves, 3 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder and a generous 4 tbsp oil. Keep crushing this with your fingers till the mix turns into an almost smooth, paste like consistency.

This step takes at least 8–10 minutes and needs to be executed very patiently, till the mixture comes together to a smooth paste.

Here’s a slightly closer pic for a better look at the versatile bhujana masala.

Once the masala has reached this stage, coat the previously marinated kaata and add ½ a cup of water.

Now put the vessel on a stove top and bring to a gentle boil. Once it’s started to boil, cover and leave on a medium flame for around 5-6 minutes.

Switch off the stove and cool for a couple of minutes. Serve this over steamed white rice.

This quick fix recipe serves approximately 3-4 people and makes for a truly satisfying and delicious meal!

Drumsticks aka Moringa – PP style

While common perception is that Parbhus are primarily a carnivorous lot (which isn’t too far from being true), what a lot of people who may be familiar with our community, tend to miss is the vast repertoire of vegetables and vegetarian dishes we cook up which are as delicious as our non vegetarian fare.

While this veggie is used in various dishes across India, the #pathareprabhu way is slightly unique in the sense that this tastes really sweet for a vegetable side.

This is the one prep that my wife despises (and I hate these in pithla or aamti which she likes), so we don’t end up making this too often.

Cut each drumstick in 2 inch lengths and remove the tough outer peel. Make a single slit to allow the masala to penetrate the sheng.

Heat a tsp of oil, splutter a pinch of jeera, add a pinch of hing and add a couple of tbsp chopped onions. Cook these till translucent and add ½ a cup if water, along with chilli powder, Pathare Prabhu sambhar, haldi as per your taste.

Add the prepared ‘shektachya’ shenga (which is the parbhi name for these). Cover and steam till cooked.

Add salt to taste and a good amount of sugar. Let the sugar melt and make sure yto leave some syrupy liquid. This is not meant to be a completely dry dish.

Add grated coconut and finely chopped coriander to garnish.

This subzi tastes awesome with hot chapatis pr dal-rice.

For this recipe, here’s the quantities I used

2 drumsticks

2 tsp oil

½ tsp haldi

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp Pathare Prabhu sambhar masala

Salt to taste

3 tsp sugar

Coriander leaves and grated coconut to garnish.