Maharashtra cuisine is simple and healthy. Winter is a great time to go ahead and indulge. The markets come alive with fresh leafy greens and colourful vegetables. It is a joy to spend time in the kitchen surrounded by the crackle of spice and the aromas that rise from the simmering pots. To watch a dish unravel itself with time. I change my daily breakfast of eggs and toasts to delicious poha, sabudana khichadi, thalipeeth, thepla etcetera during winter months.
Thalipeeth is simple, savoury and full of nutrition. Made from multi-grain flour it is the staple dish of Maharashtra. The perfect blend of multi-grain flour, spices and vegetables make it a rich source of iron, fibre and folic acid. Sumptuous and filling Thalipeeth is high in dietary fibers and a good source of energy and protein. I love its unique flavor and crisp, crumbly biscuit like texture.
Yesterday I made three variations of thalipeeth. I used shredded cabbage, spring onions, and fenugreek leaves but you can make with a number of other seasonal veggies like bottle gourd, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, spinach etc. You can use sweet potato as filling too. For the days you are fasting you can make sabudana thalipeeth too. The choices are endless.
Usually Thalipeeth is served with curd, home-made white butter, roasted dry garlic chutney or coriander chutney. I eat it with methkut (roasted fenugreek seed powder) and ghee too. I even tried making Thalipeeth with jaggery & dates and it tastes fantastic. (recipe coming up soon) 🙂
The thalipeeth flour or bhajani as it is known in Maharashtra is made with,
1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
2 Tablespoon coriander Seeds
To make the Bhanjani, dry roast all the ingredients one by one till their color changes slightly and a nice roasted aroma starts coming. Be careful not to burn them. Grind them together in a food processor or grinder. Put it in air tight box and it will stay for a long time.
To make Thalipeeth
Bhajani or thalipeeth flour – 2 cups
Red onion – 2 big finely chopped
Green chilli – 2-3 finely chopped (depends on your taste)
Spring onion – (green part – 1/4 cup
Fenugreek leaves – 1/4 cup finely chopped
Red chili powder – ( if desired) 1/2 teaspoon ( I avoid it)
Salt – to taste
Cumin powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander leaves / cilantro – few springs, finely chopped
Oil – Just enough for roasting
Take the flour in a big plate or mixing bowl, add salt, cumin powder, red chilli powder ( if using), green chillies, corriander leaves along with the desired shredded vegetable ( I made three sets of flour each with methi, spring onion and red onion) .
Now slowly add warm water and knead the flour so that it binds well. Crush the onions with fingers to enhance the flavor. Once the dough is ready cover it with thin wet cloth so it doesn’t become dry.
Make sure the dough is smooth and soft enough to spread. It would be a little sticky due to various grains and pulses in it.
To make thalipeeth. Keep a non stick skillet or frying pan on high flame and once the pan is hot lower the flame. Add a few drops of oil to it.
Meanwhile take a ball of dough and slap it between hands to make a flat bread. You can use a cling foil to make the thalipeeth. Take a ball ( size of an orange) and pat it with fingers on the greased sheet to make a flat bread. Dip your fingers in water so the dough doesn’t stick to them. Evenly make a round pancake. make some cuts or small holes so that it cooks uniformly.
Now carefully transfer it on the hot frying pan or tawa and let it cook. Cover with lid. You can brush a little water on the thalipeeth to keep it moist.
Turn it over once one side is crisp and brown. Check the edges to make sure it’s cooked properly. Add a few more drops of oil if needed.
Once the thalipeeth is brown from both sides and evenly cooked remove it on a plate for serving.
Serve it hot with chutney , butter and curd. I beat the curd and add roasted cumin powder, a few leaves of coriander and season it with curry leaves and mustard seeds but it all depends on your taste.
You can also make a simple thalipeeth with no added veggies. Just use finely chopped onions, green chillies and coriander leaves.