You know what I want to do right now?
I want to gather all my Maharashtrian friends, stand them in a straight line and punch them.
Okay, that’s a little extreme, but I seriously want to shake each and every one of them, pretty violently and ask them just one question – ‘Why were they hiding all these amazing Maharashtrian dishes from me till date?’
No seriously, had I not visited Jivhala Maharashtrian Kitchen, my knowledge of Maharashtrian dishes would have remained restricted to Pithla-Bhakri and Puran Poli and that would have been disastrous, to say the least!
Ruturaj & Shardul, the brothers behind this venture have taken upon themselves to prevent such disasters from happening. Their aim is to bring the no show-sha filled authentic Maharashtrian food from their kitchen to your table and to revive a few lost recipes. This is clearly visible in the huge variety they have to offer and the very basic ambience of the restaurant. If you are looking for an air-conditioned, fine dine place, then Jivhala may disappoint you and we would suggest that you order in instead. But if you care only about some lip-smacking delicacies, then you should head here soon!
Here is what we tried at Jivhala Maharashtrian Kitchen and absolutely loved:
Pithla Bhakri Thecha: The Pithla we had here was better than any other that we have had and comes close to the one that grandma made! It was not very thick and so well spiced with coriander, ginger and chillies spicing it up! Delicious! Bhakri was soft and Jowar (Sorghum) based. One can ask for the crispier versions of bhakri if desired. Thecha was spicy and made us sweat, as it is supposed to! A small bowl of buttermilk or taak as it is called in Marathi was served to help with the spiciness of the thecha.
Phodnichi Aamti is a spicy version of the dal or varan. It is thin in consistency and has tomatoes as the main ingredient with a strong tadka of ginger, coriander and curry leaves. There is also a small quantity of grated coconut and the combinations of these flavours make it taste totally home-cooked!
Vegetable Kolhapuri has a spicy gravy and lots of veggies – cauliflower, capsicum, et. al. It could have been spicier though but it does leave a pretty sharp taste in the throat. The gravy is really delicious and strongly spiced.
Thalipeeth is another delicacy that we tried here. It is a multi-flour (seven types) onion paratha which is so scrumptious! The people at Jivhala do not deep fry it and rather bake it on the tawa giving it a delicious flavour. It is then drenched in ghee (you could ask for less or none of it) and served with a mindblowing dip of sorts – made with curd and their in-house ground nut chutney! Their groundnut chutney is to die for! It is so amazing that one can just keep munching on it without any accompaniment and that is saying something! It is the right amount of spicy, making you ooh-aah and yet reaching out for more!
Shengachi Gulpoli has climbed up into my list of favourite sweet dishes and why should it not! This one is sincerely amazing! On first look, it looks like not much, I mean common, what good can a thin and slightly crispy roti of sorts be? But it is good, so good! Shengachi Gulpoli is essentially a jaggery and groundnut based, slightly crispy roti that is heated and then topped with lots of ghee! Each of the flavours come alive at every bite and you can keep munching on these, guilt free if you skip that ghee as well! We loved these, totally!
We also tried Mattha, Kokum Sharbat and Piyush. Mattha is the spicier version of buttermilk with lots of green chillies, coriander and ginger while Piyush is eliachi or cardamom flavoured lassi.
Overall Experience: The word that describes our experience here has to be Utkrasht, which means excellent! The food here is marvellous! It is the restaurant you should visit when you want to have a home-cooked Maharashtrian meal at affordable prices.
Ambience 😐 (But frankly, does not matter in front of the food!)
The Battle: We did not want to leave without trying a million other items especially the recommended once, but our tummy always and always manages to let us down in such circumstances! You better go with a ravenous appetite!
You better go with a ravenous appetite!