Saturday, June 19, 2010

PUNERI MAHARASHTRIAN FEAST - A Delicious Maharashtrian Thali in Pune

A Delicious Maharashtrian Thali in Pune



On the 30th of May, a Sunday, we celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary, and celebrated it with a sumptuous family meal, as always, for the past few years, with a hearty delicious pure vegetarian Maharashtrian Thali at Shreyas Siddhi, the airconditioned swanky branch of the original Shreyas on Apte Road near Deccan Gymkhana in Pune.

If you are a true-blue Punekar, I am sure you know all about Shreyas and have savoured the delicious dining experience I am about to describe.

Nowadays, I prefer their branch called Shreyas Siddhi near Swar Gate on Satara Road not only due to its proximity to my home but mainly because of the excellent ambience which facilitates relaxed fulfilling family dining in cool comfort.  

One of my notable marital achievements is that I have managed to transform my darling wife into an avid [or should I say voracious] foodie. Now this is quite a remarkable feat considering that she hardly ever ate anything or never even noticed what she was eating when we first met…in fact earlier she used to eat to survive, now saying that she lives to eat maybe in extremis” but she certainly has developed a penchant for good food and relishes a tasty hearty meal.
Outside the restaurant, in the covered patio, hungry patrons wait patiently for their turn. Maybe they want to make you wait for your food and help build up an appetite and they believe in the adage that if you truly want to enjoy good food you must build up an appetite for it.

The moment you enter the cool confines of Shreyas Siddhi you are greeted by the glorious spectacle of devoted foodies enjoying their food with rapt attention and divine expressions of satiation.

You are guided to a table and you sit down. There is already a sparkling clean
taat with vatis in front of you. There is no menu card and no need for you to waste your time and effort wondering what to order. The waiters will immediately start serving and filling up your plate. You go to Shreyas to eat their delectable and matchless thali, and if you so desire, you can have a sweet dish like Gulab Jam, Modak, Fruit Salad, Basundi, Aamras or Amrakhand to accompany.
The fare varies, and on our latest visit for lunch this Sunday, there was the inimitable ambrosial Aloo Chi Bhaji, excellent Matki Usal, Soothing Soul Kadhi, delicious Umti, zesty Batata Bhaji, Soft melt-in-the-mouth Surali Chya Wadya, Soft Chappaties, Puris, Veg Pulao, Rice with Waran and a liberal topping of pure ghee, Rich Masale Bhat, and the usual Koshimbir, Chutney, Papad, with cool refreshing taak (buttermilk) to wash down the meal.

My darling wife relished her mandatory steamed
ukdi cha modak with pure ghee and my son polished off a lip smacking basundi
- I tasted both - simply superb!

You can eat to your heart's content –
as they say – as all the dishes, everything, is unlimited. And as a grand finale to the fulfilling meal they serve a very refreshing Vida (paan) to enhance the intoxicating sensation you will feel after relishing this magnificent meal.

Did I say “intoxication”?

Yes… intoxication…not the alcoholic kind, but non-alcoholic intoxication at its best. If you truly want to savor this delicious pure vegetarian cuisine, you must build up an appetite for it, and don’t make the mistake of ruining your experience by having a pre-meal appertif before you start off for the place. I think that’s true for all gourmet food, isn't it…?
I will not try and describe the delicious dishes. I cannot. Words fail me to recreate the pristine impeccable flavors, aromas, textures and tastes. It’s unmatched delectable top-quality authentic Puneri Maharashtrian cuisine at its best. It’s an “unlimited” meal and you can feast and satiate yourself to your heart’s content.
If you are in Pune, or the next time you visit Pune, have a delicious unforgettable meal at Shreyas. It is truly value for money authentic cuisine, a hundred and forty rupees for a thali (they give a discount for senior citizens too). Do have a meal at Shreyas. You will carry with you mouthwatering memories of the delightful feast for a long long time.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work 

If you are interested in Good Food and believe in the adage: There is no greater love than the love of eating then I am sure you will like my foodie adventures book  Appetite for a Stroll

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