This time of the year, monsoon gradually spreads across the India and summer lazily packs its bag and lingers around as if it is in no rush to leave the scene. It is akin to that reluctant kid who has been asked to leave but he just hangs around in case if he would be asked to come back in. However, with the end of summer season it is also the end of wedding season in India. In India when every small task is done within the shubh muhurat (auspicious time to perform a ceremony), every job change, house warming, job interview is done as per shubh muhurat, and then it should be no surprise that every wedding is also fixed for a sacred time. In India there are primarily two seasons for wedding summer and winter.
Though there may be some monsoon weddings, but they are not as high in numbers as the former two. In fact , many a times, you would end up being invited to over a dozen weddings in this wedding season and sometimes you may have to attend 2-3 weddings on a same day.
Indian weddings are events filled with fun, frolic and jubilation. It is marked with music, dance and food. Food is the most important part of any wedding event organized in India. In fact if I manage to have an blatant admission from the baraatis (guests who attend the weddings) of what is the thing that they look forward to while attending a wedding, I think an overwhelming majority would say food. Being a foodie, I get excited with the idea of attending marriages of different religion, caste and customs because it provides me with an opportunity to explore and taste the food from various food cultures of India.
Past summer, I ended up attending quite a large number of Maharashtrian weddings. These wedding extravaganzas were the usual display of pompous celebrations, dance, music and fabulous food. Earlier, the food used to be more of a traditional affair but now with arrival of buffets and catering we can see the food becoming a unique blend of traditional and contemporary. Though food items from various cuisines have found prominence today, but regional food items still has managed to catch fancy of large number of food aficionados. So what we see in a wedding menu is a unique amalgamation of different cuisines.
When I am talking about Maharashtrian wedding, the highpoint of the menu would be a rice preparation that has been on Maharashtrian wedding menu since time immemorial. I am of course referring to Masale-Bhaat. Masale Bhaat is the most important part of any Maharashtrian wedding menu. A typical menu for a Maharashtrian wedding boasts of preparations like, Waran-bhat, Toop, meeth, chutni, koshimbir, batate wada, Puri , batata bhaaji, matki usal, Masale Bhaat, Jilebi, mattha and masala paan.
Masale Bhaat is similar to Vegetable Pulao but the spicier version. The most important ingredient of this rice preparation is a spice blend known as Goda Masala and some veggies like ivy gourd, cauliflower, potatoes, and green peas are added to this preparation. Last week when I blogged the recipe of Goda Masala on this website, it was pretty natural that I follow it up with some recipes that we can make using Goda masala and so it was absolutely befitting to start with the traditional and authentic Masale Bhaat. As I feel nostalgic thinking about all those wedding ceremonies that I attended in my childhood with my granny, I am romancing with the idea of sharing some of the wedding menu recipes on this website. So folks, enjoy this flavorful and spicy Masale Bhaat and I hope you would make this recipe at your home. Share your feedback about this recipe in the comment section below. You can also share your Indian wedding experiences with us.
- 2 cups long grain basmati rice
- ½ cup fresh green peas
- 1 medium sized potato cut in cubes
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup ivy gourd (Tendli/Tindora/Kundru) sliced in 4 pieces each
- 7-8 cloves
- 1 inch of cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 large sized onion chopped lengthwise
- 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp asafoetida powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 3 tsp goda masala
- 2 bay leaf
- 10-12 cashew-nuts
- ½ cup grated fresh coconut
- Cooking Oil
- 1 tbsp Clarified butter
- Soak rice for 30 mins.After 30 mins drain the water.
- Heat a pan. Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon and cloves one at a time until nutty aroma emerges from them.
- Allow the roasted ingredients to cool down and grind them into a fine powder.
- Heat 4 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry cashew-nuts until they become brown.When they become brown,remove them in a plate.
- In the same oil, add bay leaf, mustard seeds, asafoetida powder, chopped onions and fry them till onions turn tender.
- Now add ginger-garlic paste and fry it to get rid of the rawness of paste.
- Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder, goda masala, roasted masala powder, salt as per taste. Now mix all these ingredients well.
- We will roast this masala for almost 4 minutes on low flame. Now add veggies like cauliflower, green peas, ivy gourd, potatoes, 1 cup water and mix them all well.
- Cook the veggies covered.In about 12-13 mins veggies must get cooked on low flame. Now add rice and mix it.
- Now add fried cashew-nuts, 4 and ½ cups of water for 2 cups of rice.Allow it to boil on medium flame.
- As we get one boil, lower the flame. Add 1 tbsp clarified butter and mix it. Now cook the rice covered on low flame till it cooks completely.
- In about 15 minutes rice should be cooked completely. Now turn off the flame and cover the rice again to retain the aroma.
- Masale bhat is best enjoyed with kadhi.
Click here to watch recipe video